Skip to comments.Some House Backers of Thompson Are Starting to Lose the Faith
Posted on 11/19/2007 10:22:45 AM PST by Alter Kaker
Several House Republicans who endorsed Fred Thompson for president now say that they are frustrated with what they view as an apathetic campaign, and at least one regrets having committed to the former Tennessee senator.
I think hes kind of done a belly flop, said an estranged Thompson backer who indicated he will not pull his public support before the Super Tuesday primaries. Well just wait till after Feb. 5 because I think hes going to get beat.
The disaffected members of team Thompson say that he has failed to put to rest whispers that he is unwilling to campaign hard enough to win the presidency.
He seems to be perpetuating it instead of defeating it, another dissatisfied Thompson backer told CQ Politics. I cant see me bailing on him, but theres some frustration.
Political endorsements mean little in and of themselves. But actively engaged elected officials can use their own networks to help boost a presidential candidates chances in their district or state, according to political experts.
It often times gives entrée to that persons own fundraising network and to be able to tap into that persons knowledge of how to win that particular geography, said Susan A. MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Some of Thompsons endorsers say they arent lifting a finger.
Ive kind of pulled back. Im not not supporting him, but Im not doing anything, said a third lawmaker.
What could be even more troubling for Thompson is what that lawmaker said GOP activists outside the capital Beltway are saying: Now theyre calling me and saying Whats he doing? Its almost like he doesnt want it.
The disillusioned Thompson endorsers spoke in separate interviews with CQ Politics, all on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to damage him or themselves publicly. Two said they retain hope that he will turn it around.
One indicated that Thompsons recent comments on abortion may have done him serious damage with some antiabortion activists. Thompson favors leaving the question of abortion to the states, and conservative columnist Robert D. Novak pilloried Thompson for a Meet the Press interview earlier this month in which Thompson said women who get abortions should not be made into criminals. Novak called the specter of legislation that would put abortion recipients, or their parents, in jail a spurious issue raised by abortion-rights activists.
Thompsons staunchest supporters on Capitol Hill say his campaign is gathering steam. They note his recent endorsement by the National Right to Life Committee, which has the resources to spend heavily on Thompsons behalf and the reach to activate grass-roots conservatives.
Im very confident in my support for his campaign and continue to believe he is the most consistent conservative in the race who can win both the primary and the general, said Rep. Adam H. Putnam , R-Fla., who as chairman of the Republican Conference is the third-ranking member of the House GOP.
Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert , who remains a strong Thompson supporter, said the knock that Thompson is not campaigning hard enough is a bit unfair.
Nonetheless, MacManus said the wavering support from some of the House Republicans who have endorsed Thompson matters.
At this point its significant because hes trying to win a come-from-behind race and he needs every bit of support he can get, she said.
After a long flirtation, Thompson officially launched his candidacy in early September, after the other Republican and Democratic contenders had been campaigning for months.
The late entry appears to have contributed to the loss of one possible endorsement in the House.
Rep. Nathan Deal , R-Ga., was once on the brink of declaring for Thompson but ultimately chose to keep his powder dry.
Deal said that, like others, Thompson waiting so long to get into the race disconcerted him.
He really hasnt caught fire, said Deal, who has not committed to a candidate. Deal did not rule out the possibility of endorsing Thompson, or at least voting for him, later on. But he also said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee , who is outpolling Thompson in Iowa, might get his help. Huckabee and Thompson are in direct competition for social conservatives.
Rep. Zach Wamp , R-Tenn., who has organized support for Thompson on Capitol Hill, said his man is building momentum and is well-positioned at this point.
He is still in the thick of this, and its wide open, Wamp said. In no way at all am I discouraged about anything.
Obviously not, in my opinion. Hunter is the best candidate out there on a personal level, on the level of his speeches and persona, and on the level of his positions and his experience. He has had one wife, his kids are serving overseas in the armed forces, he is a Christian, he is articulate and I’ve never seen him make a mistep in public speaking (which is unusual in my experience), he looks strong, he is grounded and doesn’t get flustered, he built the border fence in his district, it’s his baby, he knows military issues better than any other candidate . . .
So, there was three and two said he could still "turn it around." Good thing they didn't want to damage Fred. There's no way the media would use an anonymous source to do that. Whew, that was close.
If all three, Hunter, Tancredo and Thompson are out then there will be no conservative in the race to support.
Pretty funny article, given how even the NRO, with its NY-intellegensia bent, just wrote an article about how Thompson has fire in the belly and completely whipped up on Georgie Stuffedfullofpoopopulence this week-end.
Of course, in your opinion. You give good reasoning for your opinion too.
IMO he would make the problem worse.
MSM needs to up the propaganda if they are going to quell last week’s surge.
I’m curious. If FDT isn’t ‘out there’ enough for these folks, does that mean the rest of the Republican field IS ‘out there’? And if so, where the heck are they? I’d hardly be aware that Hunter is running were it not for me spending WAY too much time on Free Republic.
"another dissatisfied Thompson backer
said a third lawmaker.
Horse Hockey says a satisfied Thompson supporter named ejonesie22
I don't know about Hunter but FDT sure as heck isn't running. More like strolling with a "I don't give a rip" attitude, just going through the motions.
Now that FDT has announced his immigration & border security plan, I wonder if he still has the endorsement of George P. Bush?
“He has had one wife” You guys keep bringing that up. Do you have a problem with those of us who have been married more than once?
I’d put it another way. I think it says something good about a man if he has picked a woman that is right for him and worked hard enough to make the marriage work. Nothing against you or anyone else.
Bottom line? He’s too old to get elected president.
I managed to get my Fred bumper sticker somehow, and I'm in a state that is a virtual lock for Rooty on the Pubbie side, and the Witch on the Rat side. I'm disappointed to not see any Fred presence in the state where he's widely perceived as having the best chance for his first primary victory.
Very good. It looks like something Fred and I have both done the second time around. So we can just say that is a non issue then.
What happened to pissant?