Fred Thompson Quits Presidential Race
NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - Republican Fred Thompson, the actor-politician who attracted more attention as a potential presidential candidate than as a real one, quit the race for the White House on Tuesday after a string of poor finishes in early primary and caucus states.
Thompson played coy about his intentions all the while taking steps to prepare for a formal entrance into the race with a flourish. He cut ties with NBC, visited early voting states and delivered high-profile speeches. And, he started raising money and set up a preliminary campaign organization.
His easygoing style and reputation for laziness translated into a light campaign schedule that raised questions about his desire to be president. A spate of inartful answers to campaign-trail questions—on everything from the Terri Schiavo case to Osama bin Laden—didn't help matters.
A couple of months after his 38-year-old daughter died of a heart attack, Thompson announced he would not run for re-election in 2002.
Associated Press Writer Joan Lowy in Washington contributed to this report.