Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson is facing increased calls to get into the 2008 GOP nomination race.
Sources told FOX News that Thompson, 62, now one of the stars of the popular NBC prime time series "Law & Order," has not ruled out a presidential bid, and has authorized advisers and supporters to continue to gauge support.
Advisers are holding regular strategy sessions, investigating fundraising avenues and private polling to measure enthusiasm. Perhaps pre-eminent among a number of prominent Thompson backers working behind the scenes is former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker.
Baker has been a mentor to Thompson since before the Senate's Watergate hearings, for which Baker hired Thompson as majority counsel and for which Thompson earned fame for having Baker ask the key question that led to President Richard Nixon's downfall: "What did the president know and when did he know it?"
Baker ran for president himself in 1980. Thompson eyed the White House in the 1990s.
While Thompson, who also helped raise money and advise I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's legal defense fund, continues to mull a bid, sources said he has been inundated with calls from GOP donors and supporters urging him to run.
Thompson has a solid and consistently conservative voting record that his supporters said makes a stark contrast to Republican frontrunners Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney.
This week, he told radio news host Mark Levin that he would have something to say about his plans, but not yet.
Fred Thompson/J.C. Watts would really energize me!
He's made his money, now it's time to get back to work. LOL
Some JC Watts quotes:
"I think they're race-hustling poverty pimps."
J.C. Watts, Jr. speaking on Hannity and Colmes about his refusal to join the Congressional Black Caucus.
My father taught that the only helping hand you're ever going to be able to rely on is the one at the end of your sleeve.
The government taxes you when you bring home a paycheck. It taxes you when you make a phone call. It taxes you when you turn on a light. It taxes you when you sell a stock. It taxes you when you fill your car with gas. It taxes you when you ride a plane. It taxes you when you get married. Then it taxes you when you die. This is taxual insanity and it must end.
Watts served as a Southern Baptist youth minister and associate pastor in Del City, Oklahoma from 1987 to 1994.
In November, 1990, he was the first African-American elected to statewide office in Oklahoma. Many Oklahoma African-Americans who would have probably voted for the Democratic candidate instead crossed over to vote for Watts (helping him to win).
In November, 1994, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He garnered attention soon after his election by declining to join the Congressional Black Caucus, saying it was "infested" with "Democratic liberals who betray black people in America."
Watts captured national attention in 1996 with a speech before the Republican national convention, when he said, "You see character does count. For too long we have gotten by in a society that says the only thing right is to get by and the only thing wrong is to get caught. Character is doing what's right when nobody is looking. "
He gave the Republican response to 1997 State of the Union
Later that year, Watts stirred up controversy when he branded some unnamed black Democrats and civil rights leaders as "race-hustling poverty pimps."
House Republican Conference Chair
In 1998, Watts was chosen by the Republican House Leadership to be the chairman of the House Republican Conference, the 4th highest position of leadership in the House of Representatives (behind the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and the Majority Whip).
Although elected on a pledge to serve no more than two terms, Watts was bombarded with pleas from his constituency and sought and won a fourth term in 2000. In 2002 he decided not to run for re-election, publicly citing a desire to spend more time with his family.
He is the current chairman of GOPAC.
Good story here:http://www.thedartmouth.com/article.php?aid=2005040801010
On The Issues
J.C. Watts on Abortion
Click here for 5 full quotes on Abortion OR background on Abortion.
Block research funding for embryonic stem cells. (Jul 2001)
Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad. (May 2001)
Voted YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes. (Apr 2001)
Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000)
Voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999)
J.C. Watts on Budget & Economy
Click here for the full quote on Budget & Economy OR background on Budget & Economy.
Supports balanced budget amendment & line item veto. (Sep 1994)
J.C. Watts on Civil Rights
Click here for 3 full quotes on Civil Rights OR background on Civil Rights.
Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
Voted NO on ending preferential treatment by race in college admissions. (May 1998)
Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001)
J.C. Watts on Corporations
Click here for the full quote on Corporations OR background on Corporations.
Voted YES on Bankruptcy Overhaul requiring partial debt repayment. (Mar 2001)
J.C. Watts on Crime
Click here for 4 full quotes on Crime OR background on Crime.
Voted NO on funding for alternative sentencing instead of more prisons. (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime. (Jun 1999)
Voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder. (Feb 1995)
More prisons, more enforcement, effective death penalty. (Sep 1994)
J.C. Watts on Drugs
Click here for 2 full quotes on Drugs OR background on Drugs.
Voted YES on military border patrols to battle drugs & terrorism. (Sep 2001)
Voted YES on prohibiting needle exchange & medical marijuana in DC. (Oct 1999)
J.C. Watts on Education
Click here for 6 full quotes on Education OR background on Education.
Voted YES on requiring states to test students. (May 2001)
Voted YES on allowing vouchers in DC schools. (Aug 1998)
Voted YES on vouchers for private & parochial schools. (Nov 1997)
Let schools display the words "God Bless America". (Oct 2001)
Supports requiring schools to allow prayer. (Jan 2001)
Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer. (May 1997)
J.C. Watts on Energy & Oil
Click here for 3 full quotes on Energy & Oil OR background on Energy & Oil.
Voted NO on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels. (Aug 2001)
Voted NO on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR. (Aug 2001)
Voted NO on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000)
J.C. Watts on Environment
Click here for background on Environment.
No issue stance yet recorded by OnTheIssues.org.
J.C. Watts on Families & Children
Click here for 2 full quotes on Families & Children OR background on Families & Children.
Voted YES on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years. (Mar 2001)
Use tax code to reinforce families. (Sep 1994)
J.C. Watts on Foreign Policy
Click here for 6 full quotes on Foreign Policy OR background on Foreign Policy.
Voted NO on keeping Cuba travel ban until political prisoners released. (Jul 2001)
Voted YES on withholding $244M in UN Back Payments until US seat restored. (May 2001)
Voted NO on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction. (Jul 2000)
Voted YES on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. (May 2000)
Voted YES on $15.2 billion for foreign operations. (Nov 1999)
Multi-year commitment to Africa for food & medicine. (Apr 2001)
J.C. Watts on Free Trade
Click here for 2 full quotes on Free Trade OR background on Free Trade.
Voted NO on withdrawing from the WTO. (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on 'Fast Track' authority for trade agreements. (Sep 1998)
J.C. Watts on Government Reform
Click here for 4 full quotes on Government Reform OR background on Government Reform.
Voted YES on banning soft money donations to national political parties. (Jul 2001)
Voted NO on banning soft money and issue ads. (Sep 1999)
Limit punitive damages; term limits on Congress. (Sep 1994)
Government is too big, too intrusive, too easy with money. (Sep 1994)
J.C. Watts on Gun Control
Click here for the full quote on Gun Control OR background on Gun Control.
Voted YES on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1. (Jun 1999)
J.C. Watts on Health Care
Click here for 5 full quotes on Health Care OR background on Health Care.
Voted YES on allowing suing HMOs, but under federal rules & limited award. (Aug 2001)
Voted YES on subsidize privat insurance for Medicare Rx drug coverage. (Jun 2000)
Voted YES on banning physician-assisted suicide. (Oct 1999)
Voted YES on establishing tax-exempt Medical Savings Accounts. (Oct 1999)
Collect data on birth defects and present to the public. (Apr 1998)
J.C. Watts on Homeland Security
Click here for 3 full quotes on Homeland Security OR background on Homeland Security.
Voted YES on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill. (Jul 1999)
Voted YES on deploying SDI. (Mar 1999)
No US troops under UN command; more defense spending. (Sep 1994)
J.C. Watts on Immigration
Click here for the full quote on Immigration OR background on Immigration.
Voted NO on more immigrant visas for skilled workers. (Sep 1998)
J.C. Watts on Jobs
Click here for 4 full quotes on Jobs OR background on Jobs.
Voted YES on $167B over 10 years for farm price supports. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on zero-funding OSHA's Ergonomics Rules instead of $4.5B. (Mar 2001)
Member of the Congressional Rural Caucus. (Jan 2001)
Incentives to businesses create jobs & raise wages. (Sep 1994)
J.C. Watts on Principles & Values
Click here for 2 full quotes on Principles & Values OR background on Principles & Values.
Religious affiliation: Southern Baptist. (Nov 2000)
Contract with America: 10 bills in 1st 100 days of Congress. (Sep 1994)
J.C. Watts on Social Security
Click here for 4 full quotes on Social Security OR background on Social Security.
Voted YES on raising 401(k) limits & making pension plans more portable. (May 2001)
Voted YES on reducing tax payments on Social Security benefits. (Jul 2000)
Voted NO on strengthening the Social Security Lockbox. (May 1999)
Reduce taxes on Social Security earnings. (Sep 1994)
J.C. Watts on Tax Reform
Click here for 8 full quotes on Tax Reform OR background on Tax Reform.
Tax cuts are the beginning of tax relief & tax fairness. (Mar 2001)
Voted YES on $99 B economic stimulus: capital gains & income tax cuts. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on Tax cut package of $958 B over 10 years. (May 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax ("death tax"). (Apr 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the "marriage penalty". (Jul 2000)
Voted YES on $46 billion in tax cuts for small business. (Mar 2000)
Phaseout the death tax. (Mar 2001)
Repeal marriage tax; cut middle class taxes. (Sep 1994)
J.C. Watts on Technology
Click here for the full quote on Technology OR background on Technology.
Promote internet via Congressional Internet Caucus. (Jan 2001)
J.C. Watts on War & Peace
Click here for 2 full quotes on War & Peace OR background on War & Peace.
Voted NO on disallowing the invasion of Kosovo. (May 1999)
Solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism. (Apr 2002)
J.C. Watts on Welfare & Poverty
Click here for 3 full quotes on Welfare & Poverty OR background on Welfare & Poverty.
Voted YES on treating religious organizations equally for tax breaks. (Jul 2001)
Voted YES on responsible fatherhood via faith-based organizations. (Nov 1999)
Limit welfare to 2 years & cut welfare spending. (Sep 1994)