Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty on Sunday bowed out of the race to become the 2012 GOP candidate for president, a day after Texas Governor Rick Perry jumped in.

Pawlenty decided to exit after finishing a disappointing third in the Iowa straw poll. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won the most votes, followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

“I wish it would have been different,” Pawlenty said on ABC's This Week.

Pawlenty said his message “didn't get the kind of traction or lift that we needed and hoped for coming into the and out of the Ames straw poll. We needed to get some lift to continue on and to have a pathway forward. That didn't happen.”

In an effort to capture Iowa, Pawlenty had moved to the right of his moderate Republican stance on social issues.

Pawlenty was the first GOP contender to vow to undo repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the policy ending on September 20 that bans gays and bisexual troops from serving openly.

“We have to pay great deference, I think, to those combat units, their sentiments and their leaders,” he said during an appearance in Iowa at The Family Leader's Presidential Lecture Series. “That's one of the reasons why I said we shouldn't have repealed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and I would support reinstatement.”

He also attempted to boost his social conservative credentials by touting his opposition to gay marriage and the hand he played in advocating for a gay marriage ban in his home state.

“When I was in the Minnesota Legislature, I was a co-author of the Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as between a man and a woman,” Pawlenty recently told the Miami Herald. “I support a state and federal amendment to the constitutions defining amendments as such.”

Gay marriage, he told State of the Union's Candy Crowley, “defies common sense” and is a “bad idea.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

Meanwhile, after announcing his candidacy on Saturday in South Carolina – and perhaps stealing some of the thunder of other candidates attempting to court Iowa voters – Perry headed straight to first-in-the-nation primary state New Hamsphire.

Perry says he's “fine” with states deciding the issue, but supports a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.