(CNN) — Republican Fred Thompson has long faced criticism he lacks motivation to be President of the United States, but the Tennessee Republican’s latest comments Saturday are likely to spawn fresh heat.
“I’m not particularly interested in running for president,” the former senator said at a campaign event in Burlington when challenged by a voter over his desire to be commander-in-chief.
“But I think I’d make a good president,” Thompson continued. “I have the background, capability, and concern to do this and I’m doing it for the right reasons.”
Thompson took heat for not jumping into the White House race until September — significantly later than every other candidate — and has since been criticized for his lax campaign style and often-times light schedule.
The former actor has criticized his rivals for launching their presidential bids months ahead of his, and continually touts the fact he hasn’t harbored presidential ambitions his whole career.
“I am not consumed by personal ambition,” Thompson also said Saturday. “I’m offering myself up.”
“I’m only consumed by a few things and politics is not one of them.”
But Thompson also said the sacrifices he has made to run for president proves he wants the top job.
“To be clean I had to cut everything off. I was doing speaking engagements and I had a contract to do a TV show, I had a contract with ABC Radio like I was talking about earlier and so forth,” he said. “I guess a man would have to be a total fool to do all those things and to be leaving his family, which is not a joyful thing at all, if he didn’t want to do it.”
CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
While you’re ringing in the new year on December 31, take some time to remember this post. Also remember this when it comes time for YOU to vote in the next election.
As of Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007, at least 3,901 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes eight military civilians. At least 3,175 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.
The British military has reported 174 deaths; Italy, 33; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 21; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Denmark, seven; El Salvador, five; Slovakia, four; Latvia, three; Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand, Romania, two each; and Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, South Korea, one death each.
Police radio transcripts from the night of a deadly tiger attack revealed a chaotic scene at the San Francisco Zoo as zookeepers struggled to sedate the animal and medics refused to enter until they knew they would be safe.
Zoo employees also initially questioned whether early reports of the Dec. 25 attack were coming from a mentally unstable person, according to an 18-page log of communications from police dispatchers to officers and emergency responders at the scene.
Police spokesman Sgt. Neville Gittens declined to comment beyond the transcript released late Friday. The police chief has praised officers for their quick action and collaborative work with the zoo staff.
Zoo officials on Saturday did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
The tiger that escaped from its enclosure killed 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr., whose throat was slashed while he tried to scare away the animal. Two of Sousa’s friends suffered bite and claw injuries. They were released from the hospital Saturday.
The first report of an attack — a male bleeding from the head — came in at 5:08 p.m.
According to the logs, zoo personnel initially told police that two men reporting the escaped tiger might be mentally disturbed and “making something up,” though one was bleeding from the back of the head.
But by 5:10 p.m., zoo employees reported that a tiger was loose. By 5:13 p.m., the zoo was being evacuated.
For several minutes, medics refused to enter the zoo until it had been secured. Meanwhile, zoo keepers were trying to round up what they initially believed to be multiple tigers on the loose and hit them with tranquilizers.
“Zoo personnel have the tiger in sight and are dealing with it,” reads a 5:17 p.m. note on the transcript.
The transcript does not indicate when police or emergency responders entered, but by 5:20 p.m. medics had located one victim with a large puncture hole to his neck. The tiger was still loose.
As medics attended to the victim, an officer spotted the tiger sitting down before it fled and began attacking another victim, according to the logs.
At 5:27 p.m., less than 20 minutes after the initial reports were made, the officers began firing, killing the 350-pound Siberian tiger.
It was unclear whether letting police and medics into the zoo sooner would have helped the victims or subjected emergency responders to greater danger with a tiger on the loose.
Late Saturday, about 50 people gathered outside the San Jose home of Souza’s grandmother to attend a candlelight vigil. Mourners watched silently as Souza’s father stood in front of two enlarged photos of he and his son together.
“My son Carlos was a very good boy” the elder Souza said, choking back tears. “I can see that he had a lot of friends here. I want you all to remember the good things that he did and carry this with you in your hearts for as long as you can.”
Police said Friday that they had completed their investigation on zoo grounds and that investigators “found absolutely no evidence of an intentional release.”
It has become increasingly clear that the tiger climbed over the wall of its enclosure, which at just under 12 1/2 high was about 4 feet below the recommended minimum for U.S. zoos.
Zoo officials said the zoo, which has been closed since the attack, would reopen Jan. 3. It could face heavy fines from regulators and lose its license. It also could be hit with a huge lawsuit by the victims or their families.
Meanwhile, at the Oakland Zoo, officials have said they plan to raise the height of the walls surrounding their tiger enclosure to avoid any escapes like the one in San Francisco. The current walls range from 13 1/2 to 16 feet.
Associated Press writers Ron Harris in San Jose and Marcus Wohlsen in San Francisco contributed to this report.
By Sam Evans, Associated Pass Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.
The numbers are in and the preliminary ratings indicate the 29 December 2007 game between the Patriots and Giants was the most watched broadcast in U.S. television history.
Up to this point, the most watched program in U.S. television history was the M*A*S*H series finale: “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen” which aired in 50.15 million households on 28 February, 1983 with a 77% share of the entire viewing audience. The M*A*S*H broadcast had 105.9 million total viewers. Since 2000, the most watched program was Super Bowl XLI Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears), which had 93.1 million million viewers on 4 February, 2007 .
Overnight ratings of the Patriots-Giants game show 53.2 million households watched the game. In addition, Nielsen Media Research is reporting overnight viewers totaled more than 107.3 million on the three networks broadcasting the game (NFL Network, NBC, CBS) and an 83% share of the total television viewing audience.
After weeks of insisting they wouldn’t cave in, NFL officials did just that Wednesday. As a result, all of America saw the Patriots’ make history. Saturday night’s game between New England and the New York Giants on the NFL Network, was also simulcast nationwide on CBS and NBC. It was the first time in NFL history the same game was broadcast on three separate networks at the same time.
The game itself also set several NFL records. Tom Brady and Randy Moss set single-season records for touchdown passes and TD catches, respectively, Saturday night when the New England Patriots stars combined on a 65-yard scoring pass play in the fourth quarter.
The play gave Brady 50 TD passes for the season, breaking Peyton Manning’s 2004 record of 49. Moss now has 23 catches, breaking the mark of Jerry Rice, who did it in 12 games during a strike-marred 1987 season.
The play and subsequent two-point conversion gave the Patriots a 31-28 fourth-quarter lead over the New York Giants and a record 582 points for the season. The old mark was 556 by the 1998 Vikings.
Brady and Moss earlier combined on a 4-yard touchdown pass. On the second one, Brady ran past safety James Butler, who seemed to reinjure a hamstring on the play. Moss caught the ball and trotted into the end zone. The New England Patriots finished the regular season 16-0 with a 38-35 win in East Rutherford, N.J.