ABC News Christine Byun Reports: Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson railed against Iran this afternoon, calling it "a threat to the entire free world."
"The United States must make it clear that we will not allow Iran to become a nuclear threat," Thompson said, adding, "The military option must never be off the table."
Thompson categorized Iran as a "training ground" for terrorism, saying the United States government must "get rid of their hated regime" by asking "friendly" Arab states and allies in the region for help. When asked by an audience member about possible allies, Thompson said there were "glimmers of hope" in the region, mentioning Jordan as a possibility. Of Saudi Arabia, he said he’s "got a lot of problems" with the country’s government, but stopped short of calling them an "enemy."
The GOP hopeful, guided by notes, promised that he would "make clear that we support Israel’s right to defend itself" to a thinning crowd of Republican Jewish Coalition members in Washington DC. Thompson followed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and was the last candidate to address the group this afternoon.
Just one day after he criticized rival Rudy Giuliani’s credentials as a conservative, Thompson did not renew his attacks, but offered his strategy for defeating the Democrats in 2008.
"I don’t think we need to worry as much about Hillary Clinton as we need to worry about ourselves. If we react to her and try to finesse and obsess about that, I think we’re playing right into their hands. I think we need to concentrate on what we ought to do. It’s not our candidate versus her, it’s our candidate and the American people and that’s what it all comes down to," Thompson said.
The former actor was also asked by an audience member about his stint as District Attorney Arthur Branch on the TV show, "Law &Order."
"Those times when Arthur Branch is humble, and lovable, and kind of cuddly and friendly – that’s a lot like me. Those times he’s mean and unsurely and short-tempered, that’s not me," Thompson said.