A top aide to Fred Thompson resigned Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A top adviser to possible Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson has submitted his resignation, Republican sources told CNN Tuesday.
Tom Collamore joined the nascent Thompson effort after being recruited away from his post at Altria, the parent company of such brands as Kraft Foods and Philip Morris.
The Thompson campaign said that former GOP Sen. Spencer Abraham - who served as Energy Secretary from 2001 to 2005 - would come aboard in a top campaign role along with veteran Florida Republican strategist Randy Enright.
A campaign spokeswoman said Collamore would remain as a senior adviser.
In a telephone conversation with CNN, Collamore confirmed he has resigned from his position at Friends of Fred Thompson.
"It was an honor to be part of getting things started, and I believe I helped get things ready for the next level," he said.
Collamore is a GOP campaign veteran who was tasked with assembling a Thompson campaign operation. His experience dating back to the Reagan-Bush years was touted by Thompson allies as a sign the former senator was serious
about joining the race and building a top flight organization.
He told CNN he was prepared to stay on in an official capacity but that he was "very respectful of the desire of Fred and Jeri to make some changes as they move to the next level."
Several GOP sources familiar with the decision - and the additions to the Thompson staff - acknowledged differences between Collamore and Thompson's wife, Jeri, on structure and staffing.
"It was not hostile by any means, but she is very involved and there were clear differences," one source close to the situation told CNN.
"She is running the operation," said a senior GOP source who is close to Collamore.
Abraham, before being elected to the Senate from Michigan in 1994, was a top political aide to Vice President Dan Quayle. He was defeated in his bid for re-election to the Senate in 2000.
– CNN Chief National Correspondent John King
Nixon said Fred was very dumb. Maybe there's a reason his wife is running the show. I never thought Thompson was anything but a joke. This defection certainly supports that intuition.
Sounds like we have another Hillary. Perhaps Nixon and Reagan were correct about Fred Thompson. He is lazy.
Jeri is almost half Freds age, and these trophy wives like to be in the spotlight. They want to be adored, catered to. The campaign staff will hate her.
This guy is a rat too people! He's a friggen' lawyer/lobbyist for crying out loud! He's part of the PROBLEM NOT THE SOLUTION!
I like the idea of a medical doctor for President. A healer to help heal the damange that's been done to this country and reverse the assault on the Constitution!
Dr. Ron Paul – just check him out. Find out for yourself – don't trust the media to tell you.
So far he is the only one that looks and acts like a candidate should . Time he comes out and let us know what he has to offer or get off the side lines and crawel up in the stands with the rest of us .
does this mean another annoucement delay or what? IT's getting kind of sicking now I think!
I suppose you have to listen to those strategist when you have nothing original to stand on yourself. And the Democrats are just as pathetically guilty of this as well (some are worse than others).
The sad part of this, however, is that it seems to work. And that is why a snail like Karl Rove is held to such esteem.
The Rest of the Story on Fred Thompson's connection to Collamore & Altria: Fred Thompson is a former ALTRIA (alias, Philip Morris Big Tobacco Company "Merchants of Death".
Of course, working for Big Tobacco is like working for the MAFIA: once a Tobacco Lobbyist, always a Tobacco Lobbyist!!
Kindof like DICK CHENEY: Once a HALLIBURTON "made man", always a Halliburton "made man" - esp. when given MULTI-MILLIONS "severance package" after just 5 Years as CEO, so that Dick can become VICE PRESIDENT & be Halliburton's "Inside Man" in the White House, making ENERGY policy.
Did someone just pullback the green curtain?
isn't that wierd that his top guy already resigned? problems in the thompson camp?
Hmm.., what did Jeri want that Tom Collamore could not deliver?
Now, Spencer Abraham will help out. Someone who could not help himself in his own re-election bid, but as the energy secretary, helped the gas price climb to $3 mark!
I see trouble in paradise :-(
In a world with an unbiased press, the headline of this article would be "Former GOP Senator and Energy Secretary, Veteran Florida Republican Strategist join Thompson campaign."
Alas, we have to read the whole article to find the news CNN tried to hide behind a misleading headline spun to make a conservative look bad. No surprise. Due to the volume of comments they receive, not all comments will be posted. Wonder if this will be when none are posted so far.