WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson Monday said he didn't need to apologize for his faith, despite concerns from Christian conservatives that he does not express his religious beliefs enough on the campaign trail.
"As far as faith is concerned, I have not made any secret as to where I am. I am a Christian," Thompson said, noting that, while he doesn't attend church while at home in McLean, Virgina, he did attend church with his mother when he visits Tennessee. "I have no apologies to make about my religion or my relationship to Jesus Christ or God."
In a column in USA Today Monday, David Domke, a University of Washington journalism professor, said Thompson has not done better in the polls because "he lacks a religious niche" and "Christian conservatives have not been amused or enthused" by his lack of church attendance and the few times he talks of his faith on the campaign trail.
Thompson dismissed those comments, saying "I'm OK with the Lord, and the Lord is OK with me as far as I can tell."
In the wide-ranging interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the Tennessee senator also dismissed recent surveys out of Iowa and New Hampshire that show he has slipped significantly behind the frontrunners.
“I've been running consistently second in the nation-wide polls," the Tennessee senator said. "I've been running pretty consistently close in South Carolina, so our campaign is where we need to be."
"I think a lot of people expected me to blow a lot of people away when I got in the race. I knew better than that, and of course it hasn't happened," Thompson continued.
Catch the full interview on the Situation Room at 4, 5, and 6 p.m. ET.