Thompson eyes 2008; McCain makes it nearly official

The former HHS secretary says the country needs a candidate from the Midwest.

Tim Grieve
November 16, 2006 6:47PM (UTC)

The 2006 elections may have spelled the demise of a couple of would-be GOP presidential campaigns, but the Republicans won't suffer from a lack of candidates. Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson says he'd like to add his name to a field already dominated by John McCain and Rudy Giuliani and populated by nearly a dozen others.

The Des Moines Register asked Thompson this week if he'd like to run for president in 2008. "Why not?" he said. "I'm from the Midwest. There should be a Midwestern candidate for president."


A little more substantively, Thompson said that he expects '08 to revolve around healthcare and energy -- anyone remember Iraq? -- and he said that he's qualified to lead on both. Since leaving HHS, the former Wisconsin governor has, among other things, been a partner in a business that's trying to build an ethanol plant.

Thompson said he expects to make a decision about the race by the spring and that he'll be setting up an exploratory committee soon. McCain will announce the creation of his tonight. In an e-mail message to supporters, he says that last week's election results were a setback for the Republican Party but not "a repudiation of our values and our beliefs." "America remains a conservative country," McCain writes.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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2008 Elections John Mccain, R-ariz. War Room

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