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Actor announces bid for US presidency -

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Actor announces bid for US presidency

Broadcast: 06/09/2007

Reporter: David Lawrence

Veteran actor and former US senator Fred Thompson has announced his intention to run for the White
House as a Republican candidate.


LEIGH SALES: He's played the part of the American president, now he wants the job for real.

Actor Fred Thompson has launched his bid for the White House, putting his name forward for the
Republican nomination.

He's vowed to invigorate what he calls a "dispirited party".

David Lawrence reports.

DAVID LAWRENCE: In a country where show business has a status way beyond mere entertainment, the
phrase "actor turned politician" raises few eyebrows.

Clint Eastwood famously became Mayor of Carmel in California but refused requests to take his
political ambitions further.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: Now it's time we terminate Gray Davis.

DAVID LAWRENCE: Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn't reticent, making it all the way to the Governor's
mansion. But the most famous journey from Hollywood took one factor all the way to the White House
and two terms as president.

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER US PRESIDENT: Sometimes when the team is up against it, and the breaks are
beating the boys...

... ask them to go in there with all they've got.

DAVID LAWRENCE: Now another star is making his bid for the top job. Fred Thompson is known to most
Americans as a prosecutor in the TV series, Law and Order.

(excerpt from NBC's television drama Law and Order)

FRED THOMPSON, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You give this letter to that publicity-seeking
gasbag they call the judge and you can kiss this trial goodbye.

(end of excerpt)

(excerpt from NBC's television talk showTonight with Jay Leno)

{cyan}The President going crazy, speculating about why happening, let's find out. Please welcome
Fred Thompson.

(end of excerpt)

DAVID LAWRENCE: The Tennessee Senator had been long expected to join the race.

(excerpt from NBC's television talk showTonight with Jay Leno)

FRED THOMPSON: That's one of the thing I wanted to talk to you about. I'm running for President of
the United States.


(audience cheers and claps)

(end of excerpt)

DAVID LAWRENCE: Thompson joins eight other Republicans bidding for the White House, none of whom
have so far managed to ignite much enthusiasm among America's conservative voters.

They've been quick to criticise the new candidate, questioning his late arrival in the race and his
decision to go on television rather than join them on the campaign trail.

MIKE HUCKABEE, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was scheduled to be on Jay Leno tonight but I
gave up my slot for somebody else because I'd rather be in New Hampshire with these fine people.

JOHN MCCAIN, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The people of New Hampshire expect to see you at
Town Hall meetings and in places all over this State of New Hampshire and they expect to examine
you before they make up their mind.

RUDY GIULIANI, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You've got to go out there, like these gentlemen,
and I have done, you've got to meet people in Iowa, New Hampshire, all over the country.

(excerpt from NBC's television talk showTonight with Jay Leno)

FRED THOMPSON: For those who talk about that New Hampshire situation, I'm not disrespecting them,
but it's a lot more difficult to get on the Tonight show than in a presidential election.

JAY LENO: Exactly!

(end of excerpt)

DAVID LAWRENCE: Fred Thompson told supporters he would strive for the return of a Republican
controlled Congress and vowed to do everything in his power to prevent another Clinton from
capturing the presidency.

David Lawrence, Lateline.