Iran General NewsThompson: Iran helping kill U.S. troops

Thompson: Iran helping kill U.S. troops

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AP: Fred Thompson, the politician and actor considering a White House bid, said Friday he favors helping the Iranian people overthrow the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if the chance arises. Associated Press

By DAVID KOENIG

Associated Press Writer

IRVING, Texas (AP) – Fred Thompson, the politician and actor considering a White House bid, said Friday he favors helping the Iranian people overthrow the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if the chance arises.

The former Tennessee senator accused Tehran of “playing a larger part in killing our soldiers” in neighboring Iraq.

Many Iranians don’t like their government, “and I think we ought to capitalize on that,” Thompson told The Associated Press. “There is a chance they may mobilize themselves, and we need to assist them if that happens.”

Some public opinion polls show Thompson registering in the double digits even though he hasn’t announced his political plans. On Friday, he deflected questions about a White House run.

“I have a general idea in my mind” about the timing of a decision, he said, “but I’m not discussing it right now.”

Thompson and former Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., spoke to about 100 guests invited by Electronic Data Systems Corp. at the company’s professional golf tournament.

Bradley, who ran for president in 2000, tweaked his former Senate colleague a couple times about the White House flirtation.

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WASHINGTON (AP) – New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who has yet to endorse a presidential candidate, touted home state Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the job Friday.

Both Democrats spoke to a convention of New York State teachers at a Washington hotel, and when Spitzer followed Clinton to the podium, he gushed that she would be the next president.

“What an amazing president she will be for every person in this country,” said Spitzer, who for months has avoided making an early endorsement in the Democrats’ nomination contest, calling such a move premature.

Spitzer and Clinton did meet privately before their joint public appearance. Clinton flew to Washington after a debate Thursday night in South Carolina and planned to fly back to the state to campaign after the teachers convention.

At the podium, the governor joked the crowd shouldn’t expect as good a speech from him.

“Having her go first reminded me of a luncheon I was at about a year or so ago and Jerry Seinfeld spoke before I did,” he said. “It’s a tough act to follow.”

Clinton was almost as effusive, praising the reform-minded governor for trying to “break some of the political pottery” in the state capital.

The senator’s voice grew raspy as she rapped President Bush over funding levels and testing requirements under the No Child Left Behind law.

Sounding like a stern mom, the former first lady said today’s youth need some old-fashioned discipline.

“I believe it is time we get back to teaching discipline, self-control, patience, punctuality,” she said, to applause from the crowd of educator activists.

WHITMORE LAKE, Mich. (AP) – Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Friday accused Democrats of surrendering the Iraq war and said the United States must defeat the Islamic jihad movement.

Romney, who was born and raised in Michigan and is the son of former Gov. George Romney, told people attending a fundraising dinner that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was wrong to say the war in Iraq was “lost.”

The U.S. won the war to take out Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, Romney said.

In a campaign appearance earlier Friday in Pittsburgh, the former Massachusetts governor said he wished that his Democratic counterparts had focused on preventing the nuclear armament of Iran and the threat of global jihad during their televised debate Thursday night, not withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Romney said he wants to see the results of President Bush’s strategy to increase the number of troops in Baghdad, which he said he supports “as long as there’s a pathway that has a reasonable probability of success.”

“I think we’re going to know whether this is working in a matter of months, not years,” he said.

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Associated Press writers Devlin Barrett in Washington, Daniel Lovering in Pittsburgh and David Eggert in Whitmore Lake, Mich., contributed to this report.

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