October 8th, 2007
08:30 AM ET
13 years ago

South Carolina will be crucial for Thompson

Fred Thompson's Southern background helps him in South Carolina but also makes it necessary to win there.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - In South Carolina, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson's campaign is fond of pointing out their boss' Southern-fried heritage.

"I think first of all that Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, is in fact a whole lot closer to Lexington, South Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, than are Boston or New York for instance," said Walter Whetsell, a veteran South Carolina consultant now working for Thompson. "But I think that that has a literal closeness, but I think figuratively that the values that he shares are our values."

When Thompson himself made his debut here as a presidential candidate one month ago, he was quick to point out that, "It's good to be in a place that when I talk, people understand what I'm saying."

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- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. hopeful

    Fred's wife asked him to run for president. He's very busy preaning and hoping his baritone voice will provide sufficient carisma to get votes. He appears hawkish, yet never served in the military. His grasp of national and international facts and issues is very weak, yet he professes to have a "plan." He is a typical flip-flopper on right wing hot-button issues. When he ran for the Senate in 1994, Thompson was routinely described as a supporter of abortion rights. A 1994 story in the Memphis Commercial Appeal described Thompson and his Democratic opponent as "basically pro-choice on abortion." Fred, who the heck are you anyway? Go ahead and dilute the neo-con votes, it's good for the democrats!

    October 8, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. Brooklyn

    Not sure if that is a good thing. "It's good to be in a place that when I talk, people understand what I'm saying." Sure sounds like a divider if I ever heard of one.

    October 8, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. jay, Snellville, GA

    South Carolina is a place he can used his canned "good ole boy" sayings, after driving up in that truck he leased to "prove" he is a good ole boy, and the folks will fall for it.

    I was born in the South, and live in the South... I am happy to say, I am much to smart to fall for this Thompson Trickery.

    Sadly, I don't think many of my neighbors are.

    October 8, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Thompson's Southern-style will appeal to the right-wing intelligentsia in South Carolina.

    That would be the same intelligentsia that bought into the Bushbots attacks on John McCain in 2000.

    October 8, 2007 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Mike in Dallas

    Right-wing Intelligentsia? In South Carolina? I wasn't aware of ANY intellegencia in South Carolina, 'cept for those boys that work on the NASCAR hot-rods...

    October 8, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    As the late Texas Govenror Ann Richards woul dhave said, "stick a fork in him, he's done." His is a dog-and-pony show that never should have hit the road.

    October 8, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. manhattan

    Can't wait till he comes up to the Northeast to campaign. Probably say something like, "I played a NY lawyer on Law and Order. It's good to be in a place that when I talk, people understand what I'm saying."

    October 8, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Buggie, San Diego, CA

    Poor Fred.

    October 8, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Rurik, St. Paul, MN

    Why is Thopmson even running? He's a late comer with just another carbon copy GOP agenda. No way would I vote for this guy.

    October 8, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. r schier norwalk,ct

    I hope he sticks around awhile. Anytime I either see or hear him, I laugh uncontrollably. This has many
    health benefits...

    October 8, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Janet, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I didn't realize the "South" was comprised of the only citizenry of value in the US – the way the GOP hopefuls mouth off about the rest of us is infuriating. The only values I see on display on a regular basis from the "South" are ignorance, intolerance, and hatred. I know there must be some decent people there, but unfortunately they are not the people who speak out. If Fred Thompson is the best this country has to offer, then people, we are in BIG TROUBLE.

    October 8, 2007 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. Tom, Nashville, TN

    Ron Paul is the real leader in this race.

    October 8, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Bill, Alabama

    I am a southerner, and can say that Fred Thompson is about as southern as Rudi Gulliani is.

    He might have been born in the south, but he left the south a long time ago. Neither candidate should appeal to the conservative southern voter.

    October 8, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. EB Rideout

    That good ole boy stuff will work OK for a while down in Cracker Hollow or Pigfoot Creek, but sooner or later you're gonna have to face crowds that don't fall for that charade.

    Adios, Fred. The fat lady is about to start singing.

    October 8, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |