Strugging Tim Pawlenty exits White House race

Aug 14, 2011, 7:45 a.m.
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty speaks during the Iowa straw poll in Ames, Iowa August 13, 2011. REUTERS/Daniel Acker

Pawlenty raised $4.3 million in the most recent quarter, on par with other Republicans jockeying to run against Obama but lagging well behind the $18 million brought in by Mitt Romney, the early front-runner in the Republican race.

But in an ominous sign, some donors to Pawlenty's campaign began to express second thoughts about supporting him.

"Well, there's a lot of factors that go into a successful campaign. Obviously, we had some success raising money, but we needed to continue that, and Ames was a benchmark for that. And if we didn't do well in Ames, we weren't going to have the fuel to keep the car going down the road," he said.

"You know, I'm from a small state. I don't have a big national financial network or political network," Pawlenty said.

Earlier this month Pawlenty's top policy adviser left the campaign after less than two months.

Pawlenty highlighted his work balancing the budget as governor of Minnesota and his support for spending cuts and reduced government as he courted conservatives who often dominate the Republican nominating process. He also opposed abortion and human embryonic stem-cell research.

(Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert and Eric Beech, Editing by Jackie Frank)

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