Thompson’s Iowa Exit Strategy

Aug 11, 2007 10:09pm

ABC’s Z Byron Wolf reports: Former Governor of Wisconsin Tommy Thompson ended his presidential campaign today, after a poor showing in the Iowa Straw Poll.

"I have no regrets about running," Thomson said in a written statement.

Fewer than 2,000 votes separated Thompson from Iowa Straw Poll winner Mitt Romney.

But in between, there were also four other candidates, including wild-card Rep.Ron Paul, who actually gets lower poll numbers than Thompson in Iowa.

Thompson said as recently as yesterday that if he didn’t "win, place or show," it would be hard for him to carry on his campaign, which was already beset by low fundraising figures.

Thompson had visited every county in Iowa and been in the state every week this year, but this weekend he ended his presidential campaign there.

After the results of the straw poll were announced, Thompson’s advisor, Steve Grubbs, said it would be be "all but impossible" for the Governor’s campaign to continue.

Grubbs maintained that Thompson, who in addition to his time as Governor is considered the father of modern welfare reform and served in the Bush Administration as Secretary of Health and Human Services, has the best resume in the Republican field. But he said that in a straw poll on a hot day in Ames, it takes more than issue-driven candidates to rally die-hard supporters.

Thompson has campaigned not on one issue, like 5th place finisher and anti-amnesty crusader Rep. Tom Tancredo, but has in-depth plans for everything from Iraq to reforming health care.

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