Republican presidential hopeful Tommy Thompson drew criticism after a debate earlier this month where he said companies should be able to fire homosexual employees. Thompson has said the misstatement was the result of not hearing the question properly because of deafness in one ear and a dead hearing aid battery.

However, during a meeting with Wisconsin reporters at the State GOP Convention over the weekend, Thompson also mentioned illness playing a role in the mistake. The former Wisconsin Governor says he had been very ill for several weeks leading up to the election, even ending up in an emergency room just a few days before it took place. Thompson says his flu-like symptoms took his attention away from the debate and that's part of the reason why he didn't focus clearly on the question.

Thompson also restated the point that his comments during the debate do not reflect his legislative record on discrimination issues. 

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 :56)

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