Watch Hughes on why he left Thompson's campaign.
Concord, New Hampshire (CNN) - Former Sen. Fred Thompson's absence from the Granite State is taking a toll with at least one supporter.
Dan Hughes, one of Thompson’s former New Hampshire top advisors announced today he is joining Sen. John McCain’s, R-Arizona, presidential campaign.
"Senator McCain understands the value and purpose of New Hampshire's
first-in-the-nation primary and the importance of building a strong
grassroots organization in the Granite State," Hughes said in a press
Hughes who accompanied Sen. McCain on his run through the state Tuesday,
later elaborated on his decision outside a granite factory in Concord.
“I was involved with the Thompson campaign. When we started out I was told that we would run a full-blown campaign up here. It became obvious that they were not going to do that and they were running more of a token campaign and
I didn’t want to be the token chairman of a token campaign. I don’t think you can win without campaigning.”
When asked about Thompson’s strategy for not campaigning aggressively in New Hampshire, Hughes said, “It looks like they are taking a page out of the George Bush playbook and he lost New Hampshire to Sen. McCain in 2000 and he went on and ambushed him down in South Carolina and went on from there. I think they thought they could do that.”
In an e-mail to CNN, Thompson campaign spokesman, Karen Hanretty wrote, “Dan Hughes is a great Republican and a friend to many who are supporting Fred’s campaign. We wish him all the best.”
– CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla
This goes along with recent polls that show McCain doing by far the best against Clinton in the general election - check out for example yesterday's SUSA poll from NM, where McCain runs 8 points ahead of Rudy.
Sounds like no big deal to me. I couldn't care less about NH. Why should they wield so much influence? They are a small, white-bread state that "demands" respect and special hand-holding from candidates. They should be moved to the END of the primary season for the next 100 years so that other states can get a chance to be oh-so-special.