Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced Sunday that he is no longer seeking the Republican nomination in the 2012 Presidential race. After finishing a distant third in the Ames Straw Poll, well behind Representatives Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas), Pawlenty said his “message didn’t get the kind of traction or lift that we needed and hoped for” going into the poll.
“It’s been a great honor for Mary and me and our team to convey the message of trying to get this country back on track,” Pawlenty said on ABC’s This Week. “But obviously that message didn’t get the kind of traction or lift that we needed and hoped for coming into the and out of the Ames straw poll. We needed to get some lift to continue on and to have a pathway forward. That didn’t happen.
“I wish it would have been different. But, obviously, the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist. And so we’re going to end the campaign,” Pawlenty said.
Asked what went wrong, Pawlenty said fundraising played a significant role. “Obviously, we had some success raising money, but we needed to continue that, and Ames was a benchmark for that. And if we didn’t do well in Ames, we weren’t going to have the fuel to keep the car going down the road.”
Pawlenty also said that he did not think he was the sort of candidate Republicans are looking for in this election cycle: “What I brought forward I thought was a rational, established, credible, strong record of results, based on experience governing — a two-term governor of a blue state. But I think the audience, so to speak, was looking for something different.”
According to POLITICO, at just 12 hours, Pawlenty set a new record for a Presidential candidate dropping out after a disappointing Ames finish.