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Former Gov. Tommy Thompson is making his 2012 U.S. Senate campaign official. Former Gov. Tommy Thompson is making his 2012 U.S. Senate campaign official.

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson is making his 2012 U.S. Senate campaign official.

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher October 4, 2011

You can be forgiven if it seems like Tommy Thompson has been a candidate for the U.S. Senate for months.

In June 2011, the former Wisconsin governor and U.S. health and human services secretary announced he had hired two veteran fund raisers for a campaign for the seat being vacated in 2012 by Democrat Herb Kohl.

Two months later, Thompson announced the co-chairmen of his campaign. And then in September 2011, he said he was filing incorporation papers to begin organizing a campaign and to raise money for a Senate run.

But with the news that Thompson, a Republican, will file his statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Oct. 4, 2011, Thompson finally is officially becoming a candidate -- which makes it a good time to review his PolitiFact  record.

PolitiFact Wisconsin and our colleagues at PolitiFact National have rated seven Thompson-related statements, four by Thompson himself.

Two Thompson statements were rated by PolitiFact National -- both during his brief presidential run in 2007 and both earning a True. Thompson said he created the first school choice program in the nation and said he was the father of welfare reform.

PolitiFact Wisconsin gave Thompson a Mostly True when he said U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. -- the only declared Democrat for Kohl’s seat -- ranks as the most liberal member of the House of Representatives. And he received a Pants on Fire for saying Club for Growth Wisconsin had endorsed his Senate bid.   

The national Club for Growth and EMILY’s List each earned a Half True from us for statements about Thompson. Club for Growth said Thompson supported "Obamacare" and EMILY’s List said that, as governor, he pushed a law that exposed abortion providers to a potential life term in prison.

PolitiFact Wisconsin’s first item about Thompson item was on a Huffington Post report that said he wanted to implant data chips in humans. We rated that claim Mostly True.

We’ve also put Baldwin and GOP Senate hopefuls Mark Neumann and Jeff Fitzgerald to the Truth-O-Meter test.

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A look at the Thompson file