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.
I honestly don’t give a damn if the media and unnamed sources say Fred isn’t campaigning hard enough or the way they think he should.
But I do have to admit that his speaking has not impressed me the way I hoped it would. Now speaking isn’t as important for a U.S. President as, for example a U.K. prime minister, but its important to get elected.
It is also important for a sitting President in times of crisis. President Bush43 simply cannot rally the country the was President Reagan could.
Now, not every President has to be (or can be) a Reagan but they should at least be able to speak clearly and strongly like President Bush41. Re: The Iraq Invasion of Kuwait: “This will not stand” or “Read my lips, no new taxes.”
Now doing is important than speaking but speaking is important too.
On CQ's condition of fantasy.
Can't address FRed's positions on issues? Make up something intangibly negative.
Robinson booted his account because pissant posted a National Review article that was critical of Thompson after Robinson warned pissant about posting stuff that was critical of Thompson.
This account has been banned or suspended.
Jim is not that shallow and Pissant, God love him, crossed several lines.
A Democrat reporter and his Democrat editor and the paper's Democrat owner, perhaps.
This is BS!
He ain’t no Charlie Norwood, that’s for sure. Deal, a former Democrat (1996), is only still in office because no Conservative has challenged him. His district, until recently, didn’t “bear fruit” for the State, and is solidly Republican.
Now that we have a water crisis and his District encompasses Lake Lanier, he’s coming under more scrutiny.
Look for him to be challenged strongly next time around.
You don’t suppose... JR is a FRedHead?
Actually I was in the thread when it happened. There was no more to it than that.
Fred has two chances to win the nomination.
The first is to catch fire in the primaries.
The second is as a compromise choice if no one gets a majority of the delegates in the primaries.
A Presidential nominating convention hasn’t gone past the first ballot since 1952. but this year the Republicans might do it.
LOL. I’d say banning people for posting things critical of Fred makes him a FRedHead! I think it’s a mistake to be partisan for a particular candidate in primaries, to that extent, when you run a site like Free Republic, but it’s his site.
WE'RE STILL GOING TO SEND FRED A THANKSGIVING DAY GIFT!
Lots of use of words like “several” and “sources say” and all that...
Good reason to stay off primary "debate" on candidates threads, sad.
I dunno. I in fact haven’t heard a peep from George P. Bush.
Fred Thompson...born August 19, 1942. Will be 66 on Election Day.
Ronald Reagan...born Feb. 6, 1911, elected in Nov. 1980...age 69.
Reagan must’ve been too old too, right?