January 22nd, 2008
02:27 PM ET
12 years ago

Thompson drops out of GOP presidential race


Thompson had a disappointing showing in the GOP's South Carolina primary. (Photo Credit: AP)

In a statement issued by his campaign, Fred Thompson said:

"Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people."

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Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    Maybe there's a god after all.

    January 22, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  2. Ellie, WA

    I really liked Fred Thompson but I am glad he has chosen to step down now because the conservative vote can't be split between Romney and Thompson anymore...unless we want to see McCain as the nominee (please no). I know Thompson and McCain are friends but I really hope he doesn't endorse McCain.

    January 22, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  3. hillabeans

    One less piece of drift wood on the beach.

    January 22, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  4. Sean, Santa Barbara, CA

    The debates were cutting into his nap time

    January 23, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  5. Kris In Atlanta

    He's probably made a VP deal with Mccain. The irony is Mccain, contrary to what the media is trying to make us believe, will not win the nomination. He's too old, too enamoured to the failed Bush, too connected to Washington politics-hell, he IS Washington politics! The country is ready for change and both Thompson and Mccain do not represent that. I'd rather see Romney win than McAmnesty.

    January 23, 2008 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  6. Danny

    Flip Flop Romney is a liberal and his voting record proves it! You poor Limbaugh Liberal "dittoheads" will believe anything that idiot tells you! It is as if one needs to use a crayon and draw on a big chief tablet for you.

    Romney owns Bain. Bain owns Clear Channel. Clear Channel owns Rush and the rest of the Republican talk show host contracts.

    Romney is a liberal with a liberal voting record on "ALL" the issues!!!! He is "NOT" a conservative at all !!!

    Vote for whom you please but at least get informed and know what you are voting for!!

    January 23, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  7. Moderated

    He just thought he was going to come out and everyone would be for him. Didn't work for it. An entitled attitude?

    January 23, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. Lee

    Dear Thompson Supporters,
    I am sorry that your preferred candidate forfeit the race for president. While he was definitely not a choice for me, I acknowledge that Fred Thompson did have the right priorities on some questions. The problem was not with the message, but with the messager, and intelligent people know that the messager does not invalidate the message. Unfortunately fomer senator Thompson did not seem to have much a plan or the energy to commit, but he did have good principles.

    We could not help but notice that Thompson used plenty of constitutionalist rhetoric. He was one of the most committed to federalism and smaller government. Fred Thompson advertised himself as the conservative choice. Unfortunately for his supporters, Thompson is no longer an option. However, you do have another choice. A man who upholds and champions the constitution, values federalism, and advocates small government. A staunch fiscal conservative who would cut taxes more than any candidate from either party. Someone who is and was pro-life with the credentials to prove it. I am talking about Ron Paul, easily the truest Republican in the race for the presidential nomination.

    I grant that Fred Thompson fans and Ron Paul fans have had plenty of tension, but it is best we put that aside. Some of us feel that Thompson was a bit dismissive even rude to Ron Paul. On the other hand, Fred was the only candidate to show any respect for Dr. Paul or to at least try to understand his position. It is debateable whether Fred Thompson was the most conservative or not, whether he was the most like Reagan. But now that he is out, Ron Paul is your only choice. Mitt Romney is NO Ronald Reagan. John McCain is no Ronald Reagan. Mike Huckabee is no Ronald Reagan. Paul and Reagan share more than a first name. Some of you might have been misled by nonsense about how Ron Paul is "not a real Republican" that he is a Libertarian. But that nonsense needs to be exposed for what it is. Ron Paul did run for office as a Libertarian once, when he ran for President in 1988, but Congressman Paul has served 20 years in the House of Representatives, elected as a Republican for all 10 terms. Ron Paul ran for nomination in the Republican party for senator. And currently, Ron Paul is running as a Republican and has no plans of running as an independent or on a third party ticket. Finally, it was Ronald Reagan who said that libertarianism is the heart of conservatism.

    Ron Paul consistently gets high ratings by taxpayer's groups for his opposition to high taxes. Dr. Paul is an OB-GYN by profession who delivered 4,000 babies and performed 0 abortions. Ron Paul took a principled stance in opposition to abortion. He does not merely claim a pro-life position to get votes (like some candidates). Many of you may disagree on the issue of war, but note that there are other issues where the views of Paul and Thompson converge. I seriously suggest supporting Paul. Also, you might want to rethink the neoconservative foreign policy and military strategy. Russell Kirk condemned such eagerness to go to war and foreign adventurism in The Politics of Prudence. Likewise, you might be reluctant to agree with Dr. Paul on his opposition to the "war on drugs," but note that conservative icon William F. Buckley was opposed to draconian criminalization of drugs. Ron Paul believes that the legal status of drugs should be left to the states.

    Here's to hoping that you support the right candidate. That you put principles above practicality and support the best man for the job. But if you are still uncertain, note that Ron Paul may be the most electable out of the entire field. Dr. Paul is the only candidate who could unite fiscal conservatives and libertarians, the highly religious or socially conservative, libertarians, and disillusioned paleocons. He is also the only Republican candidate who could attract plenty of liberal, moderate, leftist, and centrist voters, or at least the only GOP candidate who can attract Democrats and independents but is not widely detested by the GOP base. Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Mike Huckabee are all unelectable. Failure to nominate Ron Paul essentially gives the election to the Democrat.

    January 23, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Daniel

    One down, a few more to go. I can't wait until rudy and huckabee drop. THen Paul will definitly have a shot.

    January 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Kris

    Glad to see him go. Flip Romney will probably win Florida, Giullani will then drop out, thank god. I really do not like Huckabee and can't stand Flip Romney. Looks like I'll have to vote for the only true conservative running. GO RON PAUL!

    January 23, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
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