Thompson Exits GOP Race
Politician-turned-actor-turned-politician abandons White House bid
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2008 1:39 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., address supporters during a post-primary campaign rally on the campus of The University of South Carolina Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Honey-voiced presidential candidate Fred Thompson has ended his campaign after a disappointing third-place finish in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, Fox News reports. The exiting hopeful, famed for his role as District Attorney Arthur Branch on “Law and Order,” has been calling friends and supporters today to announce the end of his campaign. The ex-Senator from Tennessee will speak publicly as early as tonight.

In a statement confirming his exit, Thompson said, “I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort.” National polls put Thompson fifth in the GOP race, down from second in early September. The "Clear Conservative Choice" hinted at his decision in his concession speech Saturday, when he seemed ready to quit.