Thompson, not yet a presidential candidate, is greeted by supporters.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - He's not yet an official presidential candidate, but former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson sure sounded like one in a speech to several hundred South Carolina supporters Wednesday.
The Tennessee Republican and "Law & Order" star, who is widely expected to jump into the race in July, focused on conservative themes during the lunchtime speech and stressed the importance of the war on terror.
"This world is not safer when the United States of America appears to be weaker," he said. "This world is more dangerous when our country appears to be weaker, and we can never let that happen.
"And some of our colleagues here in the United States need to learn that," he added. "This is going to be not a war of bombs. This is going to be a war of will, a war of will that we have to win, over whatever period of time."
In a lighter moment, Thompson, who served as senator from 1994 to 2003 before joining the cast of "Law & Order," compared Hollywood to Washington, noting he agrees with the saying that "politics is show business for ugly people."
In a news conference following the event, Thompson noted his high standing in many recent national polls "without raising a dime."
"You know they said you'd have to raise $100 million this year to compete, the experts did, and without raising a dime you know, I was in the pack," he said. "So I've already saved $50 million this year."
– CNN's Alexander Mooney and Susan Brown
He's old, he's bald, and Americans won't elect him. That is superficial and shallow, but it's also reality.
I just don't like him. Sure, he can act so he'd make a great politician, but seriously... we don't need any more conservatives vying for the presidency. Just go back to Hollywood, please.
I agree... 2008 is for Democrats!
He's a decent enough actor, but I don't agree with anything he has to say. He should have stayed on "Law and Order". His comments on that show are probably heard by more people than will hear his pitch for the presidency...
Now this guy is presidential material. Strong on defense and knows how to give a speech. He'll bury most of the current candidates without even trying and probably only has to worry about the big 2, Rudy and Hillary. I like his chances in '08.
I think we need more people like him. People who would help the USA and not give it away.
People with good morals and the intrest of the Americans at heart, not money,power and cheap labor.
So he has been an actor, what do you think is in Washington now?
You're all ignorant. Of course the country will elect him. I'd be willing to bet money that he'll win.
Mind you, I don't WANT him to win (for different reasons than you I'm sure). However, people are looking for a charismatic, conservative leader like President Reagan and this actor knows it. Therefore, he's going to play the part of Ronald Reagan and convince a bunch of lazy, ill informed sheep that are led by the media and special interest that he's the right candidate.
I would like to elect Alan Keyes as President with Ron Paul as Vice-President. I doubt we (the entire country) will be that smart and fortunate though. So, as we watch our country burn, let us remember that we poured gasoline on the fire and watched...
Fred Thompson can't be taken seriously! He would serve the nation best by returning to the aircraft carrier he commanded in "The Hunt for Red October." Yea, he plays an Admiral quite well, and that's about it.....By the way he also wants to keep our forces in Iraq if elected. Isn't that all we need!
Go Fred! I'm thrilled you'll be joining the race. The other Republican candidates just don't excite me in any way. I think you've got a great shot at the White House.
People don't want to elect Hillary. Give them another option... a good option and they'll go for it.
I've heard you speak at length about the Federalist Papers among other topics. Very cool stuff. Keep it coming, Fred!
He's way too far to the right. The conservatives will like him, but so what? This country isn't going to elect another George Bush. It's clear that Americans at home are done with this war and want it to be over with, yet Thompson's up here criticizing the entire nation and saying that "we have to win, over whatever period of time." Good luck winning over the people that way, Mr. Thompson.
Just remember how great the last actor was! Lets give him a try. We DO need a Conservative. Thats why we are in trouble. Bush has been brain-washed by all of Congress and Senate. Ask yourself what D.C. has done for you with the democrats running the place. NOTHING! Just trouble brewing constantly. The Democrats HAVE been controlling. We need a change, let the REAL Republicans fix it.
Re; comment about the Democrats influencing Bush and controlling the current government. Only an ill informed or else dillusional indivual could make such a innacurate statement. Fact. The Republican majority has run the congress from 1994 all the way to 2006. Therefore during GW Bush's first six years in office the Republican congress permitted the President and his advisors, Cheyney and Rove to enact practically ALL of THEIR ideas. Since then the country has ended up in a giant mess. And if there is one thing this President is known for it is NOT listening to anyone the slightest bit to the left of the Far Right. His ability to veto just about every bill the Democrats want to pass along with the Democrats lacking a two thirds majority in the congress has greatly restricted the Democrats from getting many of their ideas implimented. Sadly President Bush has earned his tragic reputation.