September 12th, 2007
08:27 AM ET
11 years ago

Thompson camp accuses rival of a 'cover-up'

Obama said he doesn't think the Iraq hearing should have been held around 9/11.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The race for the Republican presidential nomination just got uglier.

A spokesman for Fred Thompson’s presidential bid accused GOP rival Mitt Romney’s campaign of a “cover-up” Tuesday over a now defunct Web site, which portrayed the former Tennessee senator in an unflattering manner and referred to him as “phony.” The Web site,, was created by Wes Donehue, an associate consultant and vice president of the firm Tompkins, Thompson, and Sullivan. A principal of the firm – Warren Tompkins – is a paid advisor to Romney’s presidential campaign.

"Today's half-baked cover-up attempt by the Romney campaign does not even pass the laugh test,” Todd Harris, Thompson’s communications director, said in a prepared statement.

Earlier in the day, Harris indicated the campaign would wait until the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks passed before commenting on the matter. A few hours later he issued the statement.

“The Romney campaign has paid Warren Tompkins and his various firms hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Harris said.

“Wesley Donehue works for Tompkins and is listed on Tompkins' own Web page as an associate of the firm.”

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden denied that the campaign had any knowledge about

"We had no knowledge of the development or administration of this site,” Madden said in a statement to CNN. “We also disapprove of the site and have made it very clear that the site does not have an affiliation with our campaign."

Madden also questioned why the Thompson campaign would issue such a sharp attack on a day when politics is traditionally set aside.

“Today is a day of remembrance, and should be a day without political statements or attacks on opposing campaigns,” Madden said. “Our campaign is focused on running a campaign about issues that are important to the American people.”

- CNN Political Ticker Producer Xuan Thai

Filed under: Fred Thompson • Mitt Romney • South Carolina
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. David, Washington, Utah

    I love it when people try to put down Mitt Romney's belief in Christ. I am a member of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints. Our church carries the Saviour's name. We believe in the Jesus Christ that was born in Bethlehem, Atoned for our sins, died on the cross, and rose from the tomb on the third day. Don't mock our belief in Christ. We know He lives and we have the greatest love and respect for Him. And who the heck is Maronni? Go Mitt!!

    September 12, 2007 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  2. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    JR from Witchita:

    That's an urban legend. You have no idea what you are talking about. Read what another reader posted to a similar comment.

    As a previous Methodist and convert later in life to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I have to say that the Christ I worshiped then IS the same Christ I worship now. Absolutely, no different. I still keep in contact with my Methodist Sunday School teacher from my childhood and adore her. She set the foundation for the same Christ I worship today. Those that say otherwise are simply misinformed, and I believe purposely so in many cases. I expect that most that support this view have never even stepped into an LDS church or devoted any serious time to any reading other than anti-Mormon literature which typically selectively chooses controversial issues and uses quotes taken out of context to support mis-leading half truths. I am grateful that those of faiths other than mine have faith in their lives and in particular a belief in Christ. It is however hard for me to understand why members of other faiths attack my faith. I have no interest in attacking theirs. I have no problem with others investigating my church, in fact I invite it. However judging a candidates worthiness to serve as President of the United States based on his faith is disturbing when we consider separation of Church and state. But if you are going to use that for your criteria you better do it for all of the candidates and to the same degree. I think what you find may surprise you. From what I have seen so far, many talk the talk but I’m not convinced they walk the walk. By the way, I will not vote for a candidate simply because he is a Mormon. Harry Reid for example is a Mormon and I strongly disagree with his views. I will vote for the candidate that I think will do the best job based on his track record and my perception on who will do the best job for the country. At this point I am undecided, but have to admit that Mitt is pretty impressive.
    Posted By Brian, Gloucester, VA

    September 12, 2007 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  3. Richard,Orlando,FL

    Romney is caught in one lie after another. I believe he will fade after the New Hampshire vote. People will realize that he is like the old Mark Twain saying about the weather. If you don't like what Romney says stick around it will change. For someone who professes to be Religious he is always making disparaging remarks about people. If he thinks the American people don't get it, he has a rude awakening.

    September 12, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  4. Don Fitzgerald

    Hey, Josh,
    Reagan doesn't equal presidential, if anything, he represents, accidental, president, that is!! He could read a script and took cues, somewhat well! The three worst Presidents in my life time were: Nixon, Reagan and Bush Jr. Each, in their own way, tarnished the American image abroad. with Jr doing the most dastardly damage! All of this shall pass, once America realizes that a Democratic President will undo the damage done by these Incompetents. That candidate is Senator Joe Biden and he should be our next President.

    September 12, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  5. Greg, NY, NY

    JR, Wichita, KS,

    The founding fathers shaped this country with the separation of church and state in mind. This is not a "God given" country, it was meant to be a country where anyone of any religion could come without fear of persecution.

    In fact, Thomas Jefferson himself was a huge supporter of religious freedom.

    I'm no fan of Romney, but know the facts please.

    September 12, 2007 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  6. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I think its funny to read the comments – I truly believe that people are inherently unintelligent. Those who would say "I support Mitt" – while there is no direct evidence to say he knew about this – do you really want a guy in office with so little control of his people? Then you have those "disenfranchised voters" – the ones who still have Kerry/Edwards and Gore/Lieberman stickers on their cars who say that the Supreme Court decided the elections – if you candidate of choice relies on voters unable to punch a simple ballot – maybe you don't deserve to win (or vote) – if you don't understand what I am saying – find a Republican close by to explain it to you. The country needs a moderate – not a right or left winger – there seems to be only one....not a great choice....but..a fiscal conservative...and a social liberal – Rudy...

    September 12, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  7. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Oh, good. They're beginning to swift-boat each other. How presidential they all look tossing cow-flops! or is that flip-flops?

    September 12, 2007 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  8. George, NYNY

    I find it hard to believe that Romney doesn't believe in Christ. His church is The church of JESUS Christ of latter day saints, not the "mormon church". Your comment labels you as a bigot and displays the ignorance that is tearing this country apart.

    Thompson is not anything like Reagan. Thompson plays too many games. He would not be a good president.

    September 12, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  9. david knowles

    And Thompson is too lazy for religion, apparently. Read all about it:

    September 12, 2007 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  10. RB. from the Bay state

    My plan? Just stand back and let these two losers pummel each other into the ground.

    It's a win-win.

    September 12, 2007 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  11. Greenville, NC

    Your dead wrong JR romneys religion does belive in Jesus should do your research man. Anyway, again, wht does that have to do with anything – his relegion or yours! or the person down the street you should also read the constitution in-regard to religious freedoms. This is all much to do about nothing just fred trying to win points but i think romney will end up with the nomination when all is said and done.

    September 12, 2007 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  12. Bryan, Baton Rouge, LA

    "god given country?" Are you serious? How many people in this country have forgotten about separation of church and state, keep your BS religious views out of politics.

    And some of the founding fathers, like Franklin and Jefferson, were not believers in god, this is not a god given country.

    September 12, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  13. lick swilly

    Are you KIDDING? Thompson is NO Reagan. Womanizing, and lazy does NOT = Presidential.

    Bill Clinton, anyone?

    September 12, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    This is a non-issue Fred. No one cares or should care about an anti-Fred Thompson website. Your friends and supporters won't look at it and the people who already don't like you will. So what?

    As far as a cover-up goes, well maybe that is a serious issue for social conservatives like Fred pretends to be. GOP leaders don't want any Republicans elected who can't do a decent cover-up. It seemes to be a neccessary job skill requirement for most conservatives.

    September 12, 2007 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  15. Veronica L. Feinstein, Stamford, CT

    This is BETTER than a soap opera ... and I don't even watch them! Once again, Mitt & his passel of fools flip-flop all over themselves ... priceless! And while Thompson "I'm not a lawyer, I just play one on TV" wants to be the "I'm not the president, I just play one on TV", he certainly is not presidential material, this was a pretty low blow .. amusing but low.

    I also have to wonder ... what is it with Republicans and their need to put pretend candidates in positions of power?? I mean, Reagan, Thompson, The Governator ... elections aren't supposed to be "who can play a better politician" nor are elections the OSCARS!

    September 12, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. Joe, Boston, Massachusetts

    Massachusetts knows quite well the methods Mr. Romney will use to get elected. He gave us a bunch of bull in the campaign to be elected Governor of the state. Boy were we sorry.

    September 12, 2007 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. Raulin Angulo Mechanicsville VA

    Republicans using dirty tactics. I am scocked. The Party of Moral Values I am schocked.

    September 12, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. G. Buercklin, Greers Ferry, AR

    Romney's campaign has and will stoop to any level. It is a shame that Americans now witness mud slinging in an effort to win our highest office. The evidence is there. The Romney bunch had to know of this ad and to disclaim it is an insult to anybody. Such ill-bred tactics were once only seen in local politics.

    September 12, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. hawnstyle

    JR, you are proof ignorant people CAN work a computer... "and you shall be hated of all men for my names sake"- Jesus Christ(Luke 21:17) If Romney is to win or lose, it will be the will of the Lord. He still has to put forth the labor though. So you, and people like you can choose to hate and ridicule the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all you want. HIS Church will never leave the face of the earth again. This is way beyond Romney JR, this is a way to get people to search our doctrine, true doctrine. For all those who bash us, there will be some who will diligently search... like they say, the truth will set them free... peace JR

    September 12, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Ben Dover

    I think the dem's are afraid of Romney. I only notice articles that attempt to demonize him. Hmmmmm. Fair and balanced?

    September 12, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Steve, Murrieta, California

    Outsiders are told to leave LDS stakes because the Mormons do not allow non-mormons to witness their madness.

    Why all the secrecy?

    September 12, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |

    RAEFORD, N.C. 28376

    September 12, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Chip Celina OH

    RE: Chris, Middletown CT

    Great post! I also get tired of trying to decipher so many of the posts on this blog. Simply reading them is out of the question. It's no wonder many of the viewpoints are so extreme. If one fails to master the difference between their, there and they're or has difficulty spelling other monosyllabic words, how can we take the content of the post seriously?

    A random typo here or there can be excused, but continued butchering of the language can not.

    Have a great day!

    September 12, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Jon, Austin, TX

    I, too, am tired of people in this country like this one from Kansas that reveals thier self as a bigot by attacking a religion. I know that the LDS church worships the same Jesus Christ. If the candidate is a good one then who cares if he is catholic, protestant or whatever.
    Now on to big Fred. you want to talk phony then here is a good one to start with. This is the guy who drives around in luxury cars but then switches them out blocks from his campaign to hop in a pick-up truck so he look like a good ol boy. please. And let's not forget his membership in the CFR. he's nothing but a NEO-CON Globalist!

    September 12, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. Sarah, Kansas City, MO

    Both of them are phoneies. All of the republican canidates are hopeless phonies and panderers.

    When they are not trying to play to your fears they are trying to out-Jesus each other. Give us all a break.

    September 12, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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