November 5th, 2007
04:23 PM ET
10 years ago

Thompson advisor resigns after news of drug bust

A top aide to Fred Thompson stepped down Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A top advisor to former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson announced Monday he was resigning his position with the Republican's presidential campaign, a day after news surfaced he pleaded guilty more than 20 years ago to drug charges.

"The focus of this campaign should be on Fred Thompson's positions on the issues and his outstanding leadership ability, not on mistakes I made some 24 years ago," Phillip Martin said in a statement issued by Thompson's campaign. "I deeply regret any embarrassment this has caused."

It was first reported Sunday in the Washington Post that Martin pleaded guilty in 1979 to selling 11 pounds marijuana and no contest in 1983 to cocaine trafficking charges.

Thompson said yesterday he was unaware of the man’s past, and but he wouldn’t “throw my friend under the bus.”

He did say he would talk to Martin, and acknowledged “I’m running for president, I’ve got to, you know, do the right thing.”

- CNN's Mary Snow contributed to this report

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Matt, Albany, GA

    Politicians tried it, but those who were arrested for it have no hope in politics, in the spotlight or the sidelines. Period. I don't think it's right, but we expect some sort of "perfect record on paper" from those in politics.

    November 5, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Well I'm not surprised that the staunch Republican Supporters find nothing wrong when a Republican Candidate has a Top Adviser that was previously convicted on drug charges!

    After all this is Old Hat and Old News for the Republican Party and it's contenders! It's almost expected! Just another headline in a day in the life of a Republican.

    November 6, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  3. Mitchell, Jeffersontown, Kentucky

    Ok well first of all I would like to say that everyone does something in thier life that we regret but we get over that and move on because we are all humans and we all make mistakes on our actions in life. This issue was dealt with 24 years ago! Why is the press bringing it up now? We arent all perfect so just because there is a release of something that happened in Fred Thompsons life 24 years ago doesnt mean he doesnt have the qualifications of being our next president it just means the press is getting tired of picking on Sen. Hilary Clinton, so they decide to switch things up and turn the tables on Fred Thompson! All I have to say is that "Dont let your happenings, ruin your happiness"!

    November 6, 2007 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  4. Karl M, Philadelphia, PA

    Fred Thompson is a political blowhard, stuck in the past, who has a proven record in US government. He has proven to be a lazy, nasty, smug, rule-bending buffoon.

    November 6, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Hey, slimegreen... learn how to spell congratulations.

    November 6, 2007 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  6. Dan, Rochester NY

    Fred Thompson is qualified.....Hillary Clinton is not as a NY resident i have emailed her about different concerns and she or her staff have not replied once except for the generic letter saying how busy she is, she doesn't do anything for NY she only votes the way Schumer does

    November 6, 2007 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  7. r.e. lowe allons, tn

    so we start with the unkown history of phillip martin fred thompson in my opinion you did know his past a drug dealer but you liked his bent advise. like karl rove like phillip martin like g.w. bush like fred thompson same old same tune fred you walking on thin ice we the people are smater than that!

    November 6, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Neill C., Montgomery, Alabama

    It's not surprising to me that CNN doesn't have numerous political stories about the Clintons still taking illegal campaign money from Chinese nationals.

    November 7, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
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