From NBC's Carrie Dann
You might be running for president if ... you've got hecklers.
At a quick campaign stop at a Texas airport this morning, candidate-in-waiting Fred Thompson faced harassment from a young woman who was vocally displeased with the senator's conservative credentials. Her beef? Thompson's membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think-tank known as an influential heavyweight on US policy making.
The disgruntled woman worked her way into a reporter scrum and peppered Thompson with questions about his membership in CFR, which she derided as "the same group that's forming the North American Union with Canada and Mexico." Thompson, chuckling, replied: "Don't fuss at me, now," and went on to describe his participation in CFR and the American Enterprise Institute -- a conservative think-tank based in DC -- as sources for his "intellectual exercise."
The scrum went on, but at its end the woman's chorus of complaint started anew. "You are not a real conservative, sir!" she yelled as she was escorted out by police and TSA officials. "Please look into this, people!" Thompson ignored her on his way out to the waiting car.
Thompson's verbal scuffle with the woman -- who declined to identify herself to reporters -- might overshadow some other noteworthy questions addressed by the senator, including one about allegations that he has been funneling leftover PAC money to his son Daniel. Thompson called the charge "totally false," and insisted that his son's management of campaign funds is merely "common practice."
On the big "when" question that follows him around like his shadow, Thompson demurred again, saying that he'll be "making a final decision in the not so distant future," he appealed for patience with a touch of serene wisdom. "All things in good time."
****UPDATE****Per NBC's Clint Houston, on the ground in Hobby, TX....
In addition to Thompson's vocal heckler, a second protestor was asked to leave the premises at this morning's campaign stop in Hobby. Unlike his counterpart, the man went quietly out a back door at officials' request. Neither protestor was arrested after being escorted off the property by police.
Here's the kicker: The two were spotted leaving together in a car sporting a Ron Paul bumper sticker.