The Next Reagan: Record Obviously Trumps Rhetoric

According to a Mason – Dixon poll conducted over the weekend, Fred Thompson has decisively won South Carolina’s  conservative primary vote.  Though he hasn’t formally announced his candidacy, former United States Senator Fred Thompson drew 25%, and America’s mayor polled in second at 21%.  Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney followed Guliani with 11%, and United States Senator John McCain plummeted to 7%.

In the meantime, Thompson addressed the National Right to Life conference in Kansas City: …In 1994, I made my first run for the U.S. Senate. I was proud to receive the National Right to Life endorsement. I’ve been with you ever since. You’ve been with me ever since. On abortion related votes I’ve been 100 percent. We’ve had a lot of different kind of issues come up in the Senate from federal funding to stem cell research, Roe versus Wade and the partial birth abortion debate or as former Senator Pat Moynihan of New York used to say it’s more like infanticide than partial birth abortion.You know one of the proudest moments I’ve had as a private citizen was when the President asked me to help Judge John Roberts through the senate confirmation process to become a member of the Supreme Court. Well, now he is Chief Justice John Roberts, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but I think he’s going to go down as the best Chief Justice that this country has ever had...On stem cell research, I’m for adult stem cell research not stem cell research where embryos of unborn children are destroyed. It looks to me like there is a lot of promising developments as far as adult stem cell research is concerned anyway and we don’t need to go down that other road.”

Perhaps that is why Darla St. Martin, said of Thompson, “I eyeballed him and listened” and came away satisfied he was anti-abortion, St. Martin said. “The key is how he voted.”

Tony Perkins, president of the influential Family Research Council, said he is confident of Thompson’s anti-abortion credentials.  “Record trumps rhetoric,” Perkins said.

Thompson’s opponents may try to attack his rhetoric, but it’s obvious that the voters trust his record.


  1. Opposition to embryonic stem cell research took out a sitting Republican senator in Missouri in 2006. Missouri hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton’s second race.

    The Reagan that ran for office was a conservative who espoused conservative positions that the status quo was uncomfortable with but that the general public supported. Thompson is no Reagan. There is no popular appetite to ban embryonic stem cell research or overturn Roe v Wade.

    The issues that conservatives are choosing to define themselves on now (the aforementioned + unconditional support for the War in Iraq) aren’t just out of favor with media elites (like Reagan) but also are massively unpopular with the general population as a whole (unlike Reagan).

    Since Thompson is essentially an empty suit that could be a vehicle for anything he wants, it’s either bizarre that he’s pushing himself so far to the right (when he doesn’t need to) or an indictment of how hard it is for a more mainstream candidate to emerge from a Republican primary.

    That’s my $.02.

  2. Bull Moose says:

    Gosh, I didn’t realize that the voters of South Carolina had already voted. Wait, they haven’t.

    A poll is just a snapshot and the race for the White House is a long marathon.

    Just so you can relate a little with reality. At different times in other open races, some of the front runners who did not win their party nomination included: Howard Dean (leading in 2004), Wes Clark (last unsuccessful draft candidate), Elizabeth Dole (she topped everyone in 2000), Lamar Alexander (early favorite from 1996), Dan Quayle (another early 2000 favorite)… need I say more?

  3. Doug Deal says:

    I am a supporter of F. Thompson entering the race, and he will be my candidate of record, but I am not willing to crown him with the title of Another Ronald Reagan. Further, if you are basing his Ronald Reagan creditials on his opposition to abortion, then you need to read more about why Ronald Reagan was such a popular figure.

    Let’s let him particiapte in a couple debates before we tell the other candidates to pack things in.

    The last thing we need is to work so hard at avoiding proper descernment in the primaries that we end up with another GW Bush.

  4. CHelf says:

    I see a lot of movement jumping on board the Fred Show but there honestly has not been enough agenda and platform announced to convince many why he’s the one to win the nomination. All I can tell is that people are so fed up with what is out there they’ve just taken the leap of faith and banked on Fred being the messiah for the party.

    I think it’s still too early. Fred has not made any debates, any major speeches, any platform, etc. Just like Giuliani and his initial soaring numbers, he’s the flavor of the week. Once the voters see him and learn more about him his numbers will drop back down to terrestrial levels and the race will get back to neck and neck.

    There are stories that Fred is heading to the UK to get blessings from the Iron Maiden and to build foreign policy credentials. This looks a little weak when you have to go elsewhere to build up the resume.

  5. IndyInjun says:

    Doug Deal wrote “The last thing we need is to work so hard at avoiding proper descernment in the primaries that we end up with another GW Bush.”


    ChrisHC is right. FT and the others are joined with a failed war that, by October, will be conclusively a lost proposition. How do they all explain staying on board this far out and so close to the day of reckoning?

    Ron Paul looks more and more like what the USA needs than any of this crew of corporatist shills, FT incuded.

    Having a macho image and a deep voice alone just doesn’t cut it. Sure, it works for the masses, but YET another disastrous presidency may send us over the cliff.

    Unless a GOP candidate makes a clear and forceful break with the Gawdawful Bush neocon gang, a LOT more than 50% of the American people are not going to trust him with the office.

    It’s WAY past time for some other than Hagel and Gingrich to speak bluntly about the disaster that was the GOP 100% control of government, otherwise we get 67% Dem control, leaving only the SCOTUS in GOP hands.

    After 2006, why are so many in the GOP still clueless and in denial? Why are they begging for a wipe-out that will spill over into the “red” states?

  6. Federalist says:

    Here is an idea, why don’t we have candidates that know who they are…rather than pretending to be somebody else. Reagan was his own man, and he was loved or his rationality and compassion. I don’t know about you, but Thompson will probably have my vote, and not because he is trying to be like Reagan.

  7. Capt. says:

    Well said Federalist. I don;t have a problem with Republican candidates that have different views on issues. What I have a problem with is those candidates with different views, lying about those views. It’s like Extreme Makeover: Political Edition. This applies to several candidates, like Romney.

    Then you have John McCain and you don’t really know where is at. Well, aside from the downward direction his campaign is headed in.

    Bottom line is, Fred Thompson isn’t Ronald Reagan and neither are any of the others, and I bet there never will be another Reagan. But, I do believe Fred Thompson is by far the best candidate we have got. He’s a straight shooter, a conservative, and a great candidate.

  8. CHelf says:

    Why is he the best candidate? Convince me what he stands for and what he will do. What are his issues? This is a serious question since I failed to bite on this initial “Fred is the greatest candidate” movement. I have family in TN who loves the guy and voted for him as Senator but just have not seen anything so far in running for President to convince them he’s the best bet.

  9. Samuel says:

    Another Reagan? Hardly – I’m still pissed at the young opportunist Vandy lawyer who ratted out Alexander Butterfield.

  10. Bull Moose says:

    McCain and Thompson are tied for second place in national polls, that is hardly “done”.

    McCain has the consistent conservative voting record if truly “record trumps rhetoric”. As well, McCain has the best assembled campaign team.

    These are just bumps along the path.

  11. DutchDawg says:

    You don’t think he did himself in with his ridiculous immigration stance? I need some of your blind optimism.

  12. CHelf says:

    Hmmm. No one can even say what Fred’s platform is and why he is the best candidate? That doesn’t bode well.

    As for rediculous immigration stance, I suppose building a wall is the only ‘credible’ response to what should be done?

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