Thompson joked: "We're doing well based on our internal polling, too."
BLUFFTON, South Carolina (CNN) – Fred Thompson laughed off an internal poll released by the campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney that showed Romney gaining ground among South Carolina Republican voters at Thompson's expense.
"We're doing well based on our internal polling, too," the former senator from Tennessee said with a laugh after a campaign stop here.
The internal poll, which was reported Tuesday by The State newspaper in Columbia, showed Romney surging to 20 percent, putting him at second place among GOP primary voters. Thompson maintained the lead at 24 percent but had dropped eight points since August.
Thompson had not seen The State report, but dismissed any notion the poll numbers were valid.
"I don't think I need to tell you what the polls are showing in terms of South Carolina," he said, referring to his consistent lead in most independent state polls.
In those polls, Thompson is narrowly leading former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Romney and Sen. John McCain are battling for third place.
Asked by CNN if he was planning to buy television ads soon to compete with Romney's current South Carolina airtime, Thompson wouldn't say. He acknowledged Romney has spent significant money on advertising here, but Thompson also said he would be "competitive" with advertising dollars in the near future.
"We know that others have spent millions and millions of dollars in their efforts," Thompson said. "They've spent money on television, they've spent money on radio, all of that. And we're busy raising money instead of spending money right now. But that situation will change as we get down the road a little bit."
[For more campaign news from South Carolina, check out the South Carolina Political Ticker.]
– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Yeah, laugh it up buddy.
Time for your nap, Fred.
You're looking a little drawn these days. Child bride a little too demanding on the old bod, maybe?
The Romney poll isn't out of line with other surveys. Remember the ARG poll from two weeks had Romney leading everyone with 26%.
Go Romney 2008! Iowa + New Hampshire + South Carolina = Republican Nomination!! Best experience. Best against Hillary. Best Values. Best for America!
I'm a Mike Huckabee supporter but on this issue I have to agree with Fred. I don't trust Romney and his polls. He tries to buy every poll – i.e. told his supporters to donate a $1 to FRC and vote on the internet for him then FRC conveniently announces that he won the debate. Not so. Huckabee blew him away with the onsite voters by 51%.
The man is an opportunist. Forget that he claims to be a Mormon. He doesn't seem to have any convictions at all. Just puts on his convictions like a suit to run for whatever office he wants to assume next. Pro-Choice. Pro-Life. Support Gay Marriage. Amend the Constitution against Gay Marriage. No problem for Mitt.
Stick the family dog on top the family van to go on vacation and insist that the dog was happy despite the stress-induced diarrhea running down the back of the van. He's either delusional or a consummate liar.
I thought Thompson was supposed to be the "savior" for the GOP, given the incredibly weak crop of candidates on offer. Yet none of the headline threads on this blog seem to generate any comments, enthusiastic or otherwise.
Is everybody waiting for Newt to change his mind, or what?
As for the uninformed notion that he supported gay marriage, this is false. People confuse protecting the rights of gays, and respect for each individual, with supporting gay marriage.
Running for office, and as governor, Romney clearly voiced his support for the equal rights of all people, including LGBT individuals. He often expressed a need for respect and tolerance of all our citizens. In the 90's, the issue of gay rights centered on employment discrimination and harassment not on the marriage issue. So, while arguing over mutual rights and dicrimination based on sexual preference, this did not include redefining the institution of marriage. Romney has always supported a community of respect and opportunity devoid of bigotry and discrimination, while still, opposing amendment of the definition of marriage. His views have not changed on this matter, though the public's emphasis has shifted.
Romney is neither delusional nor a liar. His backrground demonstrates a strong moral compass coupled with conviction for deeply held principles.