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Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Thompson formally declares presidential run

Watch Thompson discuss Iraq in his announcement speech.

CLIVE, Iowa (CNN) -- Calling himself a "reliable conservative," former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson Tuesday officially joined the crowded Republican race for the White House.

"America is facing some tough times, some uncertain times," Thompson told supporters at an event center just outside of Des Moines, Iowa. "But it's time for America and Americans to come together, roll up our sleeves and get to work,"

Thompson briefly laid out a three-step plan for U.S. involvement in Iraq, part of which includes having the Iraqi government "vote" on whether the U.S. military should remain in that country. He also said the U.S. had a "responsibility and duty" to give service members in Iraq full resources.

"Withholding funding for our troops is not the answer," he said.

Invoking the Republican losses in last year's election, Thompson promised to restore fiscal conservatism if elected president.

"Republicans went to Washington and we lost our way," he said. "We tried to spend like Democrats and voters saw through the act."

The former Bush cabinet member is banking his political future on success among conservative Republican voters in January's Iowa caucuses. He has traveled to over 30 Iowa counties since the beginning of the year.

-- CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson

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