"I want to thank the people of Iowa who were welcoming and supportive as well as my volunteers and contributors from around the country," said Thompson. "I have no regrets about running. I felt my record as Governor of Wisconsin and Secretary of Health and Human Services gave me the experience I needed to serve as President, but I respect the decision of the voters. I am leaving the campaign trail today, but I will not leave the challenges of improving health care and welfare in America."
Thompson, who was elected to serve four terms as Wisconsin Governor and four years as Secretary of Health and Human Services, began exploring a presidential bid last December. Weeks ago, he told supporters and the news media that if he did not do well in the Iowa Straw Poll, he would step aside and leave others to work for the Republican nomination.
Q Mr. Secretary, given what we know, is there any reason to believe this is a result of terrorism?
SECRETARY THOMPSON: It appears that this is just an isolated case. There's no evidence of terrorism -- at this ...
Q Do you know if he happened to work around wool or any of the products that might have --
SECRETARY THOMPSON: We don't know that at this point in time. That's entirely possible. We do know that he drank water out of a stream when he was traveling to North Carolina last week. But as far as wool or other things, it's entirely possible. We haven't got all of the investigations done. And we're doing a tremendous extensive job of investigating everything. ...
Q Mr. Secretary, do we know, was this inhalation anthrax? Was this fellow a hunter?
SECRETARY THOMPSON: It appears at this point in time it's inhalation.
Q Do you know if he was a hunter?
SECRETARY THOMPSON: We don't know that. We know he was an outdoorsman, so it's entirely possible that he was --
Q Mr. Secretary, can you be certain that it's an isolated case?
Q Can you explain why he was drinking from a stream? (Laughter.) Is that a reason -- should we know that? Why are you giving us that detail?
SECRETARY THOMPSON: Just because he was an outdoorsman, and there is a possibility that -- there are all kinds of possibilities ...