December 3rd, 2007
06:08 PM ET
11 years ago

Thompson: 'The Lord is OK with me'

Watch Thompson direct his fire at rivals Romney and Huckabee.

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.

Full story

Catch the full interview on the Situation Room at 4, 5, and 6 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Fred Thompson • Iowa • New Hampshire • South Carolina
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. Independent in IA

    I swear, this campaign is turning the American Public into the same religious divisiveness as the Middle East. One faction against another. How soon before we start wearing turbans as well?

    December 4, 2007 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  2. John Karsten, Virginia Beach, VA

    I totally agree that you do not have to go to church to have a relationship with God. I was taught that I can talk to God anytime I want, so why does one have to go to a building once a week to worship him? Dose this action make one person better than another. That is also something I see fundamentally wrong with organized religion. It is so secular meaning people not belonging to whatever faith; they are wrong, bad or not like them. Keep church and state separate!

    To Jeff in Jacksonville Fl,
    I disagree sir about the average person getting elected. I can tell you that I would vote for a regular working person/blue collar guy today, but we only have the choice of the crooks they put in front of us. My grandfather once told me, who by the way was a US Congressman from 1947-1968(Frank Melvin Karsten), that by the time any person got elected, they would be just as corrupt as the rest. Meaning anyone who REALLY desires to be President, by the time they get there, they would owe so many people and special interest groups favors that they would be ineffective. I really believe that is a true statement. So, come next November, we must choose between the lesser of two evils…….again…

    Until we change the 2 party system, it will be this way for a very long time, regardless of who is running.

    December 4, 2007 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. RMRN.Y.

    Wow, another republican who talks to the invisible man in the sky!?!?

    December 4, 2007 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  4. You Guessed It! Tampa, FL

    It's funny...Middle Eastern countries base their government on religion...the U.S. claims a separation between religion and government, yet a huge portion of what media is focusing on IS religion. What ever happened to personal moral judgment...based on what is right and wrong? Hypocrites? America? NOOO!!!

    December 4, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. Bill, Tempe, AZ

    Now how can we be sure, Fred? people want to over analyze Mitt so it's fair to do the same to the rest of you candidates. I'm just not convinced that you are Christian and that the church you attend is a Christian church.

    December 4, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. Doug, New Jersey

    "Maybe we all should think hard about nations who jail teachers for offensive Teddy Bear names yet commit genocide. Is that the successful mix of church and state that Neo-cons want?"

    It is the liberal democrat who says that those people in the middle east who are calling for that teacher to be killed for allowing a student to call a teady bear Mohamad are the exact same thing as Americans who are Christian that go to church every Sunday.

    What does that tell you? Sure seems that the lib really does hate Christians and that liberal Democrats have no desire to be rational or honest. The reason you libs see no difference between these Muslims calling for murder and Americans who go to church is that hate makes people blind. Posts on the net show that no one in America is more hateful than the liberal democrat.

    It is time for old school democrats to wake up and see what your party has become. You don't support this hate, I know you don't. However, you are supporting it when you vote Democrat each November. Your party has been hijacked by these lib extremists who see Christians in America as the same as those calling for this teacher to be killed. The America they want is not what you want.

    December 4, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Kat, Fairfax,VA

    The Bible says that God would spit you out of his mouth... so I guess that would mean...The Lord is NOT ok with you.........................

    December 4, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Rob, Austin TX

    RMRY, pls note, Republicans aren't the only ones who, as you put it, talk to the invisible man in the sky: "Obama's South Carolina campaign is in the midst of promoting Obama's values through a grass-roots effort called "40 Days of Faith and Family," which is reaching out to primary voters through gospel concerts and a series of faith forums." "Senator Hillary Clinton has talked about how faith saw her through the turmoil of Bill Clinton's infidelity and political difficulties. Senator John Edwards openly speaks of his "deep and abiding love for [his] Savior, Jesus Christ." Senator Barack Obama has long woven the language of religion into his call for shared responsibility and social justice."
    Go ahead and check for yourself for the quotes above, search within CNN for "Clinton religion". You'd be surprised at what you'll find out about the Democratic candidates. And let's all face it, the Christian right is, for the political candidates, another bloc of voters to be courted, no different from minority groups and different working classes, blue collar and white collar. I agree that religion must be separated from the state, or you do creep towards theocracy. But let's not pretend that these candidates are proselytizing, rather than stumping for votes.

    December 4, 2007 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Joe, Homestead, Florida

    You do not have to go to a "church" to be a Christian. You can have fellowship with other Christians and not go to an expensive building every week, where you have to donate to keep the building open and operating. Organized "religion" is the problem. It is mankinds way of trying to earn their way to heaven. Can't be done. Grace alone.

    December 4, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Mary, Beaver, PA

    John Karsten of Virginia Beach, VA, I agree with you totally. Doug of New Jersey, what you say about the Democrats could also be said about the Republicans. Republicans used to be the party of small government and individual liberty. Now they are the party of imperialism, budget-busting deficits, and enough posturing to embarrass Elmer Gantry. And, yes, until we break the back of this two-party system, things will never change.

    I support the party of Barry Goldwater, but what happened to it? I certainly don't recognize it now, therefore, I don't support it. Nor do I support the spineless, politically correct wusses who are on the other side of the aisle.

    December 4, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. AJ, IL

    Thompson is trying to act his way into the presidency. He doesn't seem to have any strong convictions other that the other republican candidates are not good choices. How are you better Fred? Fred is a former Tennessee senator of 8yrs who was/is a Washington lobbyist that divorced his wife of 26yrs and then later married a woman who is nearly 26 years his minor.

    December 4, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. David Columbus, OH

    I am sick of religion being a prerequiste for President. Christians are a large portion of this country, and the GOP knows that it must go after this Christian base in order to win. What a crock. Isn't this what we laugh at Iraq for? Being seperated by religion, and religion tearing the country apart. I AM SICK OF ORGANIZED RELIGION!

    December 5, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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