Michele Bachmann said she's soldiering on, giving no indication that she would bail on her Republican presidential campaign after a last-place showing in the contested Iowa caucuses, while Rick Perry, who finished just ahead of her in fifth, said he's going back to Texas to "determine whether there is a path forward."

"I believe I am the best conservative who can and who will beat Barack Obama in 2012," Bachmann told supporters late Tuesday night following projections that she would be last in the six-way contest. Jon Huntsman decided not to compete in Iowa.

"In 2012, there could be another president in the White House. Who knows? There could be another Michele in the White House," Bachmann said, referencing her shared name with first lady Michelle Obama.

Despite her pledges to go on, Bachmann campaign manager Keith Nahigian told The Associated Press that he couldn't say with certainty whether Bachmann would go forward with her candidacy.

 "I don't know yet," he said. "It's hard to tell, but everything is planned."

Asked about the report, Bachmann Communications Director Alice Stewart told Fox News that the AP story said it's "uncertain." "That's true," she said.

Bachmann's 6 percent showing was a sharp turn after finishing in first place during the Ames, Iowa, GOP straw poll over the summer. 

Perry, who doubled Bachmann's raw vote total but earned only 11 percent overall, said he's reassessing what he will do. He's making that decision in light of the first-in-the-nation vote, but not before the Texas governor announced his campaign was making an ad buy in South Carolina, the third state to vote.

Perry has described the GOP presidential race as a marathon, but after spending the most of any campaign on Iowa advertising, his poor showing in Iowa won't lend any momentum as the candidates go to New Hampshire, the first primary state of the election season, where Perry places last in polling.

Bachmann insisted the race won't be decided by Tuesday night's results, arguing there are "many more chapters to be written."

"I prefer to let the people of the country decide who will represent us," she said.