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Fred Thompson endorses Gingrich

Former US Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN)
Former US Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN)
Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Former US Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) on Monday took to the airwaves to endorse former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich for the Republican presidential nomination.

"I made my endorsement on Hannity last night," Thompson wrote Tuesday on his Twitter account. "These are serious times, and it's time for serious decisions."

"He can make the case for free markets and our basic case that lower taxes can be good for everybody," Thompson said on the Hannity Show. "Bring about growth, it's good for everybody. He is not afraid. He is tough. He is experienced. I don't think any more it's an advantage to be able to say I know nothing about the operation of the federal government.

"I know something about it. Newt knows something about it. It is colossal mess. I came to Washington in 1995 in part because of what was going on in the country right now that had generated in large part by the leadership of Newt Gingrich.

"He conceived and carried out really a revolution in American politics at that time. We were able to balance the budget for about four years in a row, pass welfare reform and begin to rebuild a depleted military. These things can be done, but we can't be apologetic about it or be tentative about it."

(For the full interview with Hannity, see the video on the left side of this page.)

While Thompson is best known as an actor who appeared in numerous movies and TV shows, including "Law and Order," he has spent many of his years in politics.

He managed Sen. Howard Baker Jr.'s 1972 re-election campaign and the next year was named chief counsel for the Republican members of the Senate Watergate Committee.

It was his questioning of White House aide Alexander Butterfield that revealed the existence of recorded tapes of President Richard Nixon's White House conversations. Contents of the tapes, ultimately, provided the "smoking gun" that brought down the Nixon presidency.

Thompson served in the U.S. Senate from 1994 to 2002; and was an unsuccessful candidate for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008.

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