September 11th, 2007
11:59 AM ET
13 years ago

Thompson needs to show social conservatives his credentials

Thompson got a warm welcome from South Carolinians on Monday.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) — Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson’s first official visit to South Carolina Monday served as an introduction to the "values voters" in this important primary state, which will help choose the next Republican presidential nominee.

But once Christian conservatives move past the getting-to-know-you phase, will they like what Thompson has to say on abortion and right-to-life issues?

Joe Mack, director of public policy at the South Carolina Baptist Convention, said it might be too early to tell. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (an ordained Baptist minister) have all been working hard to make inroads with this important voting bloc.

"We certainly agree with Brownback and Huckabee," Mack said in an interview. "On social and moral issues they’re right down the line ... Brownback and Huckabee, and Romney for that matter, have been here for awhile and talked to a lot of our people. We’ll have to see how things shape out now that [Thompson's] in the race."

During a campaign appearance in Greenville, Thompson spoke about how viewing his four-year-old daughter Hayden’s sonogram before she was born "changed me."

"I thought it was a confirmation that he was pro-life, based on that comment," said Mack, who added that "Thompson is probably right on the issues, but we need hear that articulated in more detail."

[For specific stories about South Carolina and the 2008 race for the White House, check out CNN's South Carolina Political Ticker.]

— CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Brad, Columbia, SC

    Wait a minute... Fred Thompson (age 65) has a 4-year-old child?

    September 11, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Tom, Anaheim, CA

    Hey Fred, if you are kissing up to the South Carolina Baptist Convention or you align with Brownback on any issue you can't be my candidate, sorry.

    September 11, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Paul S. - Fenton , MO.

    It's funny how the media manipualtion is in full force. Let me explain. ONE person (this Baptist convention man) is calling for Fred Thompson to make his position clear on abortion. Fine, no prob.

    But the media writer looks for the one emtional touchpoint, in this case, that Fred Thompson didn't clairfy, he just mentioned seeing an ultrasound so, the media writer latches onto that detail and proclaims :



    p.s. I don't see the cnn writers aaking for Obama's "credentials " and asking for Hillary 's "credentials".

    September 11, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. pat, huntington, ny

    Thompson is nothing but crooked typical right wingnutted rethuglican who wants to turn this country into a theocracy like Iran. Anyone who supports him is an outright IDIOT!!!

    September 11, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Sett, Broward, FL

    Fred's happy, so why are people disdainful of his younger wife? Isnt that being intolerant and judgmental Did the people who criticize him also criticize Dennis Kucinich for his younger wife?

    September 11, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. David, Encinitas, CA

    Wonder where he stands on evolution...

    September 11, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Karen, Orlando, Fl.

    Time to bring out the christian conservative nut jobs to tell the rest of us sinners how we need to live. Have conservative christians not learned anything from blindly following Bush- only to learn later that they were laughed at and only pandered to to get their votes–DUH
    It's becasue you're out of touch with mainstream America, just like extreme liberals. Most people live somewhere comfortably in the middle.

    September 11, 2007 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Fred is good, but he just doesn't have that old Reagan magic. Reagan's talent was honed for years: hosting Death Valley Days and GE Theater, then years giving speeches for a living. He honed his skills until he had the phrasing and the timing down perfectly. Fred is like Reagan in that he doesn't have the intelligence to understand the issues at any but the most general level. Like Reagan, he apparently has a wife who is determined to succeed through him.

    His supporters hope that lightning can strike twice and that another actor can be turned into a front man for an administration. Unfortunately for them, I think Fred is just an accent wrapped around a few cliches.

    September 11, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  9. F.T Doylestown,Pa

    WOW.... the comments above are All Liberal campagin workers. If the Left asked the HARD QUESTIONS of their people(which they don't) they only give Sound Bites, Debates ....What a Joke!
    They will have to Ask and Answer the HARD Questions before This Race is over. Boy they are WORRIED about OLD FRED!!! Lots of personal attacks and it's only starting. He just may be as Crafty as Reagan. You GO FRED !!!

    September 11, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  10. Val Davydov, Agawam, MA

    He is not my type and I consider myself conservative, especially on social issues.

    September 11, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  11. Mark, Poway, CA

    Thank God, Fred is in the race. Finally we have a true conservative, and someone who can beat Clinton. Say good bye to Guiliani.

    September 12, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  12. J. Mayberry 614 Beech St. Centerville, TN

    He likes to trot out his kids, doesn't he?

    September 12, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  13. Lee, Mays Landing NJ

    Thompson himself won't believe half the right wing nonsense that he will have to spew in order to win over the neandrethal republican primary voter, the evengelical "base".
    But they will believe him over that other phony, Mitt Romney, because of Fred's folksy southern drawl that so many of them identify with.

    They are such a sorry lot scrambling and pandering to the dumbest and most backward portion of our population. It's sickening. I'm sure both Mitt and Fred are laughing at the evengelicals they seek to fool.

    September 12, 2007 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  14. roger, conway sc

    I am sure Fred Thompson can blow enough smoke to convience the social conservatives that he is the RIGHT guy...they are like the religious right just tell them what they want to hear and put out their agenda and he will get their votes. Look what happened with GW..

    September 12, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. Sarah, Kansas City, MO

    Excuse me, the dems are worried about Fred. Actually, I am hoping the republicans chose him. He will get creamed in the debates. The man just does not have it when it comes to campaigning. He is as dull as a fence post. He has trouble thinking on his feet.

    The republicans are so stupid to think that Fred is the next Reagan what a laugh.

    September 12, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |