Bachmann campaign manager says she may drop out

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. waves from her bus following a campaign stop at Valley High School, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

January 3, 2012 8:49:18 PM PST
Michele Bachmann's campaign manager says it's hard to tell whether she will continue her campaign after a bleak showing in the Iowa caucuses.

Asked if he could say with certainty whether she would go forward with her candidacy, Bachmann campaign manager Keith Nahigian told The Associated Press, "I don't know yet."

He added, "It's hard to tell, but everything is planned."

Bachmann was in last place among six candidates in the nation's first Republican presidential nominating contest Tuesday night. It was a sharp turn for the Minnesota congresswoman after finishing in first place during the Iowa GOP's summer straw poll.

Nahigian's comments came as Bachmann appeared to address an anemic crowd of about 60-70 people for her caucus night party.

Before the voting began, Bachmann traveled to the backyard of her childhood to make her final appeal for support, imploring voters in her native Iowa to "reclaim our country." But the caucus site was hardly unified. Bachmann would need more than hometown connections to pull back into contention.

"I feel sorry for her," said Randy Herod, a retired business consultant. "She's real nice, but this isn't her time."

Bachmann spent days before the big vote deflecting questions about her staying power. Her campaign team initially had insisted she would press on to South Carolina, where Republicans have a Jan. 21 primary, no matter the caucus outcome.