August 16th, 2007
08:50 AM ET
14 years ago

Thompson: I don't think I'm late to the race

Thompson will visit Iowa on Friday.

(CNN) – Likely Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson says September 5th is “in the neighborhood” for the announcement of his official bid, and says he doesn’t believe he’s too late to the dance.

Thompson told a Nashville radio station Wednesday, “I can't give you a particular date, but sounds like you're in the neighborhood." On “The Steve Gill show on WLAC Radio, Thompson said, “I'm taking the time that I've got allotted to me to get my team together, to get my act together.’

Despite the potential for the primary race being almost over before it starts, with South Carolina’s GOP pushing its primary date forward, Thompson said September is not too late to enter the field.

“People who write about those sorts of things love it and promote it, and say that’s the new rule," he told the show, “It gives us something to sell newspapers about, so that’s been the deal. I just don’t buy into it. I’m the one taking the chance, if it’s a chance.”

Thompson, who makes his first trip to Iowa Friday, said, “Here you are earlier than a normal candidacy's declared with all the means of communications we have these days – the internet to the earned media to all the cable networks - to get your message out. And still people say it’s got to be earlier instead of later.”

The former Tennessee Senator said he will bring his wife, Jeri, and children with him on the visit to the Iowa state fairgrounds in Des Moines.

–CNN's Steve Brusk

Listen to the entire interview provided courtesy of "The Steve Gill Show"/Newsradio 1510 WLAC

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Rich

    Who cares Uncle Jed Clampit for president. He is too busy rehearsing
    his lines for the GOP elite who will rigg the voting machines its all fixed
    What a joke this country has become

    August 16, 2007 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. John Thomas, Edina, MN

    Games is right, 'xtina.' That's all these politicians do is play games.

    And then you have Ron Paul, a man of truth, integrity, and principle. It's a shame that people aren't attracted to those virtues these days.

    August 16, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. Scott Austin, TX

    Fred who?

    August 16, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. Jan

    Ron Paul is a buffoon with no support who cannot be taken seriously

    August 16, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. John, Michigan

    Better NEVER than "late."

    August 16, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    I guess he's been rehearsing his lines, getting ready for his big role as corporate lobby puppet.

    Can this guy Fred Thompson possibly be for real?

    Okay, for starters, he portrays himself as an outsider in the mold of Reagan, yet in reality he was a lobbyist for many years in Washington, status quo, and he lacks Reagan's ideology, ambition, passion, charisma AND HAIR.

    He was also the guy that asked the question on a Senate committee circa 1970 that started the downfall of Nixon. He asked the question about the Nixon tapes, whether they exist. Great right? Wrong. He told the Nixon administration all about the question he was going to ask days earlier to give them warning and time to prepare a defense. He was a huge Nixon supporter and good buddy of Cheney who was also in that administration.

    Then there's Vice President Cheney's current Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, whom Bush just pardoned for lying about Valerie Plame... Thompson has been Libby's biggest supporter and fund raiser for his "defense fund", which Libby is using to pay that 250,000 fine that Bush hasn't bothered to pardon him of yet.

    Do we really want Fred, the guy that's leading the charge for lying, corporate corruption in Washington, to be our next President?

    Well, maybe he's a hard worker, you say?

    Uh, well, actually he is world famous for being the laziest Senator on record, and even more infamous for his constant procrastination and vacations, possibly even surpassing our current President in that regard.

    Well, maybe he's well spoken, you say? Maybe he's tough on terror, you say?

    Think again on both counts, I can sum it up in one quote from Fred Thompson I just found in Newsweek, "Twelve million illegal immigrants later, we are now living in a nation that is beset by people who are suicidal maniacs and want to kill countless innocent men, women and children around the world."

    Huh? Say What?

    This dumbfoundingly confusing statement seems to be saying that the suicidal maniacs are here and want to kill innocents elsewhere. Not only is it garbled nonsense, it's also intended to provoke fear and combines two totally unrelated issues. He said it at a major speech.

    The bottom line is... haven't we had enough of the same old fear mongering, nonsensical talk about nothing from a President constantly on vacation in a cowboy hat while faking a good ol' boy Texas twang already?

    Do we really need another one?

    August 16, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Cable King

    Seems like this guy is in trouble when he doesn't have a script to read from.

    August 16, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. Dr Atomic

    What I've heard is that he's on some tv show I don't watch that's in reruns, and when he announces the FCC will pull his shows off the air until after the election (see Schwartzenegger/Reagan elections in Ca). So he's fired as soon as he declares, and if he loses the election they won't want to hire him back. (I never heard of him until he didn't run for pres, and I don't like what I see; hope he doesn't end up replacing Mandy Patinkin.)

    August 16, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. John Thomas, Edina, MN


    Maybe you should back your claims up, you ignoramus. You seem to be the only buffoon here.

    August 16, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. David, Salinas, CA

    I think Jim Brady of Avon Lake, Ohio makes an excellent pont about chickenhawks who talk tough on war but avoid service. (By the way Thompson took a deferment based on having children).

    Those of us who lived through the Vietnam era know what a defining time it was. After a personal struggle I registered for the draft and protested the war. I respect those who served and those who protested, since either position demanded courage. What I don’t respect is those who avoided service for themselves, but advocated war for everyone else. Apparently Thompson is in this category along with our incumbent President and Vice-President.

    For a huge data-base of who served and who didn’t, see:

    And here’s a humorous deck of Republican chickenhawks:

    August 16, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. James Claremont, CA

    I welcome him. He's another hack into the fold to further split votes among people who vote for whom they're told to vote for. Let Ron Paul continue to offer the only alternative to the neocon agenda. Paul's putting true conservatism back in style.

    August 16, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Bill Pohnan, Streamwood, IL

    If conservative Republicans rally behind Fred Thompson as the best the GOP has to offer, then they deserve a Democrat in the White House.

    He has already wasted several months, claiming that he is "testing the waters." Fred Thomspon is either to chicken to join the fray from the beginning or just plain wishy-washy and indecisive.

    He attacked Michael Moore over the internet, and then said he wasn't available for a debate when Moore challenged him. How would Thompson stand up against a real tough guy on the world stage like Vladamir Putin? Sending him a nasty e-mail won't cut it.

    Stay out of the race Fred and let real leaders fight it out.

    August 16, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Hey xtina why aren't you asking Fred Thompson what qualifies him to be President of the United States like you seem to do whenever you see a post about Obama? Check your zipper, your bias is showing...

    August 16, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  14. Bob, Roanoke, VA

    All the comments about him entering the race late confuse me. He isn't late, everyone else is just too early. The election is still more than a year away. I think starting the campaign 6 months prior to the election is plenty. Most folks don't pay any attention until then, and those that do, get burnt out on it.

    August 17, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  15. Ryan, Lansing, MI

    WOW! What a bunch of left wing nut jobs! The fact is all the declared candidates started campaigning 6-12 months too early. I believe Senators Clinton and Obama were elected to serve the public IN THE SENATE, not campaigning two years before the Presidential election! Why isn't the public outraged at this? Just because Fred doesn't buy into that crap, doesn't make him a fence-sitter. Look back at history and tell me when candidates in the past threw their hat in the ring. Wake up!

    By the way, the last time someone from Hollywood was President it was Ronald Reagan!

    You Dems and your support for candidates that will say anything to get into office are the reason this country is going downhill! Take off the blinders and quit being sheep.

    I'm sure this blog post will not even make it past the much for free speech!

    August 17, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. Jim K Tampa, florida

    This is exactly why I do not watch CNN (Communist News Network) every comment on this subject is negitive and Demorcate. It would absolutely shock me if you all printed something that was fair. the ones who say "I am a Republican" are so demorcate it is crazy. Get a Grip people do want a OSAMA OBAMA or a BILLERY to be the leader of this country? I hope he runs and drives you all nuts. He will get the Nomination by far. It is 1 1/2 years away for crying out loud.

    August 17, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Beverly June Aksamit, Cleveland, Mo. 64734

    Fred, you are not Presidential material, go back to Law and Order. You are a much better actor than you are a politician.

    August 17, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. Mary Roberts, Portland, Oregon

    The less is known about this guy's lazy days and simplistic views, the more popular he is.
    The more one learns about him, the more one realizes that he is about an inch deep in terms of depth of understanding of the issues. He could be describes as the "None of the Above" candidate in the Republican primary. For those who watch TV and figure he has the credentials of the DA on Law and Order, who confuse image with substance, he is the guy!
    He says Roe v Wade is Bad law. Hey, what does the Supreme Court know about the law, anyway? Thompson essentially says.
    He says its Bad Medicine. That is why he wants to overrule physicians and hospitals. What do they know about medicine anyway? Thompson essentially says.
    The sanctity of the family and marriage..? He must be the expert. says the guy who dumped wife number one for a"trophy wife" much younger as a as sign of success.
    Is he still acting???

    August 17, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  19. Larry Coldiron

    Thank GOD Almighty......
    A true man at last.....
    It is good to see some one with some guts, stand up for AMERICA and freedom.

    Freedom and God go hand in hand.

    You have my vote

    August 17, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  20. David, Salinas, CA

    Thompson has an impressive record as a Washington insider lobbyist, representing foreign mining interests, big tobacco, insurance companies and Haitian dictator Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

    Despite his current posturing, Thompson was also a pro-abortion lobbyist.

    He accomplished nothing of substance in his years in the Senate.

    He has a distinguished acting career.

    August 19, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Rick, Chicago Illinois

    Headline above says "Thompson: I don't think"

    Yep ... sounds about right!

    I think millions should elect this guy before he starts to!

    August 22, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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