Fred Thompson's formal entry into the 2008 presidential race as been anxiously anticipated by his supporters, aptly dubbed "Fred heads."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Facing criticism for skipping Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate, Fred Thompson will reach out to potential voters during commercial breaks with his first campaign ad, his campaign announced Tuesday.
The first ad, called "Debate," is scheduled to air nationally on Fox News during the debate. The campaign will release a second ad that will air on Fox News on Thursday.
Thompson, a former U.S. Senator from Tennessee, will officially announce that he's running for president at 12:01am Thursday.
- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich