Michelle Bachmann Ends White House Bid; High Hopes at Santorum Headquarters

Santorum's campaign switches into high gear as frontrunners prepare for the next battleground in the state of New Hampshire.

Michelle Bachmann officially called off her White House bid on Wednesday, after taking sixth place in Tuesday's Iowa caucus.

Moreover, Texas Governor Rick Perry cancelled his scheduled South Carolina events on Wednesday, after placing fifth in the caucus.

Rick Santorum - AP - January 2012
Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a forum at Valley High School, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa.AP

On the other hand, euphoria swept over Rick Santorum’s Bedford, New Hampshire headquarters, where volunteers were still celebrating until the early hours of the morning after the candidate surged to a close second place after Mitt Romney.

Bill Cahill, co-chair of Santorum’s campaign in New Hampshire, was excited by the news, saying the achievement was “a validation of a campaign strategy Santorum adopted last year. Town-to-town, without the support of the mainstream media, and driven only by his message and his incredible volunteer network.”

Cahill told Haaretz that he believes that the week Santorum spends in New Hampshire will further strengthen his momentum.

“He has nowhere to go but up,” Cahill explained. “Right now, Bachman will pull out the race, and Perry is not coming either. We don’t know who will come to the two debates in New Hampshire on Saturday and Sunday.”

Cahill also rejected the question of Santorum’s “electability” in the general election. “There is a lot of media focus on ‘social issues’, but he has a strong national security policy, especially on the Middle East, job security, etc… It’s not simple social conservatism.”

According to Cahill, Santorum has his own simple strategy for winning: avoid engaging in fistfights, instead sit and talk about issues.

“We just had a great candidate with a great message. I don’t know if he’s going to win in New Hampshire, but I’m sure his message will resonate. Six people came early this morning to write a check – this has never happened before.”

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