October 24th, 2007
06:09 AM ET
12 years ago

After long absence, Thompson returns to South Carolina

Thompson last appeared in South Carolina on September 10th.

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (CNN) - On Wednesday, former Sen. Fred Thompson will make his first trip to South Carolina since his presidential campaign debuted here more than one month ago.

The visit comes at a crucial time for Thompson. Though he continues to lead polls here along with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, the state holds special meaning for Thompson, the only leading candidate who is a southerner. That heritage helps Thompson in South Carolina, but it also puts extra pressure on Thompson to do well in the primary, whose winner has gone on to win the Republican nomination in every election since 1980.

It doesn't help matters that he is also having trouble gaining traction in New Hampshire. On Tuesday, Dan Hughes, one of Thompson’s top advisors there, said Thompson is running a "token" campaign in the Granite State and announced he was defecting to Sen. John McCain’s campaign.

Thompson also needs to recapture some of the momentum here from his debut appearances in early September. By most accounts, his two campaign stops in South Carolina after formally entering the race were far more raucous and well-received than those in Iowa and New Hampshire. But some Republicans here say that in taking more than a month to return to the early voting state with his strongest support, Thompson may have missed a chance to cement a stronger lead.

Thompson will meet with supporters at a restaurant in the coastal town of Mount Pleasant in the morning, then head south for two meet-and-greets in Bluffton.

It's Thompson's first visit to South Carolina's Lowcountry since he entered the race.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Steve, NY

    "Only leading candidate who is a southerner"?...........Ever hear of Mike Huckabee?

    October 24, 2007 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  2. Kate, Aurora CO

    I don't particularly like Thompson but I agree with his stance on illegal immigration. It is an insult to the middle class tax payer who has to pay for the free education, free healthcare and free public services the illegals are obtaining. If Hillary is elected get ready for the border of Mexico to be disarmed and open, just like when Bill was president. We have ignored this problem for too long and now our children are paying the price with overcrowded public schools, the closing of hospitals, etc. Thompson has it right to deny these services to illegals and to cut funding to santuary cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

    October 24, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  3. John, Conroe Texas

    There are, in fact, two candidates from the south. Ron Paul has lived, worked in, and represented Texas for the better part of forty years.

    As to his "leading candidate," status it is worth noting that a.)he is polling at about the level Bill Clinton did at this stage in his first campaign, and b.) While every other Republican candidate reported percentage declines in fund raising in the last quarter, Dr. Paul had a 114% INCREASE for the quarter.

    October 24, 2007 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  4. Right Said Fred

    Finally, Fred "Herman Munster" Thomas returns to South Carolina...I wonder if he'll roll in driving his signature red pickup rental. That's sure to win him some votes in S.C.

    October 24, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Otis

    Steven Colbert for President (in SC)! It's gunna be tough race in the Ol' South this year.

    October 24, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. defecting

    Has Murdoch secretly acquired CNN?

    October 24, 2007 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Sebastian, Indianapolis

    Neither Mike Huckabee nor Ron Paul are what you would call 'leading candidates'.
    apple pie
    red pick up trucks
    vote fred thompson

    October 24, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    Huckabee and Ron Paul are NOT leading candidates. You can twist facts all you want, not going to happen.

    October 24, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    From the looks of Thompson, if elected, he'll never survive the four years; and this is what conservatives want – a man with a vision who won't live long enough to see it implemented?!

    October 24, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Jamie, Washington D.C.

    It is about time we have a cndidate that stands for, what he feels, as the important issues. There are no questions with this man and it is a breath of fresh air in todays politcs. His courage and character are exactly what this country needs!

    October 24, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Terry, El Paso, TX

    It is easy to be against illegal immigration but it is not so easy to figure out what you ARE in favor of. There is no acceptable way to persuade 13 million people – many of whom have lived here for decades and have had children here – to move to Mexico. Many of them have no where to go in Mexico.

    As for the children...No child is legally responsible for what their parents do. The illegal immigrant's native born American children cannot legally be deported. No American public hospital should refuse to admit a sick child. No American public school should refuse to educate a child. No American nutrition program should refuse a free breakfast or lunch to a poor child. In my America, sick children are cared for, hungry children are fed, and children who need educating are picked up by a school bus and taken to a safe, clean center of learning – gratis.

    How would we deport 13 million people? In boxcars like cattle? Military buses? What happens if Mexico refuses to admit them? Any country can refuse anyone admittance for whatever reason they choose. Many criminals cannot be deported from the USA to another country because no nation will accept them, including their native country.

    The problem is now unsolvable. A lot of people have made and are making a lot of money from the existence of this shadow workforce. That is why politicians talk big about immigration when they are speaking to the peasants, like us. However, they never seem to get around to DOING anything, because their more prosperous constituents have made clear their expectations on the matter.

    And if we could start massive deportation, say 100,000 monthly, many of those same people would be back in the same American town within a week. I had an acquaintance here in El Paso who owned a restaurant. La Migra raided her place one day around 2pm and took away her wait staff and kitchen staff, all of whom were illegals. The entire staff showed back up THAT DAY for the dinner shift crowded into a single taxi. I personally vouch for this story.

    October 24, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. Terry, El Paso, TX

    "As to his 'leading candidate,' status it is worth noting that a.)he is polling at about the level Bill Clinton ... and b.) ... Dr. Paul had a 114% INCREASE for the quarter." – by John, a fellow Texan, from Conroe.

    To dream the impossible dream. You Libertarians never give up. You think that your philosophy makes so much sense that if you just say explain it one more time, people will start agreeing with you – finally. Most Libertarians I have met are smart and earnest, though a few scoundrels can be found in any camp. All, unfortunately, are totally delusional, living in a dream world, like Oz, where human nature is different than it really is and the lessons of history can safely be ignored.

    October 24, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. pat huntington ny

    and this bafoon should just set up camp there, stay there, and forget about being president...we had enough of his kind the past 7 years...dont't need another red neck hick messing up this country.

    October 24, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. jay, Snellville, GA

    He isn't a rednecked hick, he just plays one on election years.

    He is actually a Washington Lawyer, who sadly has a southern accent he uses to his own benifit.

    October 24, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |


    October 24, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Harry D, FL

    One way or another there WILL be a revolution. Whether it's by elections or by civil war, goodness will eventually overcome.

    It's such a shame to see so many people overcome with love for the current media. You can't possibly fathom that you are fed what the US owners are giving you, nothing more. If you seriously don't think Huckabee and Paul are leading candiates, you haven't been paying attention to the signs.

    No matter the argument for now, the future will tell. As stated before, the US will become a republic again. There aren't enough UN peacekeepers to stop it from happening.

    October 24, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. Lou, NY NY

    Where were you, Fred, when our nation needed you most? Where were you Fred when we needed leadership? Where were you when people cried out for help? Whatever you were doing I hope it was fun. Because people are dying.

    October 24, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. Marcus, Detroit, MI

    A top Thompson advisor jumped ship? That potentially says a lot.

    October 24, 2007 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. r.e. lowe allons, tn

    fred thompson said he had a plan to end the war and bring the troop home and all the other problem in the country so why was he a rubber stamp for g.w. bush plans that got us in this mis-,?when he was in washihgton D.C.same old bull s- dear Jesus help us.

    October 25, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  20. Taylor, Tucson, Arizona

    My name is Taylor I’m 15 years old. I was born & raised In San Diego, California. But I currently live in Tucson, Arizona, and for the past couple of days me and my family have been watching your coverage of the fires. & I would like to tell you guys that it is horrible, first of all if your going to have people covering this story make sure they know how to pronounce the names of these cities and that they know the correct information about the past fires. And the thing that bothers me the most about this is that you interview these people that have lost their homes in the fire, they have lost everything and you have reporters asking questions like “did you watch your house burn to the ground” “oh and how did that make you feel?” “What was going through your head as you realized your home was gone” these people just lost EVERYTHING and they ask questions like that? I mean come on, maybe before you send someone into the field you should a) make sure they know their information. And b) make them a little more sympathetic and give them some ideas on what questions they shouldn’t ask.

    October 25, 2007 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |