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Fred Thompson: "Door Open" for Presidential Bid

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JACKSON BAKER

Former Tennessee senator and actor Fred Thompson, who has spent his time since leaving the U.S. Senate in 2002 as a principal on NBC-TV’s Law and Order, may be a candidate for president in 2008. “I’m giving some thought to it. I’m going to leave the door open,” Thompson told host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, thereby confirming a spate of recent rumors on various weblogs.

Republican Thompson, a 1964 graduate of the University of Memphis, acknowledged that his friend and mentor Howard Baker, another former Tennessee senator, had seriously promoted such a candidacy on the grounds that no acceptable conservative was so far in the running.

Quoting Adlai Stevenson, a Democratic candidate in 1952 and 1956, Thompson said the paradoxical task of a candidate was to “do what’s necessary to become president and still deserve to be president.”

In answer to Wallace’s questions, Thompson said he was pro-life, “tolerant” of gays but opposed to gay marriage, anti-gun control but supportive of campaign finance legislation and flexible on immigration law. He also said President Bush’s surge policy in Iraq should be given a chance to work.

Thompson opined that he would safely be able to wait as late as summer before deciding on the matter of a presidential run.

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