Bachman pulls out of GOP race

(JTA) – Michele Bachman pulled out of the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination after finishing sixth in the Iowa caucuses.

"I ran as the next steppingstone, the passing on of the torch of liberty," said Bachman, a Minnesota congresswoman, in a speech to supporters Wednesday in Iowa.

Eight votes reportedly separated first-place finisher Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, from Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania in Tuesday’s caucuses. They each took about 25 percent of the vote to 21 percent for Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Bachman garnered about 5 percent of the vote.

In June, Bachman was considered a front-runner for the GOP bid following the first debate involving the hopefuls.

She supported continuing U.S. aid to Israel, calling Israel "our greatest ally," and spoke fondly about her time volunteering on a kibbutz in Israel.

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