Presidential Candidate Fred Thompson in Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) _ Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson is touting his message of beefing up the military and securing the nation's borders to the conservative Florida Panhandle.

Thompson was in Pensacola today, a town that is home to Pensacola Naval Air Station and populated by military retirees. He told his supporters that the average 20-year-old soldier in Iraq has a better understanding of national security than the average 20-year-veteran of Capitol Hill.

And he said that the U.S. should not pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan with, in his words, "our tail between our legs.'' Thompson also said Americans are not getting the good news about the progress in Iraq made since the recent troop surge.

Thompson said he would also secure the nation's borders to avert terrorist threats.

He trails the four top Republican presidential candidates in Florida.

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