News 12 at 6 o'clock, January 14, 2008
AIKEN, S.C. -- It was a standing room only crowd this afternoon as presidential candidate Fred Thompson brought his campaign to Aiken. News 12 talked one-on-one with Thompson.
Thompson met with voters at Papa Russ's BBQ as he starts his last minute push for votes. He says he's drawing the line in South Carolina. He needs a good showing here after what he calls a successful debate last week in Myrtle Beach. He's hunting for the Republican top spot come this Saturday night.
News 12: "On the campaign trail, how's it going and is the message you're trying to get to the voters really hitting home?"
Sen. Thompson: "I think so. I mean, you can tell from the crowd here in Aiken. It's not a normal crowd. And they've been bigger for me than they ever have been."
News 12: "There's some big issues out there right now. The war in Iraq, Illegal Immigration. What is your plan as the next president of the United States for those issues?"
Sen. Thompson: "The war, I think that's the most important one right now. I think we're on the verge of success as far as Iraq is concerned. We're seeing a lessening in violence. We're seeing commitment by the enemy coming over to our side that we've never seen before. I think we're gonna be able to bring the troops home, as part of the success before every long. If it looks like we run out of there with our tail between our legs, then we look weak and divided as a nation."
News 12: "Right now, you're in 4th place in several South Carolina polls here. The Primary is coming up in just 5 days. What do you need to go to make sure you're number 1 come Saturday evening?"
Sen. Thompson: "Just work hard. We've got a new ad coming out. We'll have a couple of ads on the airwaves this last week and we'll be very competitive in that regard. That alone with bringing it to the people."
News 12: "You said inside South Carolina is where you're drawing the line. Elaborate on that for me and what does this mean for the future of your campaign?"
Sen. Thompson: "It means that I need to do well here. There's no question about it. I'd be fooling myself or trying to fool somebody if I said otherwise."
Thompson says that does not mean he is bowing out of the race if he doesn't win. He says South Carolina will set the plan for the future.