Many conservatives (including Christian conservatives) seem to be jumping on the Fred Thompson bandwagon. As far as Republican presidential contenders go, the biggest loser of the Thompson surge is Mitt Romney. Many conservatives were supporting Romney only because they perceived him as being the best chance to beat Rudy Giuliani. A Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani presidential election is a conservative's worst nightmare. Romney has the charm and money and is now saying the "right" things. Hence, he has enjoyed moderate support in the early goings of this campaign season. However, Romney's liberal track record is very disconcerting to conservatives. In their hearts, conservatives cannot trust Romney.
The entrance of Fred Thompson in the presidential race immediately took a toll on the Romney campaign. Romney's support is dropping like the temperature in northern Idaho in the wintertime. That trend will probably continue, as more conservatives catch the Thompson wave.
The problem is, Thompson is not a conservative. Worse still (for the GOP), Thompson cannot beat Hillary in a general election. Mark my words, if Fred Thompson is the Republican nominee next November, Hillary Clinton is your next president.
For that matter, I see only one Republican contender who might be able to beat Hillary in the 2008 general election: Ron Paul. Yes, you read it right. Ron Paul.
If Giuliani is the Republican nominee, conservative Christians will stay home or vote third party. (It is past time for conservative Christians to abandon the GOP, anyway. I encourage readers to check out the Constitution Party as a viable alternative. See here.) A Republican cannot win the White House without widespread support from evangelical Christians. And Giuliani will never have widespread support from evangelical Christians.
Newt Gingrich is toying with the idea of entering the race, but the truth is out about Newt. His infidelities, his membership in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and his past betrayal of conservative principles precede him. Newt is damaged goods. He has little chance of obtaining the Republican nomination, and even if he did, he has no chance of beating Hillary. None. Zero. Zilch.
The only Republican with the potential to pull an upset victory over Clinton is Ron Paul. He is extremely popular among constitutionalists, independents, and many Christians (including me). He is doing very well in fundraising and on the Internet. And if Paul's message was given a fair hearing, evangelical Christians and traditional conservatives would come to support him.
The only reason that some conservative Christians do not already support Ron Paul is because they, themselves, do not understand constitutional government. Years of Republican chicanery and compromise have taken a toll on conservatives to the point that many of them don't understand truth when they see it. However, this could change. The more people learn about Ron Paul and constitutional government, the more they like him and it.
On the other hand, the more people learn about Fred Thompson, the more they will dislike him. As with Gingrich, Thompson is a member of the sinister cabal, the CFR, whose principle purpose for existence seems to be the construction of one-world government and the destruction of U.S. independence and sovereignty. This means Thompson will do nothing to stop illegal immigration. (See Thompson soft on illegals in Senate votes, by Stephen Dinan The Washington Times, September 5, 2007)
He will do nothing to stand in the way of the emerging North American Union, and the NAFTA Superhighway, and he will continue the push for globalization.
In addition, Fred Thompson is the personification of a Washington insider-lobbyist. Thompson was a lobbyist for twenty years before being elected to the U.S. Senate. He represented organizations like the Tennessee Savings and Loan Association and deposed Haitian President Aristide. He continued lobbying after he left the Senate, including representing a British insurance company that wants to limit payments to the families of those who died from asbestos exposure. In fact, Thompson's presidential campaign is literally overflowing with advisors and donors who are lobbyists, former lobbyists or employees of lobbying firms. (See Fred Thompson: First Lobbyist for President By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann) If Thompson was elected President, he would be the country's first Lobbyist-in-Chief.
On the life issue, Fred Thompson's record is clearly pro-choice. In 1991 and 1992, Thompson was a paid lobbyist for the pro-abortion organization, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. He also lobbied against the Republican Party's pro-life plank. According to Terry Jeffrey, "[W]hen Fred Thompson was in the United States Senate, both times he ran for the Senate he ran as a pro-choice candidate."
One of the Religious Right's most respected leaders, Richard Viguerie, recently said this about Fred Thompson:
"Fred Thompson's record may appear to be 'conservative,' but only by comparison with Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, or Mitt Romney, and a Less-of-a-Big Government Republican is still a Big Government Republican. And given his lack of conservative leadership as a Senator, it would be a grave mistake to expect conservative leadership from him as President."
However, there is another glaring (and I mean glaring) reason why any Republican presidential contender outside Ron Paul will not defeat Hillary next November: every other Republican presidential contender supports the Iraq war. That means every one of them (except Ron Paul) is completely out of touch with over two-thirds of the American electorate.
And the longer our troops keep dying in Iraq, the more out of touch the GOP will become with a vast majority of the American people.
President Bush has already made it clear that he intends for American troops to remain in Iraq for years—if not decades—to come. And it also seems clear that the GOP presidential candidates (except Ron Paul) plan to follow Bush's madness.
Republicans need to wake up to reality: people are sick of George Bush, and they are sick of the Iraq war. Good grief! In less time than our troops have been in Iraq, our men and women in uniform defeated the combined forces of Germany, Japan, and Italy during World War II. In Iraq, we have not been able to secure the city of Baghdad.
When America's top military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, was asked if all the efforts in Iraq—including the latest surge—make America safer, his answer was an astounding, "I don't know."
That is an incredible statement. After more than four years of combat in a country approximately the size of Texas, more than one-half trillion dollars in cost, and the sacrifice of thousands of American lives, our top military commander cannot honestly say that America is any safer. Yet, Bush says we are "winning," and he wants our troops to stay in Iraq indefinitely.
I dare say that by the time November 2008 rolls around, support for the Iraq war could be so low that the Republican Party may be lucky to even be competitive in the national elections, no matter who their candidate is (unless it is Ron Paul). This is because every single one of the other GOP presidential contenders (including Fred Thompson) is on record as supporting a continuing U.S. occupation of Iraq.
In addition, most of them are on record as supporting an expansion of the war into other parts of the Middle East. (Interestingly enough, however, none of them wants to discuss—much less threaten—the real sponsors of terrorism: Russia and China.)
That Fred Thompson is surging to the position of Republican presidential frontrunner means that conservatives are desperate. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be desperate enough to look at their own erroneous policies. Neither are they willing to look at the recipe for their own recovery: principled, constitutional government.
I already hear the fat lady warming up.
Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He hosts a weekly radio show. His website is here.