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Fred Thompson returns to television

Fred Thompson is absent from the airwaves no more.
Former U.S. Senator, actor and 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson speaks  at the Americans for Prosperity Summit in Washington DC
Former U.S. Senator, actor and 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson premiered his first campaign ad in Iowa today.Matthew Cavanaugh / EPA
/ Source: National Journal

is absent from the airwaves no more.

The former Tennessee senator announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination two months ago via a TV ad that aired during a GOP debate he elected to skip in favor of an appearance on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Since then, Thompson has not purchased any subsequent airtime, even as GOP rivals and have focused their media strategies on TV and radio spots.

Thompson's new biographical spot seeks to dispel some of the unfavorable characterizations Thompson has incurred since entering the race. Although his initial foray was heralded at first, once Thompson's prolonged "testing the waters" phase was over, the punditry quickly turned on him.

Thompson spokesman Darrel Ng brushed off past criticisms of Thompson from religious leaders and the media and explained the reasoning behind the biographical ad. "While many people have heard of Fred Thompson," he said, "many people don't know what he stands for yet."

The new ad opens with Thompson greeting folks in a diner, saying his conservative roots go back to his days as a teenager in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. He then details his record in the Senate as a champion for tax cuts, a supporter of conservative judges and a legislator with a 100-percent pro-life voting record. "We must remember that our rights come from God and not from government," he tells viewers. The 60-second spot and a condensed 30-second version premiere today in Iowa and nationally on FOX News.

Ng said the ad's message focuses on conservative principles because that has been the crux of Thompson's campaign. "It's who he was in 1994 when first elected to the Senate," Ng explained. "It's who he is now and who he will be eight years from now."

Romney attacks 'intern' Clinton
After last week's bruising Democratic debate, people are beginning to wonder if it's now acceptable to attack a female candidate. But Mitt Romney isn't waiting for an answer, as his latest TV ad hits Democratic front-runner for her alleged managerial inexperience.

In what's become one of the most popular campaign tactics for both Democrats and Republicans in the White House race, the former Massachusetts governor attacks Clinton by using one of his best sound bites from a recent debate.

The ad reiterates Romney's assertion that the New York senator and former first lady lacks the executive experience to be president. "She hasn't run a corner store. She hasn't run a state. She hasn't run a city," he says. "And the idea that she could learn to be president as an internship just doesn't make any sense." By putting down Clinton, Romney also reminds voters of his own executive experience as a CEO, governor and Olympics organizer.