December 30th, 2007
12:47 PM ET
10 years ago

Thompson insists he has the desire to win the White House

Thompson campaigns in Iowa Saturday. (Photo Credit: AP)

(CNN) – Republican Fred Thompson Sunday dismissed reports that he had told voters at a weekend campaign event he was “not particularly interested” in running for president, saying his remarks had been taken out of context.

The former Tennessee senator told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that "some in the media take bits and pieces, not you, but some have taken one sentence out of the middle of that and make it sound like something that wasn't intended."

"And if you notice, I put the emphasis on running. I said I'm not particularly interested in running for president," Thompson said in an interview on CNN's Late Edition.

"But then I gave all the reasons why I thought I'd make a good president and what I was sacrificing to be president and my family was doing so and I was concerned about the future of our country and the future of our children and so forth. So when you put it in context, it makes sense."

Thompson has long faced criticism he lacks motivation to be President of the United States, and Saturday’s comments seemed to spark new speculation on that front.

"I'm not particularly interested in running for president," the former senator told voters at a campaign event in Burlington, Iowa when challenged by an audience member over his desire to be commander-in-chief.

"But I think I'd make a good president," Thompson continued. "I have the background, capability, and concern to do this and I'm doing it for the right reasons."

Thompson took heat for not officially jumping into the White House race until September — significantly later than every other candidate — and has since been criticized for his laid-back campaign style and often-times light schedule.

But the former actor has criticized his rivals for launching their presidential bids months ahead of his, and continually touts the fact he hasn't harbored presidential ambitions his whole career.

"I am not consumed by personal ambition," Thompson also said Saturday. "I'm offering myself up."

"I'm only consumed by a few things and politics is not one of them."

But Thompson added the sacrifices he has made to run for president proves he wants the top job.

“To be clean, I had to cut everything off," he said. "I was doing speaking engagements and I had a contract to do a TV show, I had a contract with ABC Radio, like I was talking about earlier, and so forth. I guess a man would have to be a total fool to do all those things and to be leaving his family which is not a joyful thing at all if he didn't want to do it."

– CNN’s Rebecca Sinderbrand and Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Vince, Phoenix AZ

    To those who cite Fred's "consistency", does this mean he gets a pass on his lobbying days, or his (conveniently) former support for a woman's right to choose?
    (just wondering...)

    December 31, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Web Smith

    What this American Patriot said was that he feels like his country needs him and he is willing to sacrifice most of his remaining life and much of his family's well being for the good of his country.

    Soldiers don't start wars, want to go to war, or be in wars when there is one. When their country needs them, the fire in their belly rages. This is the kind of man who suffered in the trenches and saved you while you criticized and swapped ideologies in the media or marched in protests. He will not be reading kiddie books when radical Muslims attack.

    Solely based on the issues, Fred is not my first choice for President but he is my first choice for decent, patriotic American. If you want someone who is willing to squabble over pieces of rhetoric dung like rats in a sewer, Fred's not your guy. He may be your guy, if you want someone to get 'er done.

    December 31, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. Dale Davis, Glendora, California

    Oh please Fred. Your young wife and little toddlers need you before you get way too old for them to remember you. Please go home to them.

    January 1, 2008 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  4. Ben

    Fred is the only true Conservative... everybody else are two faced empty suits.

    GO FRED GO!!!!

    January 1, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  5. Ben

    GO FRED GO!!!

    We are behind you 1000 percent!

    January 1, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
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