For some, it was the end, for others it was just the beginning. From bowing out to blowing up, each GOP contender took the Iowa news differently, incorporating the moment in the narrative of their evolving campaigns.
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Romney was the winner in Iowa, but his 25% there wasn't the knockout blow needed to seal his perception as the inevitable nominee. In an appearance on NBC's 'Today' show, he said he's ready for the long road ahead: 'I want to make sure that this is not just a one state sendoff,
Paul supporters had higher hopes for Iowa, but the candidate kept talk of his third place finish positive, praising his enthusiastic supporters and celebrating his campaign's challenge to the mainstream. And his numbers in Iowa? 'There's nothing to be ashamed of,' he said. 'Be ready to move on to the next stop, which is New Hampshire.'
Gingrich came in fourth in Iowa, but he's not conceding anything. He left Iowa with fists swinging, promising a fight with Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. 'We are not going to go out and run nasty ads. We're not going to run 30-second gotchas,' he said. 'But I do reserve the right to tell the truth and if the truth seems negative, that may be more a comment on his record than it is on politics.'
Perry was hanging his head after taking only 10 per cent of the votes in Iowa. At his final speech in the state last night, he said he was heading back to Texas to 'determine whether there is a path forward' for him in the race. This morning he said that he's looking ahead to a showdown in South Carolina.
A disappointing sixth place finish was the final blow for Michelle Bachmann, who announced the end to her campaign in a news conference this morning. 'I have decided to stand aside,' she said. Bachmann was under lots of pressure last night to do just that, especially from former campaign manager Ed Rollins and Sarah Palin.
Huntsman was clear from the start: he wasn't competing in Iowa. And even before the results were in last night, he explained why: because 'nobody cares' about Iowa. At an event in New Hampshire, Huntsman said he would not be making his stand until the primary on January 10.
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