- Fred Thompson presidential campaign, 2008
Infobox U.S. federal election campaign, 2008
committee = Fred Thompson for President 2008
U.S. presidential election, 2008
status = Withdrawn
affiliation = Republican Party
key_people = Bill Lacy (chairman)
slogan = Security · Unity · Prosperity
Fred Thompsonwas a Republican Party primary candidate to represent his party in the 2008 United States presidential election. Thompson has worked as a lawyer, lobbyist, and character actor, and he represented Tennesseeas a Republican in the U.S. Senatefrom 1994 through 2003.
March 11 2007, Thompson appeared on " Fox News Sunday" to discuss the possibility of a 2008 candidacy for president. The announcement spurred several grassroots draft movements, including a well-organized draft campaign started by Dean Rice, a former Thompson political aide, in Knoxville, Tennessee. While Thompson had not yet formally announced his intentions, he said he would "leave the door open." [cite web |url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258222,00.html |title=Transcript: Former Sen. Fred Thompson on 'FOX News Sunday' |publisher= Fox news|date= March 11, 2007] He stated that he would not be interested in accepting a hypothetical nomination for vice president, explaining "I don't think I would ever want to do that and be in the second position." [Seidman, Joel. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18618598/ "Thompson rules out VP spot on GOP ticket"] , " MSNBC" ( 2007-05-11).]
Thompson's March 11 announcement spurred a flurry of conjecture, discussion, and activity on the Internet. A "Draft Fred Thompson" forum site became a particularly popular online forum for supporters. [See [http://www.draftfredthompson.com DraftFredThompson.com] .] One group of supporters organized under the banner "FredHeadsUSA" with a plan to build a grassroots political movement to expand on Thompson's support on the Internet. [See the [http://FredHeadsUSA.org FredHeadsUSA web site] and the [http://FredHeads.com FredHeads web site] .]
On May 15, Thompson published a video in which he declined to debate
Michael Mooreabout Cuba. [cite web
url=http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=611 |title=Thompson Responds to Michael Moore Challenge |publisher=Breitbart.tv |format=video clip |date=
May 15, 2007|accessdate=2007-05-17] On May 18, he continued his Internet campaign by posting a letter to Pajamas Mediaacknowledging his online supporters. [cite news |url=http://pajamasmedia.com/2007/05/fred_thompson_exclusive_story.php |title=To PJM and Friends |first=Fred |last=Thompson |publisher=" Pajamas Media" | date= 21 May, 2007]
Thompson formed an
exploratory committeeon June 1, 2007.cite news | title =Fred Thompson to Speak in Richmond | publisher =WHSV TV | date =2007-06-01 | url =http://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/7800651.html | accessdate = 2007-06-03 ] Unlike most candidate exploratory groups, his organized as a 527 group. [cite news | last=Horrigan | first=Marie |title =Fred Thompson’s Long ‘Exploration’ Raises Money — and Confusion | publisher =Congressional Quarterly | date =2007-07-31 | url =http://www.cqpolitics.com/2007/07/fred_thompsons_long_exploratio.html | accessdate = 2007-08-08 ] Thompson made his first public appearance after this exploratory committee formed on June 2 at the Virginia Republicans annual fund-raising gala in Richmond, Virginia.cite news | last =Lessig | first =Hugh | coauthors = | title =Media horde to follow Thompson to Richmond | work = | pages = | language = | publisher =Daily Press | date =2007-06-01 | url =http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/dp-now-thompson.jn1,0,3989752.story?coll=dp-news-local-final | accessdate = 2007-06-03 ] Shortly thereafter, on June 5, 2007, Thompson launched his official website. [ [http://www.imwithfred.com imwithfred.com.] ] The same day, there was a Republican Presidential candidates debate with the then current 10 candidates, from New Hampshire, broadcast on CNN. Thompson was mentioned repeatedly as one of the poll front runners, even though he did not participate. [Struglinski, Suzanne and Roche, Lisa. [http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,660226839,00.html "Actor heightens GOP debate drama"] , "Deseret Morning News" ( 2007-06-05).]
June 12, 2007, Thompson appeared on " The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". He would not announce his candidacy, but referred to his presidential exploratory committee, which he stated had yielded positive prospects. Leno mentioned that Thompson was #2 in the polls, and asked him if he would at least state if he would like the job of President. Thompson responded that, while he did not crave the job itself, there were things he would like to do that he could only do by holding that office. [cite news | title =Thompson Tells Leno He Would Like to Be President | publisher =Fox News | date =2007-06-07 | url =http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,281596,00.html | accessdate = 2007-06-28 ]
July 31, 2007, the Thompson committee reported to the IRSthat it had raised almost $3.5 million and spent $625,000 in its first month. [cite web | title =Thompson Committee Raises Millions in One Month | url=http://www.imwithfred.com/NewsRoom/PressRelease.aspx?ID=8c4ac4e0-c108-4ec2-aba4-57fe00281f4c | date= August 4, 2007| accessdate =2007-08-13 ]
Iowaon August 17, 2007, but did not then officially launch his presidential campaign. Thompson was asked by NBCif he was officially in the race for president. Thompson replied with a simple "No." It was also noted that Thompson was already prepping for the Republican debates, so that he would be able to join the other Republican candidates on stage at the events after becoming an announced candidate.
Prior to Thompson's entry into the presidential race on
September 5, 2007, the September 10, 2007issue of " Newsweek" hit newsstands with a detailed cover storyabout him.Bailey, Holly. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20546334/site/newsweek/page/0/ "Grin and Bear It"] , "Newsweek" ( 2007-09-10).]
Thompson declared his intent to seek the nomination on
September 5, 2007on the "Tonight Show With Jay Leno",cite news |url=http://www.forbes.com/leadership/2007/09/05/politics-republicans-presidency-lead-cx_sm_0905thompson.html|date=2007-09-05 |publisher=Forbes |title=Thompson Finally Steps Onstage |author=Steve McGookin Brief excerpts from the Tonight Show appearance are [http://www.nbc.com/The_Tonight_Show_with_Jay_Leno/video/#mea=152939 available from NBC] .] accompanied by a 15-minute web video. [Bond, Paul. [http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/fred_on_leno/2007/09/06/30283.html "Fred Thompson Says Rivals Got in Presidential Race Too Early"] ( 2007-09-06). The 15-minute video is available at [http://www.Fred08.com Fred08.com] .] He then began a five-day tour of early voting states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
The campaign begins
In late September and early October, Fred Thompson made several blunders including not being aware of the Supreme Court decision regarding lethal injection, [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21036411/ Thompson unaware of death penalty cases - Tommy Thompson News - MSNBC.com ] ] confusing the party in power during the John Roberts nomination, [http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-US&brand=msnbc&vid=ea5a523c-3433-495a-8209-a63bf107f9d6 Thompson's slip-ups on the stump - MSNBC Video ] ] being unaware of the controversy over drilling for oil in the Everglades, [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/us/politics/04thompson.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp On Stump, Low-Key Thompson Stirs Few Sparks - New York Times ] ] and confusing Russia and the Soviet Union [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/22224944#22224944 msnbc.com Video Player ] ] .
On September 27, 2007, PBS television hosted a Republican debate in Baltimore,
Maryland, at Morgan State Universitythat aired live on PBS and on www.pbs.org. Thompson, who missed his first debate opportunity since declaring his candidacy, was criticized by event organizers and other GOP candidates for his absence. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/26/AR2007092601368.html Washington Post] ] The October 9, 2007, CNBC, " The Wall Street Journal", and the University of Michigan-Dearbornhosted Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan, at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center. [ [http://www.migopdebate.org/ migopdebate.org] ] [ [http://www.cnbc.com/id/20623950/site/14081545/ cnbc.com] ] featured Thompson in attendance.
In early December, Fred Thompson rejected the NIE report stating that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program. [ [http://www.cfr.org/publication/15058/taking_iran_off_the_table.html?breadcrumb=%2F Taking Iran ‘Off the Table’ - Council on Foreign Relations ] ] He later stated that the report should be looked at with skepticism. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22134111] [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2007/12/05/politics/horserace/entry3579282.shtml Thompson Says NIE Report Could Be "Too Good To Be True" - Horserace ] ]
Primaries and caucuses
Thompson competed in the Republican primary or caucus in five states. He won 13% of the vote in the Iowa Republican caucuses, trailing
Mike Huckabee(34%) and Mitt Romney(25%). John McCainalso got 13%, but Thompson got more actual votes. [cite news |url=http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/state/#val=IA |title=Primary Results for Iowa |date=2008-01-05 |publisher=CNN ] Thompson won 3 of the 12 delegates in the Wyoming Republican County Conventions on January 5, 2008. [cite news |url=http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/state/#val=WY |title=Primary Results for Wyoming |date=2008-01-05 |publisher=CNN ]
On January 15, 2008, Thompson placed 5th in the Michigan Republican primary with 4% of the vote, winning no delegates. [cite news |url=http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/state/#MI |title=Primary Results for Michigan |date=2008-01-17 |publisher=CNN ] He received 8% of the vote in the Nevada Caucuses, placing 5th, on January 19, 2008. He did not win any delegates. [cite news |url=http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/state/#val=NV |title=Primary Results for Nevada |date=2008-01-17 |publisher=CNN ]
On January 19, 2008, Thompson placed 3rd in the South Carolina primary with 16% of the vote, earning no delegates. [cite news |url=http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/state/#val=SC |title=Primary Results for South Carolina |date=2008-01-22 |publisher=CNN ] Thompson was counting on a win in the southern conservative state to save his struggling campaign, and his poor showing was seen as a fatal blow to his candidacy. [ [http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080121/30918_Christian_Right_Still_in_Search_of_Ideal_Candidate.htm Christian Right Still in Search of Ideal Candidate] ChristianPost.com, Jan. 21, 2008] [ [http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/chi-thompson_satjan19,0,7087454.story?coll=chi_tab01_layout S.C. primary could cut Thompson out of script] Chicago Tribune, Jan. 19, 2008] [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22788506/ Early failures force Thompson out of race] MSNBC.com, Jan. 22, 2008] [ [http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=58587 Is this the end of Fred’s run?] Nashville City Paper, Jan. 21, 2008]
Withdrawal from race
On January 22, 2008, after finishing third in South Carolina — a primary which he'd publicly said he needed to win — Thompson announced his withdrawal from the race. In a statement released by his campaign, Thompson said, "Today, I have withdrawn my candidacy for president of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort." He did not immediately endorse any of the remaining candidates, [cite news|url=http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8UB4MVG0&show_article=1|publisher=Associated Press|date=2008-01-22|title=Fred Thompson Quits Presidential Race] but in February 2008 endorsed John McCain. [ [http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=7854391 Fred Thompson Endorses John McCain] ]
Campaign staff and policy team
Political insiders in Tennessee expected the inner circle of a Thompson campaign to include, in addition to his politically experienced wife, a number of functionaries with whom Thompson has been associated in the past. [Cillizza, Chris. [http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2007/06/inner_circle_fred_thompson.html "Fred Thompson's Inner Circle"] , "washingtonpost.com's Politics Blog" (
2007-06-12)] Also said to be likely senior advisers were former Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie, former vice president of the food and tobacco company AltriaTom Collamore, PR man Mark Corallo, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission Michael E. Toner, former Senate aide Tom Daffron, longtime Tennessee politician Tom Ingram and Congressman Zach Wamp. [cite news | first = Ken | last = Whitehouse | title = The 'Inner Fred' | url = http://www.nashvillepost.com/news/2007/6/1/the_inner_fred
NashvillePost.com| date = June 1, 2007| accessdate = 2007-06-01 ] On July 24, 2007, Thompson announced he was replacing his acting campaign manager, Tom Collamore, with former MichiganSenator and Secretary of Energy Spencer Abrahamand FloridaGOP strategist Randy Enright. [http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8QJ5HJ00&show_article=1 Associated Press, "Thompson Shakes Up Staff", by LIBBY QUAID, July 24, 2007] ] Collamore would remain as an advisor, Enright would be political director, and Abraham did not have a title. [cite web | title = Former Michigan senator Abraham to co-chair Thompson bid | first = Lib | last = Quaid | publisher = Associated Press | url= http://www.imwithfred.com/NewsRoom/InTheNews.aspx?ID=e97eccdd-f6e0-4519-b891-11bf031efcfc | date = July 25, 2007| accessdate = 2007-08-13] On August 8, 2007, Bill Lacywas named manager of Thompson's "testing the waters committee". Lacy had worked in the campaigns of Presidents Reagan and Bush, as well as Senator Bob Dole, and had worked on Thompson's 1994 campaign. [cite web | title =Bill Lacy Named Committee Manager | url=http://www.imwithfred.com/NewsRoom/PressRelease.aspx?ID=9d594519-30fe-4026-83e3-3d5eda6fb1d1 | date= August 8, 2007| accessdate =2007-08-13 ]
Federalismas his " lodestar", providing "a basis for a proper analysis of most issues: 'Is this something government should be doing? If so, at what level of government?'"Thompson, Fred. [http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.26016,filter.all/pub_detail.asp "Federalism 'n' Me"] , AEI ( 2007-04-23). Retrieved 2007-05-13.]
free tradeand low taxes.Thompson, Fred. [http://abcradionetworks.com/article.asp?id=402282&SPID=15663 "Prepared Remarks for Speech to Lincoln Club Annual Dinner"] , ABC Radio, May 4, 2007. Accessed May 13, 2007.] [Thompson, Fred. [http://abcradionetworks.com/article.asp?id=386748&SPID=15663 "Case Closed: Tax Cuts Mean Growth"] , ABC Radio, April 14, 2007. Accessed May 13, 2007.] He is a self-described authentic conservative since he was part of the Conservative Revolution of the 90s. He says that " Roe v. Wade" was a wrong decision that ought to be overturned, and that he is pro-life, [cite news
title = Transcript: Former Sen. Fred Thompson on 'FOX News Sunday'
accessdate = 2007-06-17 ] but he also has said that states should decide not to criminalize young women for early term abortions. [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,278554,00.html "Exclusive! Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson on Possible White House Bid"] , "Fox News Interview" (
2007-06-05).] [Bailey, Holly. " [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19263100/site/newsweek/page/0/ Away From the Cameras] ," "Newsweek" ( 2007-06-25).] Thompson is skeptical that humanity is to blame for global warming. [Thompson, Fred. [http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.25833/pub_detail.asp "Plutonic Warming"] , AEI, March 22, 2007. Accessed May 13, 2007.] He says citizens are entitled to keep and bear arms if they do not have criminal records.Thompson, Fred. [http://abcradionetworks.com/article.asp?id=405250&SPID=15663 "Armed with the Truth"] , ABC Radio, May 10, 2007. Accessed May 13, 2007.] Thompson's support of the McCain-Feingoldcampaign finance legislation brought criticism from groups such as Gun Owners of America(GOA), who said that the legislation limited their ability to inform the public about the gun rights voting records of incumbent politicians.Fields, Craig. [http://gunowners.org/pres08/thompson2.htm "Presidential Candidates And The Second Amendment: Fred Thompson"] , Gun Owners of America (GOA). Accessed June 10, 2007.] Thompson now says that the limitation on political speech within thirty or sixty days of an election was wrong and should be repealed. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,278554,00.html Sean Hannity interview of Fred Thompson] , Fox News, June 6, 2007. Accessed June 9, 2007.] Thompson says U.S. borders need to be secured before considering comprehensive immigration reform. Thompson supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but he believes that mistakes have been made since then.cite web
title = Former Sen. Fred Thompson on 'FOX News Sunday'
url = http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258222,00.html
accessdate = 2007-07-02 ] He is opposed to withdrawal from Iraq.cite web
title = Thompson: U.S. must rebuild military
url = http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070821/ap_po/candidates_iraq
accessdate = 2007-07-02 ] He also believes that
Iranshould be taken seriously.Thompson, Fred. [http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/06/remarks_to_policy_exchange_in.html "Remarks to Policy Exchange in London"] ( 2007-06-19). Retrieved 2007-07-02.]
January 11 2008, Human Events, a popular weekly conservative magazine, officially endorsed Thompson saying, "Thompson best represents conservative principles." [ [http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=24398 Human Events Endorsement Page] , January 112008] ]
November 13 2007, the National Right to Life Committeeannounced its endorsement of Fred Thompson, stating "Our endorsement is a testament to Senator Thompson’s long-standing pro-life record, his commitment to unborn children, and our belief in his ability to win." [ [http://www.nrlc.org/Election2008/111307POTUSEndorsement.pdf National Right to Life Committee press release] , November 13 2007]
September 6 2007, Thompson had been endorsed by 20 current members of Congress, including both Tennessee senators. [ [http://thehill.com/endorsements-2008.html Endorsements '08] , "The Hill" ( 2007-08-01). Retrieved 2007-08-30.] Also, on June 12 2007former U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato(New York) endorsed Thompson for president. [Keating, Raymond. [http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opkea185259368jun18,0,5031278.story?coll=ny-viewpoints-headlinesa "D'Amato could be right on Thompson"] , "Newsday" ( 2007-06-18). Retrieved 2007-08-30.]
Former Senate Majority Leader
Howard Bakerof Tennessee also expressed his support, saying: "If I had to pick one thing that qualifies him to be president, it's this: he approaches things calmly, deliberately—and he doesn't shoot from the hip."
United States Republican presidential candidates, 2008
Republican Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2008
*Opinion Polling for the Republican Party
* [http://abcradionetworks.com/Blog.asp?id=15663 The Fred Thompson Report] , ABC Radio Networks (official site).
* [http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=freddthompson The Official YouTube Page for Fred Thompson] (official video site).
* [http://flickr.com/photos/9313013@N04/ The Official Flickr Page for Fred Thompson] (official photo site).
* [http://spartaninternet.com/2008/bycandidate.asp?tab=3&id=8 Spartan Internet Political Performance (SIPP) Index - Ranking of Fred Thompson Internet-wide popularity] Weekly
* [http://www.mpa.utk.edu/fredthompson.htm The Fred Thompson Papers] , University of Tennessee (official archive).
*imdb name | id = 0000669 | name = Fred Dalton Thompson acting career.
* [http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.asp?CID=N00003136&cycle=2002 Center for Responsive Politics] (aka OpenSecrets.org) campaign contributions.
* [http://www.nashvillepost.com/news/2007/6/15/the_fred_files The Fred Files] Lobbying disclosures, 1975–1994.
* [http://www.lawrenceburgs.com/fred-thompson.html Fred Thompson Hometown Biography] , Lawrenceburg Tennessee
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