November 5th, 2007
08:27 AM ET
15 years ago

Thompson responds to reports of adviser's criminal past

Thompson responded Sunday to reports of his adviser's criminal past.

(CNN)- A Republican presidential hopeful stood by a campaign adviser Sunday after it was revealed that person had a past drug conviction.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that Philip Martin, a businessman who serves as a co-chairman for former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson's campaign, entered a guilty plea to the sale of 11 pounds of marijuana in 1979. According to the Post, the court withheld judgment pending completion of his probation.

On Sunday, Thompson said he was unaware of the situation before the report.

"I wish I had known about it a little earlier," Thompson said to reporters before his appearance on NBC's 'Meet the Press.' "Phil I'm sure knows that he should have told me about this, but he thought it was over and done with and forgotten about I’m sure. But of course nothing is ever over and done with and forgotten about in this business."

The Post went on to say that Martin was charged in 1983 with violating his probation, along with multiple counts of felony bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. The newspaper said Martin pleaded no contest to cocaine-trafficking and conspiracy charges, which were part of a plan to sell $30,000 worth of cocaine, and was continued on probation.

"I know him to be a good man," Thompson said on Sunday. "I know him to be a man who has rehabilitated himself and led a productive life. He's my friend. He's gonna remain my friend."

As for Martin's future role with the campaign, Thompson said that has not been decided.

"You know, what I do about it after I talk to him with regard to the future we'll just have to see, sit down and work out, and do the right thing to a fellow who is a friend., but who is now on the front page of the Washington Post."

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- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    This really shouldn't be that big of a deal. You know, depending what your definition of "is" is...

    or, wait, no, um, I mean...

    This really shouldn't be that big of a deal. You know, as long as he smoked but didn't inhale...

    Wait, wait, wait...

    I'm getting my Clintonian excuses all mixed up...

    November 5, 2007 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Alan from Atlanta

    This is JUST like Dubya, sticking with friends even though theyre convicted liars and criminals. We SURE as heck dont need another Dubya in the White House.

    November 5, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Michael New London Connecticut

    I assume this means Fred is in favor of legalization of drugs? Whoo Hoo! Party at the White Coke at the Inaguration...why is it that Conservatives are always so "understanding" when it comes to their own, but so swift to condemn anyone else?

    November 5, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Tom, Atlanta, GA

    Let's see 11 lbs of Pot in 1979, then violated his probation in 1983 with felony conspiracy, Bookmaking, and dealing $30,000 in cocaine. hmmmm Sounds like a mild version of Karl Rove, only he got caught. GOP- party of "family values", What a Joke! Sounds like party of "Hypocracy and Judgementalism" to me.

    After the Pot trial he had his second chance with probation and Really Blew it Big-time. Third Chance? Forth Chance? Never to much forgiveness for any of the GOP.
    Go back to church so you can find that crutch that drugs and alcohol couldn't supply.(for all you small minded neo-cons, this is sarcasm) As long as the Religious-right-wing-nuts are given any power, this country is in DEEP trouble.

    November 5, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    The people around him speaks to Thompson's judgement and character. Bottom Line. Just like Guiliani shouldn't get a pass for his mob connections, neither should Thompson for this.

    November 5, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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