Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson says his staff seriously considered advising him to pull out of the Iowa Republican Party’s Straw Poll when presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and John McCain withdrew last week, but Thompson says he never considered skiping it and he’s calling on his two rivals to reconsider.
"I think that it is as important as it has ever been, and probably more so," Thompson says.
Each of the candidates who participates in the Straw Poll will be given a chance to speak to the crowd gathered in Ames and Thompson suggests it is that aspect which should prompt Giuliani and McCain to reconsider. "I believe the voters of Iowa as well as the voters across the country deserve the chance to hear the uncensored comments of Republicans running for president," Thompson says. "Not to take advantage of this opportunity, I think, is a mistake and hopefully we will be able to convince all Republican candidates to participate on August 11th."
Thompson has repeatedly told reporters he hopes to win or place second in the Straw Poll. "If Fred Thompson gets in…I think all eyes are going to be on the August 11th Straw Poll," Tommy Thompson says. "And if Fred Thompson doesn’t get in, I still think it will be."
Tommy Thompson maintains that if it’s just him, Mitt Romney and Sam Brownback participating in the Straw Poll, it’ll still be newsworthy.