by Steven Ertelt
January 22, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Fred Thompson was the hope of many pro-life advocates last year as a possible Republican candidate who could represent the pro-life perspective and unite the various factions of the Republican Party. That hope ended on Tuesday as the former Tennessee senator left the presidential race.
"Today, I have withdrawn my candidacy for president of the United States," Thompson said. "I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort."
The GOP hopeful did not say whether he would endorse another candidate, but a Thompson staffer indicated he would not seek a position as a vice-presidential running mate.
National Review reporter Jim Geraghty indicated early Tuesday that Thompson has not spoken with any other campaign about making an endorsement should he pull out of the contest. Political observers have speculated he would support his former Senate colleague John McCain.
McCain, an Arizona senator who is pro-life on abortion but backs embryonic stem cell research that destroys lives, received Thompson’s endorsement when he campaigned for the Republican nod in 2000.
Thompson came in third place in Iowa and second in Wyoming but after a poor showings in New Hampshire and Michigan and a third place in South Carolina, the former attorney and actor never built the momentum he needed.
Some political observers panned Thompson saying he lacked the resolve to run a hard-charging race in the midst of a very competitive Republican field.
After South Carolina, Thompson went to Tennessee to spend time with his ailing mother and has not set foot in Florida, the site of the next big GOP presidential contest.
Thompson received the endorsement of National Right to Life and more than a dozen of its state affiliates but he appeared uninterested in running and didn’t come on strong until after the New Hampshire primary. By then, it was too late for him to salvage his campaign.
In his speech following the South Carolina primary, Thompson struck a reminiscent tone and appeared to be giving a farewell address.