Thompson hails McCain as man of character

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Fred Thompson, a former rival of John McCain's, is praising the Republican presidential candidate as a man of integrity and a reformer who challenged Washington's status quo.

The former Tennessee senator and actor said McCain has the "kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of history have sought in their leaders."

Republicans released excerpts of Thompson's remarks slated for Tuesday night.

Thompson, best known as the gruff district attorney on NBC's "Law & Order," dropped out of the presidential race in January after his much-anticipated campaign failed to gain strong support among conservatives.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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