January 3rd, 2008
01:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Thompson denies reports he's dropping out

Watch Obama react to Bhutto's death

Watch Thompson on American Morning Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Just hours before Iowa voters went to the polls, Republican Fred Thompson denied new reports that he was planning to end his struggling presidential bid before the New Hampshire primary if he does not finish better than third in caucus voting this evening.

“Any speculation as to what I may or may not do is just totally that,” he told CNN’s John Roberts on American Morning Thursday. “It’s obvious that someone in the campaign thought it was to their advantage to put that out. I have never said that. I have never implied that in public or in private. You should take that for what it’s worth.”

The former Tennessee senator had previously predicted a showing in the top two or three, and said as recently as this week that he wanted to finish at least third in Iowa. The Thompson campaign has said that a strong showing in Iowa would help spark landslide support for the former actor in Southern states which vote later in the primary process.

But Thompson, who has faced criticism for his laid-back campaign style, told Roberts Thursday that “Nobody’s talking about any kind of a scenario past tonight. I mean you look and see and the whole world changes...you have to analyze the results and go from there.”

“But I’m not planning any pessimistic scenario. I think that we’ve got a great opportunity, it’s going to be better than a lot of the so-called experts think.”

Thompson is currently tied with John McCain for third place in most recent surveys of GOP caucus goers in Iowa, with 13 percent in the most recent CNN poll, released this week.

A fundraising drought - which forced him off the air in the Hawkeye State earlier this week - and lackluster poll numbers have kept him out of the race’s top tier in most early-voting states.

- CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Aw, I was hoping that after Freddie got into the White House, it'd be free watermelon, grits and Blatz beer for everyone. But the way our economy is going, if the Republicans get in again, that's all the American people WILL be getting, since the 'conservatives' seem to be gobbling up every resource and dollar that they can.

    January 3, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. mike kaplan


    January 3, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  3. dick bohanon,la ,ca

    fred who?

    January 3, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. gopesq

    Is it too late for SA to save the day?

    January 3, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Garrett Babb

    Anyone who uses the "mushroom cloud" threat has nothing left. Fred is done.

    January 3, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Mindy Chatsworth, California

    To Frederick Paxson Benbrook, Tx. –

    You're kidding, right? Regarding defending the Constitution, you wouldn't happen to mean the way the Bush administration has been defending it? I mean the warrantless surveillance, the refusal to extend the right of habeas corpus to the Gitmo detainees, or the Patriot Act, to name just a few of the many violations of said Constitution. Or have you ever even bothered to read the Constitution? Maybe if you had, you would recognize when your president has violated it.

    Now about defending those Bush tax cuts – would you happen to be in the top two percent of the wealthiest people who were the main beneficiaries of this largesse? You would have to be, otherwise you would be a complete idiot to defend this blatant unfairness. The middle class needs tax relief, not the wealthiest.

    Then there was the president's brainless idea to mess with social security, a program which has functioned just fine, thank you very much, until the Republicans decided to mess with it and came up with privatization. Yes, of course, that was the ingenious idea to allow us to invest our social security benefits in the stock market. Yes, the very stock market that has been up and down and all over the place in recent months. Great idea. So we can lose our shirts as the stock market tumbles.

    Oh and then there is that great conservative principle of reducing spending. Have you checked the latest figures to see how high the deficit is these days? Just think of the money we are borrowing from the likes of China and Japan to prop up our government, while our president has us bogged down in Iraq to the tune of billions of dollars, while he vetoes bills that would provide additional health care for children.

    This is what you want to vote for? No wonder you like Fred Thompson. He fits right in the mold. The only news this fool will make is when he does us all a favor and drops out of a race that he was never in to begin with. No, we won't get fooled again.

    January 3, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Carrie in Ft. Worth

    I agree with many that have responded – this man bears being heard. The race is very crowded and we have big names with big money – ON BOTH SIDES – saying the same old tag lines. As a country we have so many issues and need true reform and leadership in many areas. Regardless of your party, cross your fingers that we don't lose ONE SINGLE viable candidate after one round in Iowa. Yes, I respect Iowa and her citizens, but 49 other states deserve to hear what each of these candidates has to say and how they can impact, or not, the direction of this country. I for one hope they all stay in and we get a real presidential election for a change, not a battle for who has the best commercials and the most money.

    January 3, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. webdog

    Gosh, who's going to represent the lobbyists now?

    January 3, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. Dirk, Ohio

    Just another media story to put Fred down. Fred is the most dangerous of candidates, thats why liberal CNN along with conservative FoxNews and all the rest are piling on. Both want their far sided views in the White House and in the news, and Fred just isn't a bow to the masses guy. He is neither a sexy news story, nor is he a far sided jerk like they all want. Fred is just your true, honest, level-headed American who would put this Country back to where it began, on strong foundations of God and Morals, and that just isn't sexy for BIG T.V. I believe Fred will have a tough time pulling through, because this nation has lost its way and has fallen to the satanic life style.

    January 3, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. Ed Klemm

    Don't give up fred! Don't let CNN (Clinton News Network) make up your mind!

    January 3, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. Ray

    I'm denying rumors that Fred is actually a candidate.

    January 3, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  12. margaret thomas

    Snide at the end of the article and sms snide to the very wire.Just once I would like to watch or read the news and see only the facts and let me draw my own snide ideas.But most of the time it is entertaing if nothing else.Thanks.

    January 3, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. JW

    Whether Thompson stays or goes IS important. Hey, I wouldn't vote for him, but if he drops out his supporters will have to choose someone else, which could tip the scales.

    January 3, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  14. Sam C, Ft. Myers, Fl

    this guy was well done months ago. What a waste of time and money. Anyone that thought he was Presidential material was not looking for much. Another Bush, God help us.

    January 3, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |

    It seems as though Fred is even too lazy to quit! Typical Hollywood Elitist.

    January 3, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. ed

    When you really observe hard enough, Fred Thompson is the only candidate that can beat Obama or Clinton on the Republican side. Fred is the true conservative and has a great record. He is genuine and sincere. He has the best experience among all candidates. I don't think he should be penalized just because he might be temperamentally unsuited to the campaign trail. We need to look deeper than that. This article by LAWRENCE B. LINDSEY in the Wall Street Journal says it all. http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110011069

    Go Fred Go! Please go to Fred08.com to support Fred's campaign.

    January 4, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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