August 30th, 2007
05:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Thompson to announce September 6

Watch the Best Political Team on TV discuss Fred Thompson's impending presidential candidacy.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson will officially announce his candidacy for president on the Web next Thursday, September 6, sources working on the actor's formal entry into the race told CNN Thursday.

The announcement video will be posted at 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday at

The sources said Thompson would travel and campaign in key primary states following the Internet announcement.

The Web announcement will not take place before Wednesday's GOP debate in New Hampshire, the sources said, adding they did not expect Thompson to attend.

Early this week, the New Hampshire Union-Leader called on Thompson to attend the debate.

"If Thompson announces before the debate, New Hampshire voters will expect him to be at the University of New Hampshire with the other announced candidates," the newspaper said. "A no-show will be counted here as a snub.

"If Thompson waits until after the debate to make his announcement, it will appear to some as if he timed the announcement just to avoid the New Hampshire debate. That would give his foes the chance to say he is either not serious about running for the nomination or is too unprepared to be considered a credible candidate."

Thompson created a fundraising committee that allowed him to begin raising money for a possible presidential campaign on June 1.

An actor best known for his role as District Attorney Arthur Branch in NBC's "Law & Order," Thompson was elected to the Senate in 1994 and served there for eight years.

- CNN's John King and Candy Crowley

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Kyle Massey, Blue Springs Mo

    "Wow, actors running for president. The countries already in such bad shape, imagine what it would be like if he was our next Commander in Chief."

    Thats exactly what they said in 1980 and look what happened....we ended up with not only a landslide victory but we had the strongest and best President since Harry Truman.
    Stand back, give the man some room, and be prepared to be amazed. At least hes not going to be liberal venomous poison run amok.

    August 30, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. YTRJD

    Iowa gets same sex marriage equality, yet this "Non Story" gets coverage before we do? A shame.

    August 30, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Diana Cleveland, Ohio

    Your an idiot....President Reagan one the most respected presidents was an actor...

    August 30, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  4. Andrew, Albuquerque, NM

    Totally absurd on so many levels...

    August 30, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  5. M.Adams, Las Vegas NV

    He thinks he's the next incarnation of Reagan. Except his wife has know.
    Please spare us another Reuug actor.

    August 30, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Why are you even reporting that this sack of compost is running? He's worthless.

    August 30, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Carla Baggett, NLR, AR

    He has my vote! Actor or not, I like him and will support him.

    August 30, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. tolana, Norfolk, VA

    "Wow, actors running for president." You make me laugh. Ronald Reagan was an actor long before he was President. And speaking of actors in politics, did you forget about Schwarzenhager governing California?

    August 30, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Memphis, Tennessee

    He's scared to debate!!!!

    August 30, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Cara, Harrisonburg VA

    Another Great Communicator?? The guy does at least have some political experience. I for one am interested to hear more about what he has to say.

    August 30, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. ReadBtwthlins

    Hummm..., Do you think CNN is pro Thompson?

    August 30, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  12. Brian, Denver CO

    I am really not looking forward to him being in the race. The guy plays up folksy goodness to an annoying extreme.

    Thankfully being a good ol' boy isn't going to play that well in the states he would need to win in the general election, so at least I don't have to seriously worry about 4 years of him.

    August 30, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. Skel, San Francisco, CA

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...Oh sorry, I fell asleep. Fred who? Oh, you mean the savior of the GOP? Yea great, can't wait...Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    August 30, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  14. Steve, Ithaca, NY

    So the headline reads "Law & Order to run for president"... It seems that CNN needs to – once again – minimize anything not in lockstep with their agenda. Anyone glancing over their homepage and not politically astute would never know that Fred Thompson spent 8 years as a US Senator

    August 30, 2007 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. David, Gilbert Arizona

    The republican conservatives will finally have their candidate. Fred holds a very hard republican party line.

    When I first heard of Fred's candidacy I was happy. Then he waited...and waited...and waited. In so doing Fred avoided the initial debates and the Iowa straw poll. To what end? What did Fred have to gain by waiting so long? A better question might be what does Fred have to hide that caused him to wait so long?

    It will be very interesting to see how well Fred does in the primaries. The ultra conservatives will vote for him but what about the rest of us?

    August 30, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    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 30, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  17. Chris, Arlington, TX

    Just like the comming of Starcraft II: "Its about time!" Get set to light your powder folks. Its time for the real election to begin.

    August 30, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. RA The Framing Wizard LV, NV

    Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make
    their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day I went
    downtown and went into a shop. I was only in there for about 5
    minutes and when
    I came out there was a cop writing out a parking ticket.

    I went up to him and said, "Come on, man, how about giving a retired
    person a break"? He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. I
    called him a "Nazi. He glared at me and started writing another
    ticket for having worn tires. So I called him a "Doughnut Eating
    Gestapo." He
    finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the
    first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about
    20 minutes. The more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

    Personally, I didn't care. I came downtown on the bus and the car
    that he was putting the tickets on had a bumper sticker that said
    "Thompson in '08." I try to have a little fun each day now that I'm

    It's important to my health.

    August 30, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    I liked him in his role on Law and Order. Now I see him as just another Neo-Con S.O.B. In fact, the T.V. show isn't watched here anymore.

    August 30, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  20. Chad, Roswell, NM

    Geez. This is the same guy that would drive a luxury sedan and park it two blocks away from his Senate campaign events in the 1990s only to hop in a red pickup truck and drive it in the rest of the way. But given that George W. Bush waited until 1999 to buy his Crawford ranch, maybe dressing up like a cowboy is the best way to become President.

    August 30, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. Keri Texarkana, TX

    Regan did not do a bad job so maybe we should not discount Fred based on his acting. I would vote for Thompson over several of the other candidates. I would vote for Homer Simpson before I voted for a Clinton!

    August 30, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. leo steele providence, ri

    good ole boy Fred sunk his candidacy when he stated 'HE' would overturn Roe vs Wade and added his opinion about homosexuals. KEEP THE DAY JOB FRED, unless the producers have already canned your sorry butt....

    August 30, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. don

    what a whimp. he does it the day after the debate.

    i feel bad for him. he is going to have to travel to like four states after he announces by video. i imagine that is difficult for him given how lazy he is.

    this guy doesn't have what it takes. he appears to be a whimp to me.

    August 30, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. Russell NC

    I will listen to what Fred has to say. So far no candidate has emerged, either Democrat or Republican, that I could support. We have a very poor choice this time.

    August 30, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. David, Salinas, CA

    There are several candidates for President who I agree with and like, (i.e. Clinton, Obama, Richardson, Biden). There are candidates who I disagree with, but like anyway, (i.e. McCain, Giuliani, Huckabee, Brownback, Paul). There’s one candidate I agree with but don’t much like, (Edwards). And there’s one who has so many positions it’s impossible to disagree with him, so I don’t respect him very much, (Romney). But there’s only one bad man running for President, and his name is Fred Thompson. I’ll say it again: Fred Thompson is bad.

    When I say bad I don’t mean like the Michael Jackson song or Bad Bad Leroy Brown. And I don’t mean like George W. Bush is a bad President, (he is, but he’s not a bad man). This isn’t about competence or ideology, it’s about morality. Fred Thompson is bad as in evil. Fred Thompson does not have the moral Character to be President of the United States.

    Fred Thompson is the worst kind of Washington insider. He’s not the Devil himself, but he was surely the Devil’s lobbyist. Fred Thompson was a lobbyist for insurance companies denying sick people’s asbestos claims. Fred Thompson was a lobbyist for big tobacco companies that covered up the real science of addiction and cancer. Fred Thompson was a lobbyist for foreign mining companies and foreign auto companies taking jobs away from Americans. Fred Thompson was a lobbyist for deregulating failing Savings & Loans that cost Americans their life savings. Fred Thompson was a pro-abortion lobbyist, but he now runs pro-life. Fred Thompson was a lobbyist for Haitian strongman Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Thompson had a few other high-paid insider D.C. jobs, too. He ran some Republican campaigns and he worked on the Senate Watergate Committee and he was a defense attorney for Washington white-collar criminals, and he raised money for Scooter Libby.. About the only job Fred Thompson didn’t do in Washington was the job he was elected to do. He never did much in his time in the Senate. (We may be fortunate about that).

    With all that badness in his past, Senator Thompson is set to run a campaign based entirely on people’s worst instincts. He plays on fear. He knows some Americans are afraid and he’s using that to get what he wants. Fred Thompson may be a bad man, but he’s a pretty good actor. In a courtroom or a tv drama, he’s good at pretending to be good. And that’s what makes him so dangerous. Americans just might believe him. I sure hope they don’t, not for the sake of my party but for the sake of the nation.

    I like some of the candidates and I don’t like others, but there’s only one candidate I think is bad and that’s Fred Thompson. He was a lobbyist for the bad guys. He was a bad Senator. He’d be a bad President. He really is a bad man.

    August 30, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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