Fred’s drug-dealer quits campaign

An adviser to Republican Fred Thompson quit the presidential candidate’s campaign Monday, one day after a report about his decades-old criminal record for drug dealing.

“I have decided to resign my position as chair of ‘First Day Founders’ of ‘The Friends of Fred Thompson,'” Philip Martin said in a statement. “The focus of this campaign should be on Fred Thompson’s positions on the issues and his outstanding leadership ability, not on mistakes I made some 24 years ago. I deeply regret any embarrassment this has caused.”

The campaign issued the statement.

Thompson has flown around the country in a private jet borrowed from Martin, a businessman and co-chairman of Thompson’s campaign, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Martin pleaded guilty to the sale of 11 pounds of marijuana in 1979, but the court withheld judgment pending completion of his probation. In 1983, he was charged with violating probation and multiple counts of bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. He pleaded no contest to the cocaine-trafficking and conspiracy charges, and was continued on probation, the newspaper said.

Thompson said Sunday he was unaware of Martin’s criminal past, but that he wouldn’t “throw my friend under the bus” for decades-old indiscretions.

Thompson said he learned about Martin’s past on Saturday, and understood that the crimes were committed when he was in his 20s and living in Florida, before Martin moved to Tennessee and the two became friends.

“Nobody’s made any accusations that he’s done anything illegal with regard to our campaign,” said Thompson, questioned about it on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I know Phil is a good man. He is my friend. He is going to remain my friend. He didn’t go to jail, he got probation, he’s paid his debt to society and turned himself around and become a good, productive, successful citizen,” Thompson said.

He said he would talk to Martin and figure out “what the right thing is,” but that “I’m not going to throw my friend under the bus for something he did, you know, 25 years ago if he’s OK now.”


  1. SEAL

    Thompson said Sunday he was unaware of Martin’s criminal past, but that he wouldn’t “throw my friend under the bus” for decades-old indiscretions.

    I wonder what he would have called it if it had been one of his rivals?

    However, my attitude is that the man’s record the past 24 years should be investigated before making any judgments. I know several people with criminal records acquired in their youth who turned out to be very good and trustworthy people. Some people DO learn a lesson, yanno.

    Besides, the reality is that the only crime in America anymore is getting caught. Even then, if you know the right people…. Scooter Libby?

  2. Carl Nemo

    Fred Thompson:

    Burnt out…?
    Had his day in the sun…?
    A Republican retread…?

    It’s stunning that the Republicans would embrace this guy at all, as if he’s the “great white hope” for their party!?

    When he speaks, my skin crawls for “him”, with embarrassment, me thinking of the “Gong Show” of many years past. :))

    In a way I feel sorry for him. He’s been pushed into this position when in reality his nature is to enjoy his evenings with his wife and close women friends over a fine steak, twice-baked potato, some veggies and fine wine. Instead he’s been duped, late in life, to foolishly get involved with the merry-go-round chase of national, presidential politics. I’d be impressed if he came forth and said simply screw this and went back to his quite blessed, normal life. He’ll never make it to the presidency and is simply wasting his time; ie. what little he has left…!

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. ekaton

    “He’ll never make it to the presidency and is simply wasting his time; ie. what little he has left…!”

    Thats what I thought about Ronald Reagan, and I think Thompson already has early Alzheimers as Reagan surely did when first elected. I don’t see how Thompson could get the nomination, let alone win the election, but nothing else makes sense anymore so why not?

    Pretty scary.

    — Kent Shaw

  4. adamrussell

    Isnt it ironic how republicans moan about the hollywood elite, and yet seem to keep electing actors? Ron Reagan, Sonny Bono, Arnold Schwartzeneggar, Fred Thompson,…

  5. barak

    Damn! And Phil had just promised 3 kilos of Acupulco Gold to pass out to the potential campaign workers…

  6. old_curmudgeon

    Fred, Baby! Do you really expect us to believe that you really didn’t know about the past history of your “good friend?” Come On. What do you take us for? Sheep? Hmmmm…. Sad.

  7. Janet

    Of course Fred knew. Where do you think he got his weed. It’s obvious Fred’s on something. Nobody is that dull and slow without being on drugs.