Fred Thompson makes his candidacy for president official

Associated Press Writer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Fred Thompson - veteran actor, former Republican senator - launched his bid for the presidency Hollywood style.

"I'm running for president of the United States," Thompson told Jay Leno in a taped appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show" airing Wednesday.

Thompson also is calling attention to his candidacy with a 30-second ad being broadcast during a Republican debate in New Hampshire that he is not participating in.

He also will explain the rationale for his candidacy during a 15-minute Webcast on his Web site just after midnight.

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