Just four Thompson supporters showed up at Utah Republican Party headquarters for the event, leaving dozens of untouched cookies and vegetable snacks provided in hopes a much bigger crowd would materialize.
Those present listened in on a live nationally broadcast conference call in which the new candidate thanked his supporters and told them he would be the candidate who wouldn't just give lip service to topics such as the war in Iraq.
"It's time to be resolute and firm," he said. "We face enemies who have no conscience and follow no rules."
That strong military rhetoric is what drew both Jennifer Stephens, of Salt Lake, City, and Byran Best, of Magna, both former Marines.
"While he was in the Senate, I liked his stance on the war," Best said, adding Thompson also fit his Christian values.
Brenda Caine of Salt Lake City said Thompson's timing in entering the race was "wonderful."
"America has been on vacation all summer, and now [voters are] starting to pay attention," she said.
She views Thompson as the only Republican who is strong on all areas, ranging from his anti-abortion views to talking frankly about problems with Social Security.
"He's a solid conservative," she said, adding that his acting experience allows him to better communicate with the media and personally connect with people through television.
Grant Lynn, state coordinator of Fredheads USA, hosted the gathering and said Thompson has "a really good chance" of winning the election. "People should look and see if his values match theirs," he said. "If it feels right, they should support him."
Most polls of Republican voters have Thompson in second place, behind Rudy Giuliani, or third, behind Giuliani and Mitt Romney.
For more information on Thompson, visit his Web site, http://www.fred08.com/index.aspx.