Michele Bachmann Quits Race For Republican Nomination

Michele Bachmann has quit the race to become the Republican party's candidate for president.

The tea-party candidate finished a disappointing sixth at the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday night. Her former campaign manager, Ed Rollins, called for her to drop out of the race, and Sarah Palin said she did not "see a way to progress" for Bachmann.

Her decision to quit was confirmed just after 4pm on Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference she labelled Obama a "socialist" and said despite being a congresswoman "a politician I never have been, nor would I ever hope to be."

The Minnesota congresswoman was a controversial candidate from the start. Despite Bachmann winning a straw poll in Iowa in August, her attempt to secure the Republican nomination ran into difficulty before Tuesday's Iowa caucus after being perceived to have performed badly in the televised debates.

Bachmann dodged questions Tuesday morning from CNN's Soledad O'Brien when questioned about her attitude to gay people. In 2004 she had said of homosexuality: "It's a very sad life. It's part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It's anything but gay."

She had previously gaffed by claiming the US had an embassy in Iran, when they broke ties with the country over 30 years ago.

In November she claimed she had not yet gaffed in the race, despite confusing a film movie star with a serial killer, wishing the late Elvis Presley a happy birthday on the anniversary of his death, mangling American history and African geography, and repeating a false claim that there is a link between the HPV vaccine and mental retardation.

Her exit will mean the Republican candidate who takes on President Obama in the US elections later this year will definitely be male.

Texas govorner Rick Perry indicated on Wednesday that he intended to press on with his campaign, despite finishing a distant fifth in the Iowa caucuses.

He had been widely expected to drop out of the race, but a Tweet from his official account suggested he wants to contend the South Carolina primary.