In the home stretch of the South Carolina primary campaign I'd like to hopefully speak to some South Carolinians about tomorrow's big vote. Your state will be the most important one to date in this primary season. Why? Because yours is the first true Republican primary. If the Republican party is the conservative party then the Republican party should nominate a conservative candidate. We have a field of 6 candidates. By admission, one is not a conservative. He's a libertarian. Of the remaining 5 they run the gamut on the conservative scale. The only truly conservative candidate in the running is Fred Thompson. If you are conservative and you'd like to see the Republican party continue to be conservative then the decision for you tomorrow will be an easy one.
Opponents of Thompson will attempt to discourage you from pulling the proverbial lever for Fred. They'll say that he's not electable. I ask, why? If the only way to get a Republican elected in November is to ape the Democrats then we might as well turn the lights off and go home. President Bush is unpopular, there's no doubt about that. But the reason his approval ratings are so low isn't because he's been so conservative. It's because he's been a mixed bag, pleasing neither liberals nor conservatives. If he had managed a conservative administration half the country would be very happy right now and the other half would still be pissed. Instead 2/3 of the people are pissed.
Fred is going to stand for conservative principles. That means he's going to piss off a lot of liberals including the media.
So now I'd like you to take a look at a list of 51 quotes about Fred Thompson and his conservatism which was compiled by Josh Painter at Red State.
Conservative South Carolinians, you know what you need to do. Now go and do it.
"Fred Thompson is perhaps the most substantative candidate to run for President in many years. He has taken the time to think about what should be the relationship between the government and the governed. He has framed his thoughts within the context of a set of bedrock conservative principles that animates his thinking and generates sound ideas about where America should be headed." - Rick Moran, Real Clear Politics
"Fred is right on the issues, and there's little doubt his positions are firm. Research his stances; read his position papers. You'll find he's very strong in all areas important to mainstream conservatives, including national defense, taxes, spending, life, immigration, federalism, appointing originalist judges, health care and education." - Columnist David Limbaugh
"In November, we will choose between two candidates. We already know what the Democrat’s plan will be: tax more, spend more, and hope for the best. I hope that Republican primary voters will have the foresight to place a candidate atop their ticket with the knowledge of how to fix what’s broken and the commitment to conservative principles to make the fix -- Fred Thompson!" - Columnist Gary Loftis, American Chronicle
"Thompson’s ability to unify Republicans stems from two things. First, his gut-level conservatism. Which leads to the second, trust." - Jed Babbin, Human Events"All the Republican candidates are talking conservative right now. They always talk conservative during the Republican primary. The difference between Fred Thompson and the other major Republican candidates is that where he stands today is where he stood eight years ago, and where he will be standing eight years from now, when he completes his second term as president." - CA State Sen. Tom McClintock
"Good for Fred! His refusal to do the stupid hand-raising thing was an excellent moment. It's his best debate yet." - National Review Online's Rich Lowry"That’s why I’m pleased that Fred Thompson has thrown his hat into the ring. Thompson has been talking and writing about his belief in federalism. In a recent speech, he argued that 'centralized government is not the solution to all our problems…this was among the great insights of 1787, and it is just as vital in 2007.' Thompson rightly argues that the abandonment of federalism has caused a range of pathologies including a lack of government accountability, the squelching of policy diversity between the states, and the overburdening of federal policymakers with local matters when they should be focusing on national security issues. Federalism 'is a tool to promote freedom,' as Thompson puts it. So for the supposed heirs to Ronald Reagan who are running for president, let’s hear more about expanding our freedom by cutting the federal government down to constitutional size." - The CATO Institute's Chris Edwards
"It’s refreshing to hear Senator Thompson. He is not the candidate the media likes. He gives good sound bites, but he is plodding, methodical, and issue oriented. Senator Thompson’s is not a personality driven campaign. It is about issues, issues, issues. And it is conservative to the core." - Erick Erickson, Human Events
"Fred Thompson reminds me of a Southern-fried Reagan." - Southern Baptist Convention's Dr. Richard Land"Thompson, whatever his faults, is not getting a fair shake. When you’re waxing on about OMB circulars and Clinger-Cohen’s e-billing protocols, you’re not exactly lazy or lackluster. In fact, you’re actually doing what government is supposed to be doing, which is trying to do better." - Former GAO public affairs chief Jeff Nelligan
"The last thing Democrats want to see is a TV debate between prosecutor Fred and Mrs. Bill Clinton, or worse yet, the freshman kid from Illinois with no resume at all." - Writer JB Williams"Fred Thompson is a Barry Goldwater movement conservative." - Blogger California Conservative
"He is pro-life, pro-family, pro-traditional marriage, pro-Second Amendment and pro-free enterprise. And if he runs, he could not only defeat anyone the Democrats nominate, including Hillary Clinton, but his coattails just might be long enough to bring the GOP back to power in Congress." - Human Events' Doug Patton"He'd... be a very formidable candidate against any Democrat in November. He has a very solid conservative record, but like Reagan, he has been able to charm many who may not agree with him on every issue." - former U.S. Sen. and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham
"Thompson does seem to have Reagan's ability to sense the mood of the country." - National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez"I have to wonder, why has there been such widespread silence about the single most signicant policy proposal of this whole campaign so far? I refer to Fred Thompson's plan... to reform Social Security. It is as courageous a move by any presidential candidate as we have seen for many years... Thompson is very much on the right track, and he shows great political courage in taking on half of the single most important long-term economic issue facing this country (the other half being the long-term Medicare mess). On this proposal, conservatives ought to be rallying to Thompson's defense, not greeting him with silence." - American Spectator's Quin Hillyer
"Thompson... indicated a willingness to criticize his own party's failings, particularly on government spending and a desire to return Republicans to their limited-government moorings." - The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes"Whoever says this man is lazy never worked for him." - former Thompson aide Bill Outhier
"Fred Thompson has, over his career, much better defined federalism than almost anybody else in Washington. He is one of very few people voting against feel-good popular legislation that was not the proper domain of the federal government." - The Club for Growth's Pat Toomey"Which is more likely, that the extremely polarizing Hillary can appeal to red state NASCAR dads, or that TV and movie star Thompson — with his deep voice and folksy, reassuring, Reagan-like manner — can woo the ever-anxious, blue state soccer moms?" -Writer Lisa Fabrizio
“He was a very conservative Republican even then. He was a huge supporter of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election.” - Law school friend Bill Kirkland"Senator Thompson is a strong fiscal conservative. He's not happy with how bloated the government has become, or how it mishandles the taxpayer's money... To him, this is intolerable." - Writers Thomas Clark and Marcie Packard
"NRLC endorsements are very heavily based on voting records, and Fred Thompson has the highest pro-life score of any candidate in the race (although John McCain's pro-life voting record dates back farther). Mitt Romney would no doubt do well on a pro-life candidate survey, but his overriden vetoes don't equal Thompson's record on life issues." - American Spectator's James Antle"Great Answer by Thompson about injecting more choice and market forces into education. Seriously, it's like Thompson came to the debate in Des Moines today to do two things: Kick butt and chew gum. And it appears he's all out of gum." - National Review Online's Mark Hemmingway
"During his eight years in the Senate, Thompson had a solid record as a fiscal conservative." - The CATO Institute's Michael D. Tanner"As President Abraham Lincoln astutely observed from the Scripture, 'A house divided against itself will not stand;' and a divided Republican constituency cannot achieve a general election victory in 2008. In order to assure victory, the Republican Party must unify behind a candidate whom all of the principal constituencies can, and will support; and that candidate is Senator Thompson, who by virtue of his consistent and conservative policy positions, and personal characteristics, is best positioned to engender the support of, and thus appeal to, all of the Republican Party’s three blocks of voters, fiscal conservatives; national security conservatives; and religious/social conservatives." - Blogger Allen Sutton
"I believe Fred Thompson is a reliable, consistent conservative. There are others in the field I could support, but not without some reservations. The more I learn about Fred and observe him in action, the more convinced I become that he's the right choice." - Columnist David Limbaugh"Reagan commanded respect across the political aisle at home and abroad, and remains one of the most loved U.S. Presidents in U.S. history, even today. But he was somewhat liberal on social issues. Or, like Thompson, he was at least an anti-federalist, who sought to return private assets and personal liberty to the states and the people at every chance." - Writer JB Williams
"He worked plenty and he absorbed plenty." - The AEI's Norman Ornstein"Democrats had better think long and hard on who will be running against Fred Thompson in 2008 when picking a nominee." - Author "Jim Clark
"Thompson has so many undeniable qualifications for the nomination." - Columnist William RusherFred Thompson "has followed his gutsy and philosophically solid Social Security plan and his on-target defense plan, and his hard-nosed immigration plan, with a tax-reform proposal that is deservedly earning plaudits from conservative experts." - American Spectator's Quin Hillyer
"I have concluded that the way politicians treat “lowly” volunteers separates great leaders from poor ones. By that standard, I would have to rate Fred at the top of any of the politicians I have had the privilege of being associated with. That year - I became a Fred fan for life." - Volunteer for former Sen. Thompson"Fred Thompson’s record on spending puts the rest of the field to shame, and is even more conservative than that of Newt Gingrich. Perhaps Thompson’s supposed lack of accomplishments in the Senate are the result of a legislator who erred on the side of ensuring that government didn’t grow, didn’t spend more, didn’t meddle more in people’s lives, and generally left Americans alone. In an age of two big-governnment parties, it isn’t surprising that such a candidate is garnering interest." - Blogger DaveG
"Fred Thompson also is an impressive and brilliant communicator. He also exudes a confidence and a leadership which people naturally seek in a president in troubled times." - Author Bruce Walker"In 2000, Thompson got a 92 percent favorable rating from the American Conservative Union and a zero from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action." - Pundit Mike Allen
”Good for Fred. Good for his excellent, broad based, tax-cut plan — including a flat-tax option and a corporate tax cut… Good for Fred for mentioning National Review and Investor’s Business Daily for speaking positively about his candidacy… Good for Fred for showing fire, energy, and animation throughout the interview. It’s the same fire in the belly that I witnessed in our CNBC interview earlier this month." - CSNBC's Larry Kudlow"Thompson does something no other Republican contender has attempted: appeal to Democrats... This is reminiscent of Reagan’s talk to the people of North Carolina in 1976. Simple, straightforward, modest production values—just the candidate in front of an American flag and an Iowa flag—but (to use the word again) compelling... We have here a serious man, making a serious case—and doing so in the context of a campaign that has otherwise descended into mere caterwauling." - National Review Online's Peter Robinson
"Fred Thompson was the only candidate who stood out. He was funny, charming, and peppy. Here was a guy who wasn't afraid to speak hard truths, and who displayed knowledge of the policy issues--especially on entitlements. But the moment of the debate, the moment that will be talked about should he defy expectations and go on to win the nomination, was when he refused to raise his hand at the behest of the moderator. This demonstrated conviction, showed he was able to stand up for his principles, that he was a man who valued substance, a leader rather than a follower, and somebody who is running a different kind of campaign." - American Spectator's Phillip Klein"There was one candidate who did not display any moderateness or liberalism or have any of his past forays into those areas displayed, and that candidate was Fred Thompson." - Talk show host Rush Limbaugh
"Thompson appears neither too left nor too right, neither left-wing nor right-wing, but somewhere in between, depending upon which issue you care to consider. He appears to be just like most Americans..." - Writer J.B. Williams"Fred Thompson, like Ronald Reagan, is a man of tremendous substance." - Reagan speechwriter Clark Judge
"He voted to eliminate the ‘marriage penalty’ and for across-the-board spending cuts." - Blogger Dave Hinz"During his eight years in the U.S. Senate, Thompson voted anti-choice 44 out of 46 times on choice-related issues. He has called Roe v. Wade 'bad law' and received the National Right to Life Committee's endorsement in his bid for Senate." - NARAL spokesman Ted Miller
"As the counsel in the 1970s to the Republicans on the Senate Watergate Committee and as the Chairman in the 1990s of what is now the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Thompson has much more experience than any other candidate in leading congressional investigations of presidents. He has spent much of his career, in fact, thinking like a prosecutor and standing up for Congress’ oversight responsibilities." - CQ's David Nather"There is a heft to Thompson, a seriousness of purpose that none of the other candidates can match." - Rick Moran, Real Clear Politics
"So when you begin to caucus or primary, elect the man who hasn’t chosen to make America his enemy. Elect the man who hasn’t signed onto irresponsible environmental treaties. Elect the man who didn’t vote to leave Saddam Hussein in power, and continues to support the troops and finishing the job in Iraq. Elect the man who didn’t continue to build a surplus with higher taxes. Elect the man who refused to vote to keep Partial Birth Abortion alive. Elect the man who doesn’t believe in gay marriage. Elect the man who’s not against the Second Amendment. Elect the man who has never been pro-choice. Elect the man who doesn’t want to continue throwing money at education. Elect a man that isn’t against states’ rights and school vouchers. Elect the man who hasn’t had any forays into liberalism, choosing instead to be a consistent conservative. So, if you don’t go to the polls for what he’s done, go and elect Fred Thompson for what he hasn’t done." - Chris Davis, National Ledger"No other GOP candidate has Thompson’s insight into government accountability. If we are to tame the greedy beast we call a government, that insight is an imperative in the White House." - Columnist Gary Loftis, American Chronicle
"Fred Thompson seems to have the best policy positions and the best political track record among the Republican candidates..." - Jewish World Review's Thomas Sowell"While the other contenders are frantically saturating the Iowa airwaves with 30- and 60-second attack ads—Romney is guiltiest, if only because he’s richest—Thompson has sat himself down, looked into a camera, and spoken for a quarter of an hour, calmly and straightforwardly making his case. I myself find this impressive—in a way, moving. Thompson seems to have stepped out of the eighteenth century. He trusts voters to think. And if the comments on YouTube are at all representative, plenty of people agree." - National Review Online's Peter Robinson
"I do believe that with Fred, we know what we are getting. I find his lack of 'fire in the belly' refreshing. He strikes me as one of the few presidential candidates since Ronald Reagan whose primary motivation is not personal aggrandizement but rather serving and leading the nation in very troubled and dangerous times. I see him as almost being drafted into this project, and his refusal to drool publicly over the prospect of becoming the most powerful man in the world is positively delightful." - Columnist David Limbaugh