The Law & Order candidate
[PoliticsWatch updated 5:20 p.m. April 12, 2007]
|Former Senator Fred Thompson has pulled
ahead of John McCain in Republican presidential polls.
OTTAWA — He's
not an official candidate for the Republican nomination, but former
senator and television star Fred Thompson is looking more and more
like one after events this week.
The latest major presidential race poll released on Wednesday
showed that Thompson is in second place behind former New York
City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and ahead of Arizona Senator John
The LA Times/Bloomberg poll found Giuliani had 29 per cent support
among Republicans, Thompson 15 and McCain 12 per cent.
Thompson's sudden surge in the race is yet another indication that
Republicans are not comfortable with the conservative credentials of
the current crop of candidates.
Giuliani's views on abortion and gun control have been called out of
step with the party's base and McCain is regarded as too much of a
maverick and media darling.
At a breakfast meeting of social conservative leaders hosted by the
Christian Science monitor in Washington on Wednesday, Thompson is
being viewed as an alternative over McCain and Giuliani.
"I think people are looking for a candidate who can cast a broader vision for the country,"
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said. "It's not Fred Thompson that's creating the excitement; it's the fact that somebody else may get into the
race. There's this vacuum…."
Another conservative Christian group, The American Family
Association, announced on Thursday that Thompson, whose name has
only circulating as a potential candidate for just over a month, is
their current leader of an online straw poll.
Thompson had 17,280 votes, well ahead of second-place finish former
House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who had just 6,857 votes.
However, strong polling numbers and public support from social
conservatives aren't the only indicators that Thompson's bid for the
White House is taking shape.
On Wednesday, Thompson revealed in an exclusive interview with the
Fox News Channel that he had been diagnosed with indolent lymphoma,
a form of cancer.
Thompson was diagnosed more than two years ago and the cancer is in
So why was he telling the world something that he had kept to just
his family and friends for the past two years?
"As you know, I'm thinking about running for president,"
he told Fox. "There are certain things you have to check off, in my mind, in order to do that. Some of them are professional, your business obligations. Some of them are political.
"Some of them are personal . . . This is a part of that; what I'm doing today is a part of that."
"Anytime you mention the C-word, you know, it causes concern, although a lot of people in politics have successfully dealt with it. And I wanted to make sure it wasn't misconstrued or the wrong story got out about it and what it was like."
If Thompson's own comments were not enough to show he is seriously
considering running, one of his advisers made it crystal clear in an
interview with the Politico on Wednesday of Thompson's
"This means he is very serious about running, since he is an intensely private
man," the unnamed aide said about the cancer revelation.
Thompson, 64, served one-term as a Senator for Tennessee. He is also
an actor who has appeared in over 23 motion pictures and is a regular on television's Law & Order.
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