updated 10/22/2007 4:32:34 PM ET 2007-10-22T20:32:34

Defending his campaign work schedule, Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson said Monday his strategy is working and "I'm going to do it the way I want to do it."

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His absences in early-voting states have been noticed. Thompson hasn't been in South Carolina in more than a month, he scrapped a recent trip to New Hampshire and then canceled a news conference Saturday in Florida.

"You can name a lot of places that I haven't been, and you can name a lot of places that I have been several times," Thompson said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"I've been to Florida three or four times," he said. "The mainstream media, with all due respect, likes to concentrate on the process game on a daily basis, and I can't get caught up in that. I'm going to do it the way I want to do it."

Thompson pointed out he comes in second among Republicans in most national polls and has more than 100,000 contributors, despite making decisions that defy conventional wisdom.

He addressed the same issue at Sunday night's Republican debate in Orlando, answering a question about whether he is lazy. Thompson described his trajectory from teenage father to factory worker to federal prosecutor to Watergate counsel and senator, saying, "If a man can do all that and be lazy, I recommend it to everybody."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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