Possible candidate Thompson opposes timetable for Iraq pullout

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Actor Fred Thompson, a former senator considering a presidential run, said Friday that the top U.S. general in Iraq convinced him that it's wrong to set a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq so that the U.S. can leave on "our terms and not al-Qaida's."

Polls show Thompson well-liked in a Republican field for 2008, but he deflected questions Friday about a White House run.

"I have a general idea in my mind" about the timing of a decision, he said, "but I'm not discussing it right now."

Thompson and former Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., spoke to about 100 guests invited by Electronic Data Systems Corp. at the company's professional golf tournament.

It was a placid and wonkish discussion, although Bradley, a former presidential candidate, tweaked his former Senate colleague a couple times about the White House flirtation.

As a senator from Tennessee, Thompson voted in 2002 to authorize the use of force against Iraq.

Whether Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction is "relevant," but more importantly, he could have rebuilt WMD or even nuclear capabilities, Thompson said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)