"What the Congress had done, and President Obama had done, in passing ObamaCare, endangered the very survival of America. Our Republic. Because I knew it was my obligation to insure that President Obama's program of socialized medicine was stopped before it became fully implemented."
She called the health care bill "the largest expansion of entitlement spending in our country's history," labeling it the "playground of left-wing social engineering," and saying, "It must be stopped."
That opposition of the Affordable Care Act is one of the key — if not the key — factors that unite Republicans against the President. (The bill received only three Republican votes in the 535-member Congress when it was passed into law nearly two years ago.)
Though most of the remaining Republicans in the race who aren't named Mitt Romney consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, Bachmann's rise nationally parallels the movement, which came to prominence in the months after Obama's election three years ago.
She was never taken seriously as a prime-time contender for the nomination, but her strong performance in the second debate of the season (the first in which people were paying attention) catapulted her to a win at the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll, a non-binding contest that gets even more disproportionate press attention that the Iowa Caucus does, because it happens in late Summer when the nation's political press is desperate to cover a competitive event.
Bachmann said in her speech that to defeat "ObamaCare" Republicans must rally around their party and their nominee, but she made no mention of whom she thought that might be.
Right around the same time that the news broke that Bachmann would be dropping out came word that Rick Perry, in Texas "re-assessing" his campaign, announced he would continue campaigning in South Carolina, which votes in its primary on January 21.