After finishing a distant third in the Ames straw poll, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) on Sunday told supporters on a conference call he’s dropping out of the presidential race, the Associated Press reports.
“We needed to get some lift to continue on and have a pathway forward,” Pawlenty said in an interview on This Week. “That didn’t happen, so I’m announcing this morning on your show that I’m going to be ending my campaign for president.”
After yesterday’s third-place finish, Pawlenty said in a statement, “we made progress in moving from the back of the pack into a competitive position for the caucuses, but we have a lot more work to do.” But in that statement, he said his campaign is “just beginning.”
Pawlenty has struggled lately to maintain the momentum his campaign enjoyed when he first entered the fray. A recent poll showed him trailing Rep. Thad McCotter (R-MI) in Michigan. And in July, Pawlenty reported raising an anemic $4.2 million for his campaign.
On Thursday night, during a Republican primary debate, Pawlenty tried to fight his way back into top-tier status. He traded barbs with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) over a legislative battle back in Minnesota, and he attempted to come back strong in attacking Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law.
The New York Times reports that Pawlenty did not tell supporters whether he will endorse another candidate.
Watch Pawlenty’s interview below, via ABC News:
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com