Michele Bachmann Drops Out of Race for GOP Conference Chair

Nov 10, 2010 9:04pm

ABC News' John R. Parkinson reports:

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, has dropped out of the race for GOP Conference Chair, paving the way for Rep. Jeb Hensarling to become the fourth-ranking Republican in the GOP House leadership.

Tuesday, Bachmann told ABC News that the showdown was an uphill climb, but she was working hard to prove to her colleagues that she would be the best candidate represent the sentiments that propelled the GOP into the majority in last week’s congressional midterm elections.

But just a day later, Bachmann has stopped the climb.

“Jeb Henserling has my enthusiastic support for his candidacy to become Republican House Conference Chair," Bachmann announced in a statement Wednesday evening. "Jeb has demonstrated his commitment to limited government, reduced spending and lower taxes and he will be a strong voice for the Tea Party’s call for these values."

Bachmann said she looked forward to continuing her support of the Tea Party during the next session of Congress.

"I plan to advance the Tea Party ideals through their listening arm, the Tea Party Caucus," Bachmann said. "It is my wish to bring new faces to the caucus, including freshmen members."

“The new Congress will have great opportunities to lead our country into the direction our founders intended. I spoke with Mr. Boehner and other members of leadership and I am convinced they will wholeheartedly work towards the issues the American people are calling for such as fiscal responsibility, ending the bailouts and repealing Obamacare," Bachmann added.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, who is now unopposed for the post, praised Bachmann in a statement Wednesday evening for her contributions to the GOP.

“Michele Bachmann is a committed movement conservative whose effective voice played an important role in America’s decision to trust House Republicans once again," Hensarling said. "She is a dear friend, and I am humbled to earn her support. I look forward to her energetic leadership in a united House Republican Conference during the 112th Congress."

Hensarling said he would continue to work to gain the support of House Republicans leading into next week's leadership election on Nov. 17.

“My campaign to serve as Chairman of the House Republican Conference is not complete.  I am committed to reaching-out to every Republican Member-elect and current House Republican before Wednesday’s vote to seek their counsel and support," Hensarling said. "If elected, I look forward to working with other Republican leaders to demonstrate that we heard a very clear message on Election Day.  Americans want us to focus on principle-based approaches to job creation and cutting the out-of-control spending that is threatening our children’s and grandchildren’s futures with a tsunami of red ink."

“Our nation is at a tipping point. The days ahead will be full of opportunities and challenges," he added. "If House Republicans remain committed to the values of faith, family, free enterprise, and freedom, and if we remain both courageous and smart, together we can preserve the torch of liberty for the next generation.”

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