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Breaking: Fred Thompson Withdraws from Presidential Race

Carl Cameron of Fox News is reporting that Fred Thompson is withdrawing from the presidential race. Shortly following that, his campaign sent out this statement:

Statement from Sen. Fred Thompson

McLean, VA - Senator Fred Thompson today issued the following statement about his campaign for President:

"Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States.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."

After learning yesterday that he withdrew from Thursday's Republican debate, it was pretty clear what his next move would be. It seemed like he wasn't all that interested in running to begin with. According to a Washington Post article, he wasn't the most energetic campaigner:

"His rivals would do more in a day than Fred would do in a month," said one disaffected Thompson insider. "He created the perception, fairly or not, that he was just going through the motions."
At this time, we don't know if he will endorse another candidate, and he may not since the Examiner reports that he may position himself as a Vice Presidential candidate. Now, who will his supporters shift their allegiance to? I'm guessing they'll move to support Mitt.

Update: Mitt Romney is the first GOP presidential candidate to respond to Fred's leaving race. The video from Fox was garbled terribly, but Mitt had very nice things to say about Fred, including, if I heard it correctly, that he would make a great running mate for him or any of the candidates.

Update II: Will Huckabee benefit the most?

Update III: Mitt Romney's statement on Fred Thompson:

"Throughout this campaign, Fred Thompson brought a laudable focus to the challenges confronting our country and the solutions necessary to meet them. He stood for strong conservative ideas and believed strongly in the need to keep our conservative coalition together. Ann and I would like to extend our best wishes to Fred, Jeri and their family and congratulate them on their efforts during this campaign."

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Comments (51)

Just read that Fred is tend... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Just read that Fred is tending to a very ill mother. So this decision makes sense to me. The Clintons would have sold their mother to win the election. Fred seems to have more class than that. Anyway, I will move to the 2nd choice: Mitt Romney.

Well, that decision was a s... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Well, that decision was a slow train coming, anyway. Family does come first in a crisis, though.

Other issues aside that may... (Below threshold)

Other issues aside that may have had an effect more recently - what a half-assed effort given the hype he was handed.

Wow.. 10% of states have a ... (Below threshold)
914:

Wow.. 10% of states have a say over the other 90% and the most conservative choices (Tancredo, Hunter and Thompson ) are already out??
Something's not right here.. all were left to chose from is semi-conservative (mitt)socially liberal tweedle dum (Huckleberry)and socialist tweedle dee (McFraud)..

There should be one primary to elect candidates from and it should occur on one day!! not all spread out with the media trying to dictate who wins or does not!!

I imagine Rudy won't be far... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I imagine Rudy won't be far behind.

Disappointing, for sure.

I've been a Giuliani Gal s... (Below threshold)
Rory:

I've been a Giuliani Gal since the beginning.

As a member of the avtive duty community Giuliani was there for us when the going got rough.

He never wavered. He campaigned for the war effort.

Romney got wishy on his support for the Iaq war during one of the very first debates.

I was *shocked*.

If you can't firmly state your support for the war under cross examination by one of those "toughies" at CNN or MSNBC....well.

As for McCain sure alot of the retired folks like him, and the military too busy to know what he's been up to like him but I find it disgusting how he wears Rumsfeld's scalp like some badge of courage.

Bad news.... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Bad news.

Romney-Thompson '08... (Below threshold)
Pretzel_Logic:

Romney-Thompson '08

Fred Heads-look I know what... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Fred Heads-look I know what you guys and gals are going through but you've got to get it togeter.

You have to vote for the Republican candidate in this election and you have to coalesce ASAP.

Look there are FOUR BIG Reasons-

Ruth Bader Ginsberg will be replaced in the next four years.

Kennedy.

And Souter has been rumored to want to retire for the past five years now.

That is THREE Supreme Court justices.

That are appointed for LIFE.

You cannot let the Democrats who already have control of the HOUSE and Senate get a hold of the SUPREM COURT on top of all of that.

If that happens it will take over FIFTY years for the country to recover.

More importantly -The Clintons got into the White House last time with the "third way".

The Third Party election and with or because of Republicans staying home.

Cripes stop that Conservative/Republican battle and win the bloody war.

The military has been fighting the war on terror for you all and could you at least not enable yetanother-

Clinton in Chief.

I am begging you.

Rory, Yes it helps... (Below threshold)
Conservative in Miami:

Rory,

Yes it helps to look at what we're up against, but it's hard to get behind Closet Liberal #1, #2, or #3.

I'll probably vote for Mitt in the Fla primary to help fight McCain, but it's a sad state of affairs in the GOP.

This is very disconcerting.... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

This is very disconcerting. I was all for Thompson joining the race and anticipated much more in terms of campaigning and energy. I still was looking forward to casting my primary vote for him. One can only hope now that the eventual nominee will ask Thompson to be his running mate, although concerns about his campaigning style might be a mitigating factor.

Better call Jay off the led... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Better call Jay off the ledge.

Conservative in Miami-... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Conservative in Miami-

Hang in there.

*ugh* I think I'll have to drink a case of somethin' to vote for McCain-

Hopefully I don't screw up the ballot and McCain will have enough money to drive half drunk Republicans to the polls.

Transcript from Thompson's ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Transcript from Thompson's announcement:
"Life is like a box of chocolate. I'm pretty tired now; I think I'll go home"

Did anyone besides conserva... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Did anyone besides conservative bloggers ever really support Thompson?

Barney,I think I c... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Barney,

I think I can speak for most of us here when I say FOAD.

Is there no thread that you don't just drop trou and dump sh*& on?

Do you EVER have anything constructive to say?

Actually the real surprise ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Actually the real surprise is Rudy. He was such a strong early contender, and yet he has consistently finished behind Ron Paul! Hopefully this will prove to everyone that Pat Robertson is no longer a kingmaker within the Republican party. Pat Robertson himself desperately needs to understand that.

I can't help thinking this ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I can't help thinking this is because I voted for Thompson in the Wizbang Primary. Ok, maybe not. A stand up guy, but doesn't seem to have the ambition, or maybe the stomach, to really run for president. I can see why so many bloggers like him.

SYB, "wrong Said" Fred drop... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

SYB, "wrong Said" Fred dropping out leaves the right-wing talk machine in a real bind, or does it?

Rush, and the rest, wont support a Republican because they have taken a beating supporting the disaster Bush for these last seven years and can't afford to lose any more market share or preceived influence. That is why they will say it is better to stay home then vote for a phony conservative. That will give Rush, and the rest, the gift they are hoping for, eight or more years of bashing a Democrat President.

Book It!

I (as Rory above), have bee... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

I (as Rory above), have been supporting Rudy from fairly early on. I think he is certainly the best candidate left. He will turn out to be more conservative than he was as mayor of NYC (and you have to be fairly liberal to be mayor there), and he has said he would appoint judges similar to Roberts and Alito. He has been a strong and consistent supporter of President Bush even when it has not been popular. I strongly second the support of Rudy Giuliani.

Well, that's a bummer. I w... (Below threshold)
Jer:

Well, that's a bummer. I won't be voting D, but now I'll have to hold my nose.

I was personally expecting ... (Below threshold)

I was personally expecting Thompson to hang around until at least Super Tuesday in some last hope of finding some pocket of strength somewhere, but with a little real cash and a real lack of fire in his belly, where candidates like McCain and Romney simply "want it more", Thompson never really displayed the sheer desire or determination to grasp the nomination that's needed to win.

Thompson was the darling of conservative political bloggers and nonreligious conservative voters, both of which are the smaller groups of Republican voters. Religious conservatives who support Huckabee and corporate conservatives who support Romney are far more plentiful in the party than the smaller groups of ideological conservatives who would be more prone to support Thompson. With this smaller base of support along with a real lack of fundraising ability, and mostly lackluster and uninspiring campaign and debate performances, Thompson's political comeback attempt from being a respected former senator turned television character actor simply fizzled out.

On Wizbang Blue, I wrote a piece today explaining why the campaigns of Edwards, Kucinich, Giuliani, Huckabee and Paul are all also dead in the water as well, entitled, "You Can Stick A Fork In These Guys...They're Done". Only the final showdown between McCain and Romney and Clinton and Obama remain to be settled.

Rudy was my guy at first, t... (Below threshold)

Rudy was my guy at first, then Fred. As it stands now the best practical combo for me would be Romney/Thompson.

I'll never stop being amazed at people who say if their guy isn't nominated they'd rather lose the election.

Just read the Fred isn't in... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Just read the Fred isn't interested in the VP slot. But we will wait and see. At least in the Rep primary, we are discussing issues/ideas. The dem primary is all about race and gender. I am amused by the hyprocritical white liberals in the dem party. They may be the closet racists who has kept Hillary as the front runner at this point. With the majority of the blacks shifting their support to Obama, the white liberals must be one important Dem constituency that keeps the Hillary campaign going with their race card.

Romney is ideologically mor... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

Romney is ideologically more conservative, and if considered in that perspective only, he is preferable. However, the general election is going to be a supre aggressive dogfight (much worse than the Democratic primary right now) -- I don't think Fred nor Romney will be as good as Rudy in that role. Rudy actually in that sense may be a strong candidate. I believe that he will govern as a moderate conservative (in general), and a conservative as far as military and economic issues are concerned.

nehemiah-I agree w... (Below threshold)
Rory:

nehemiah-

I agree with you whole-heartedly about Rudy being a better candidate on the economic front.

#21My sentiments e... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

#21

My sentiments exactly.

In terms of organization an... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

In terms of organization and long term campaign, Romney is the better one. Romney also had good resume on executive experience both in gov and business. But Rudy is much better than McCain.

http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/cd8380cf-3bef-4b0d-8e51-f6c84a6f474c
The Clinton campaign, with the Romney campaign as a runner-up, is the campaign that most reminds me of Bush-Cheney '04, with its focus on metrics, accountability, and long-term planning. Clinton arguably won both New Hampshire and Nevada on the back of a second-to-none field operation.

The fact is that now no mat... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

The fact is that now no matter who we pick, alot of Republicans ARE going to stay home. I probably won't, but i can't guarantee that McCain or Huckabee will exactly motivate me to go to the polls. Seriously.

Whats the difference in McCain/Huckabee or Clinton? They might vary on a few issues, but overall they support the same core socialist ideas. People cannot support themselves and they think the government should intervene and run people's lives for them. I have a bit more disdain for McCain than i do Huckabee, but neither of them or going to nominate constructionist judges. Neither of them are going to do the right thing in any situation. I could hold out hope for Romney, as he has at least admitted where he was wrong. He still pushes a little bit of a government adgenda, but it's nowhere near as bad as McCain or the Huckster. Those two are where they are in the REPUBLICAN primary due to DEMOCRATS and INDEPENDENTS. Anyone see a problem with that? Republicans aren't aloud to choose their nominee. Now we have the only actual Conservative candidate dropping out, and a bunch of wannabe's.

Someone said above that us Fred-Heads need to support the GOP nominee ASAP. None of this Third party stuff. Well, don't nominate liberals to a conservative party and we won't have to stop showing up to the polls!! It's how elections work! I refuse to be another sheep just voting "against hillary". The country and the GOP will be ruined either way if Clinton, McCain or Huckabee get elected.

You Hucksters and McCain tools need to quit lecturing us and telling us to vote for your guy just because the other guy is that much worse. I honestly can't contribute to a McCain or Huckabee presidency, so more than likely if one of those two are a nominee i might have to sit home and drink a few beers and mourn the loss of my party and country on election night 08.

i, too, have to say that th... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

i, too, have to say that the primary system sucks ass. i won't even get a chance to cast my vote until a week AFTER Super Tuesday, and even then, it's kinda hockey how the delegates get selected. and now my preferred candidate is out of the picture because people in Iowa and South Carolina are dumbasses. What kind of horseshit is that?

We need a real national primary system so those lame asses in iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, etc, stop having a disproportionate amount of influence over the candidate selection process.

I agree on the ridiculous p... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I agree on the ridiculous primary schedules. If they must stagger the primaries in order to shake off those with little support and narrow the field, then have 3-4 primary days with an equal number of states from different regions participating in each, 2 weeks or so apart. No less than 12 states, with at least one from each region of the country (South, SW, NW, NE, Midwest) and at least one high population state, should set the tone on the first primary day. Enough of this Iowa-New Hampshire-South Carolina bullshit.

Guys-I am admittedly... (Below threshold)
Gerald:

Guys-
I am admittedly a liberal and not a republican, but I think you should all be happy Thompson is out. It was completely obvious that the man simply didn't have the fire to win and would have gotten completely crushed by any of the democrats. He would have come off as old and tired. If you cannot see that you are truly deluded. I don't like any of the rest of the R candidates, but as far as Thompson is concerned, as a presidential candidate he was not worth his weight in overweight luggage penalties. you guys should be happy.

and just as an aside, for all of you mourning the loss of tghe country after the 08 elections, where have you been for the last 7 years? You got everything last time, and the present state of affairs was the end result. Is this really what you all wanted? In your heart of hearts, that cannot be true. I am not even saying that from y9our perspective a democrat would be better, but seriously, open your eyes, people! We, as a nation, need to start doing a lot better than how we're doing now, regardless of who's in charge.

All you Fredheads out there... (Below threshold)
Herman:

All you Fredheads out there:

I told you some time ago that Fred was dead!

Rory,

John Paul Stevens is far likely to retire than Anthony Kennedy (or any other Justice whom you named).

We, as a nation, need to st... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

We, as a nation, need to start doing a lot better than how we're doing now, regardless of who's in charge.
-------------------------------------
That sounds good to me. It could have been a disaster if Kerry was elected in 2004. Bush at least has kept the terrorists on their toes despite the dem sabotage. ON the economic front, Bush tax cuts have helped the economy greatly in the last 7 years despite the war and the dem snipping. We should do better with spending and immigration, but the dems would be a disaster on both. With the remaining candidates, I will be Ok with either Romney or Giulianni. None of the dem candidates would be better (in fact much worse) unless the liberal agenda of "saving trees, killing babies/not terrorists, big gov" is more important.

I am surprised that the kno... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I am surprised that the known corrupted Clintons are not dead yet. With the black support overwhemmingly shifted to Obama now, if Hillary wins the Dem primary, the white liberal constituency would be the decisive factor. All their talk about racism is empty when it comes to real action now.

herman-Ya cripes I... (Below threshold)
Rory:

herman-

Ya cripes I flipped Kennedy for Stevens-but heck how old is Kennedy?

Does he make the next eight years?

Souter is rumored as wanting to retire.

The only thing he supposedly has been holding out for is a Democratic President to name his replacement.

LoveAmerica Immigrant-... (Below threshold)
Gerald:

LoveAmerica Immigrant-

Are you really that dumb? I can only pray that the good Lord will deliver us from you and your fellow "conservatives."

Your conservative triumvarate of senate, congress and white house n the recent past did an amazing job of creating small governemnt. incredible. It's almost gone now. Accusing liberals of being baby killers and tree huggers (most people actually support trying to save some trees, ya know) and being the party of "big governement" is so old and tired. come on. i know you can dop better than that. you absolutely MUST get some new material. try Rush's website- he at least probably has some new spin on these same tired canards.

Gerald, you're right in tha... (Below threshold)
AJ:

Gerald, you're right in that this isn't where I want our country to be today. But I'd rather be here than be where we'll be with a liberal Prez and Congress. My taxes are high enough, they support more than enough programs I feel are wrong, and I'm really not a fan of Socialism. We're in a bad spot right now, and I truly think it's going to get a lot worse if Hillary or Barack are elected. Just my .02 of course.

I see no substantive differ... (Below threshold)
Jonathan Love:

I see no substantive difference between McCain and Clinton. In both cases, Ted Kennedy gets to pick the Judges. In both cases, the deficit increases because discretionary spending is a smaller and smaller part of government spending. In both cases, we get amnesty for lawbreakers. In both cases, we elect a Democrat. I will not for McCain. If my only choice is between Democrat and Democrat-Lite I will pick the Democrat and not have all this happen in the name of a Republican President. California and Arnold Schwarzenegger is a perfect example of where that road lead. As for the Supreme Court if Liberal nutballs resign and they are replaced with Liberal nutballs then nothing really changes.

Gerald, You must no... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Gerald,
You must not have been paying attention. So you must try the same cheap liberal ad-hominen distraction. One big reason why Bush 's low poll numbers is his big-gov education program with Ted Kennedy and his spending on the Medicare programs. That 's a known fact. But to deny that the dems are for even bigger gov is simply so "stupid" (using your terminology) or so dishonest.

What dem candidates are talking about saving babies now? Obama got 100% rating from NARAL. He voted against providing medical care for surving aborted babies. THat 's a known fact. Hillary had to pull the card of abortion extremism to try defeating Obama.

YOur post don't provide any facts to refute my observation. Just look at the effort they liberal dems are willing to spend to save the trees and the terrorists. Compare that to the effort they spent to make sure that even surviving aborted babies would be killed. If you really care about saving babies, not terrorists, you would have abandoned the dem party. Go form a third party with Huckabee for example. He is at least consistently pro-life. But he is liberal on two other big issues (national security and economy).

Again, as with other liberals, when you don't have the facts and the logic, you have to pull the cheap ad-hominen distraction. IT is getting old, but it is simply another example in a long list.

LAI,It wasn't perf... (Below threshold)
nehemiah:

LAI,

It wasn't perfect, but the last seven years were not too bad. If Gore or Kerry had been there, I doubt any of us would actually be writing freely in a blog today -- we would probably have to discuss "limited" topics of the famous accomplishments of our "Dear People's Leader".

Guys, our first task that I think we generally agree on is NO McCAiN!!!

Then it is Rudy or Mitt, and again I consider to Rudy a better fighter for the epic battle that is upcoming, and I think he'll be more conservative than many think.


Is this a comedy site? Or s... (Below threshold)
Gerrald:

Is this a comedy site? Or some kind of mockumentary? LAI, do you even read what you write? Do you have any idea how absolutely rabid you sound? Down boy. Do you all seriously believe Thompson was the best candidate? Really? And are you really gonna blame ted Kennedy for Bush's low poll numbers? You have GOT to be kidding me.

See ya later, guys. Have fun with further meetings of the flat earth society. Or is it the head in the sand society?

Gerald, Your post i... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Gerald,
Your post is completely devoid of substance. You are so ignorant. It is beyond parody. Fred is most conservative presidential candidate and he had a track record to show that he probably will govern as a conservative. That 's why conservatives support him. It is a simple as that. His problem was that he entered the race too late when many people had chosen their candidate. Huckabee just took advantage of the void in pro-life plank that seems to be missing in some Rep candidates. Most conservatives expect the Rep candidate to be pro-life since we all know that abortion (ie killing babies) is a sacrament for the dem party. Just look at how Hillary was trying to outdo 100% abortion rating of Obama.

Gerald, I know that the truth hurts. Looks like you don't want to face the truth. Otherwise, you would have to abandon the dem party. You still don't present any facts except some cheap talk.

LAI-You blame Ted Ke... (Below threshold)
Gerald:

LAI-
You blame Ted Kennedy for Bush's problems and then you want a serious response? I'm sorry, it's just not worth the effort. I can't give you a complete education from Kindergarten through college in a few blog posts. Your opinion, like your thinking, is irrelevant to the, to borrow a phrase, new realities which are currently being created. Good day, sir!

Gerald, You are so ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Gerald,
You are so lame. Bush co-sponsor the education bill with Ted Kennedy. That 's a known fact. It is another "big gov" program. Ted Kenneday is a liberal big gov guy. So Bush doesn't earn points for his support for small gov from the conservative base.
You are so ignorant that you have to resort to the typical liberal ad-hominen distraction. No facts to show yet. That 's why you are so easily fall for the liberal cheap talking points. Using Matthew 's terminology, only the lazy and unserious would go for the dem party.

Dunno where you got that Th... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Dunno where you got that Thompson doesn't want the VP slot... Right now, he can't commit fully to campaigning due to the fact that his mom is dying. Family comes first with him. As for the VP thing, that was in actuality his original intent. The GOP wanted a conservative VP to back whichever of the McCain/Romney/Giuliani trio got the nod, so they started doing trial floats and he did better than expected.

<a href="http://cameron.blo... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:
Was he really even running?... (Below threshold)

Was he really even running? I never got the sense that he was serious about the whole thing.

I'm not surprised that Thom... (Below threshold)

I'm not surprised that Thompson dropped out. Sad, but not surprised. Thompson wasn't "energetic" about ingratiating himself with the ghoulish media. He didn't have the "gumption" to debase himself by participating in the usual mudslinging contests. And he certainly didn't lend credence to the utterly stupid questions put forward by small-minded debate moderators.

The man has my utmost admiration for holding true to the most important of all conservative principles; the less government does, the better they are.

I'd like to see him as VP. Imagine Fred presiding over the Senate :) people like Harry Reid and Bernard Sanders.

And finally, Barney, nobody takes you seriously because nobody believes for a second that you'll ever rise above a sixth grade mentality.

List, Check ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

List,
Check
Hot Air

And Oyster, those pearls yo... (Below threshold)
jerithompson:

And Oyster, those pearls you thought you were nurturing turned out to just be small pellet Fred droppings. BTW that pic on the Wizreaders looks a lot like Fred's spread cheeks down to the cankers & hairy warts.




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