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Tommy Thompson dropping out of presidential race

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20240192/ Thompson dropping out of presidential race Campaign releases statement; ex-governor finishes 6th in Iowa straw poll
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 12 9:11 PM
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      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20240192/

      Thompson dropping out of presidential race
      Campaign releases statement; ex-governor finishes 6th
      in Iowa straw poll

      MILWAUKEE - Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson is
      dropping out of the race for the Republican
      presidential nomination, a campaign official said
      Sunday.

      His campaign released a statement saying the
      Republican is leaving the campaign trail several hours
      after WITI-TV in Milwaukee reported that Thompson told
      one of its reporters he was withdrawing.

      The campaign statement said Thompson intends to take
      sometime off before returning to the private sector
      and his nonprofit work.

      It said the 65-year-old says he’s comforted by the
      fact that he thinks he made a difference for people
      during his campaign.

      He finished sixth among eleven candidates in this
      weekend’s GOP straw poll in Iowa. He had said before
      the Iowa event that he would drop out of the race
      unless he finished first or second.

      The statement didn’t say whether he would endorse
      another candidate.

      A veteran of four successful campaigns for governor of
      Wisconsin, had a good track record of winning
      elections.

      He quit during his fourth term as governor to serve as
      President Bush’s secretary of Health and Human
      Services from 2001 to the end of 2004.

      He was first elected in 1966 at age 24 to the
      Wisconsin State Assembly, not long after he graduated
      from the University of Wisconsin. Twenty years later,
      he won his first term as governor.

      As governor, he earned a national reputation for
      policies that moved many Wisconsin families from
      welfare to work, gave minority families more options
      on where they could send children to school by giving
      religious and private schools up to $5,000 per student
      and expanded health care to include thousands of the
      working poor who had not previously qualified for
      current government programs. He pushed for changes in
      welfare laws before President Clinton and Congress
      took up the issue on the national level.

      Critics, however, charged the primary aim of
      Thompson’s welfare reforms was merely to get people
      off Wisconsin’s rolls and not necessarily to lift
      families out of poverty

      Born in Elroy, Wis., Thompson boasted about his
      small-town background. His father ran a gas station
      and a country grocery store.

      Thompson’s time heading the Department of Health and
      Human Services was marked by anthrax attacks, a flu
      vaccine shortage and passage of the Medicare
      prescription law. Thompson was a key player in Bush’s
      AIDS initiative, a commitment of $15 billion over five
      years for treatment and prevention of the disease that
      was rapidly spreading overseas. Thompson traveled
      frequently to Africa during his Cabinet service.

      A fan of Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson, Thompson has
      long taken an annual motorcycle trip with lawmakers,
      motorcycle enthusiasts and campaign supporters.

      He touted his background as a Midwest governor and
      former HHS secretary as valuable credentials for a
      presidential candidate.
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