Nashville (AP) -- Likely Republican Presidential Candidate Fred Thompson is defending his past work as a Washington lobbyist.
The actor and former US Senator tells the Associated Press that lobbying is an important part of life because, as he puts it, "government's got their hands in everything."
Thompson earned more than one million dollars lobbying the federal government for more than 20 years. He lobbied for a savings-and-loan deregulation bill that helped hasten the industry's collapse and a failed nuclear energy project that cost taxpayers more than a billion dollars.
He also was a lobbyist for deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Thompson says he expects to hear criticism about his lobbying activities as he moves closer to declaring his candidacy. Opponents emphasized his lobbying work during his senate races in 1994 and 1996.
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