Hollywood, Fla. (AP) -- Fred Thompson energized young Republicans at their national convention in Florida Saturday.
Chants of "Run, Fred, Run," greeted the actor and former Tennessee Senator, who called the Democratic Party the "party of despair."
The crowd interrupted his nine-minute speech with wild applause and mobbed him when he left.
Thompson's speech came on the heels of reports that a pro-abortion rights group hired him to lobby President George H.W. Bush's administration 16 years ago.
When asked about the matter, he refused to say whether he recalled doing the work.
Thompson has formed an exploratory committee to gauge support for a White House run and raise money. He is expected to announce presidential run soon.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)