Skip to comments.Why Rush Limbaugh Should Endorse Fred Thompson Now (and join his brother David Limbaugh)
Posted on 01/01/2008 3:12:59 AM PST by Maelstorm
Rush Limbaugh is, arguably, the most influential conservative Republican of the post-Reagan/post-Buckley era someone whose support is essential to any GOP presidential nominee and the next GOP president. If you doubt his impact, check Mike Huckabee's poll numbers since Rush responded over the airwaves two weeks ago to ill-considered insults hurled at him by the Huckabee campaign.
Since his national emergence in 1988, Rush has pledged never to endorse any Republican candidate during the presidential primaries. In 2007, he seemed to come close to breaking his own 11th commandment twice. First, he identified Fred Thompson as the only conservative participant in the CNN/YouTube GOP debate and defended Thompson against charges of laziness. Then Rush commended Mitt Romney's speech on faith, although he also criticized Romney's less-than-conservative record and his Iowa debate comment about not losing any sleep over the tax burden on upper income Americans.
Limbaugh may not issue official un-endorsements, either, but attentive listeners can easily discern his sympathies and antipathies. Among the top tier candidates, he has been completely positive about Thompson. Conversely, John McCain is a longstanding target of Limbaughs disdain. In a 2004 Wall Street Journal opinion piece about the conservative themes running through convention speeches given that summer by McCain, Giuliani, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rush characterized McCain as the most liberal of the trio. He also lauded Giuliani for taking on John Kerry directly, detailing his equivocations and flip-flops on matters of war and peace, and pointing out how such indecision and expediency endanger America's security (please see http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005563).
However, if Limbaugh holds fast to his illusion of impartiality in the 2008 primaries, his reward might well be the nomination of Senator McCain.
Romney is, I believe, a fatally flawed candidate. Regrettably, Giulianis aforementioned warnings about Kerrys flip-flopping and expediency apply likewise to Mitt Romney. The GOP base is divided among those who hope Romney means what he says today, those who are skeptical of his Clintonesque glibness, and those who will never vote for a Mormon. Significantly, he is clearly disliked by his GOP opponents.
Giuliani appears Clintonesque in his personal life, holds social beliefs unacceptable to evangelicals, and his Florida-centric campaign strategy may be his political downfall. If so, where will his supporters go? He has expressed admiration for McCain and ostensibly could endorse him.
Conceivably, Huckabee would continue through the primaries as a spoiler, buoyed by his evangelical base. Thompson seems like the natural beneficiary of a Huckabee collapse. Nevertheless, as Huckabees Iowa support was seen to decline, Romney and McCain also enjoyed increased poll numbers there.
The only criticisms published of Fred Thompson are personal (the laziness charge that is belied by his current campaign schedule and his resumé) and strategic (his late entry into the race). His conservative credentials are widely heralded and stand in stark relief against the records and positions of his moderate competitors.
If Thompson fails to finish well in Iowa and New Hampshire, he probably skips Michigan and enters South Carolina with a substantial disadvantage, politically and financially, from which it will be extremely difficult to recover. Thompson endorsed John McCain in the 2000 presidential race and it is no great stretch to imagine that he will endorse McCain again if he drops out.
That would be a death blow to the conservative movement of Buckley, Goldwater, Reagan, and Limbaugh, which has not had a genuine conservative nominee since 1984. More importantly, the conservative principles Thompson would bring back to the White House are needed desperately to win the war on fiscal irresponsibility, win the war on our borders, and win the war on terrorism as they steadfastly won the Cold War.
If Limbaugh were to endorse Thompson this week before the Hawkeye cauci, single-handedly Rush could return the national conversation to conservative vs. liberal ideology, overturn the conventional wisdom so beloved by beltway and drive-by media types, and spurn the McCain surge. In a battle of wits, ideas, principles, integrity, and gravitas, Fred Thompson is best armed to lead us to victory.
David Limbaugh endorsed Fred Thompson yesterday.
Says it all.
I don’t think so. There is one more criticism: His support of McCain/Feingold. But he has since admitted it was a mistake.
That being said, I’m still a Fredhead.
After reading some of the articles tonight I’m starting to get more optimistic about Fred’s chances in Iowa. I understand what he talks about when he’s so not into camaigning. I just hope Americans aren’t fooled by Hillary’s incessant self-loving tour of America.
Personal stuff is what make most people vote for President.
Plus both Romney and Huck support the same or worse.
That leaves us with Fred. I must confess that Fred is the only one I don’t have major reservations about — apart from his electability. Yes, I worry that he supported McCain-Feingold and that he might not be a strong supply-sider. But on most issues, he seems reliably conservative and appears to have a solid and strong character. 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.
That said, he needs to make a more convincing case to the voters, which will require a greater display of enthusiasm that he views these as both perilous and promising times and that he is the best man, overall, to navigate the ship of state through these times.
So, Fred, please, as distasteful as it may be to you, it’s time to step up and prove you want it. Time is short.
I’m probably going to get hammered for this, but every time I look at Fred, I wonder if he isn’t the start of another Dole/Kemp ticket. Good an paper, but unelectable due to the seeming lack of vitality. The “laziness” charge could hurt him. Pundits talk about how he said he didn’t want to be president, and it may translate into a perception of a lack of enthusiasm or vitality.
Open for debate... go easy... it’s just a musing.
I thought about that too.
The thing I see different is that when you asked Dole what he’d do as president, his answers were incoherent drivel. He was nominated as a reward for being a good GOP soldier in the Senate.
Fred has core principles that he articulates well. He knows what he believes and why.
The events of 9/11 have proven that our enemies can and will kill us given the chance, and another inept, P.C. addled democrat president is exactly what our enemies are counting on to advance their cause.
I know your ratings are probably better when there’s a dem in office, but this is not the time to be concerned about ratings or pre 9/11 commandments.
It’s time to emulate those brave soldiers you so admire and “Be all you can be” or do all you can do. After all, their lives depend on having the best Commander in Chief we can give them.
That would be Fred.
Rush Limbaugh has much less power over Republican voters than many political junkies believe.
I take Mitts running away from Reagan/Bush personally. His support for gay boy scouts and his continued cooperation with gay activists as Governor in Massachusetts something he has never renounced. He also is offering up a Health Care plan that is indistinguishable from that of Hillary Clinton. If the choice is a Massachusetts Governor and another Arkansas Governor with a penchant for raising taxes then give me Fred.
It speaks his mind and shoots straight. I’m electing a leader not a CEO or a preacher. We’ve had a CEO in chief and we nearly lost the War in Iraq to a bunch of liberal traitors because of his bumbling. I’d vote for Bush again in a pinch given the options but I’m not voting for Bush prettied up or with a bible thumper chaser. Both of the front runners want to play footsies with the liberal media who just can’t wait to see them nominated so they can send them to the woodshed or the bathhouse whichever comes first.
That said calling Fred lazy was an unjustified attack. He was called to run, he did not call himself. If anyone is lazy it is the people who called for him and then bailed or have played to the front runners. If they want to play such games and want a fight we who support Fred are going to give a fight. We may not win but at least we fought for a leader who did not arrive at his policy positions last January.
Fred may be far from perfect but I know who he is and I know he will stand up for our country and stand up against the Democrats in congress. That is what I want. I don’t want Romney and Huckabee going off to make nice with Chuckie Shummer and that is what they’ve indicated they would do.
Fred instead calls the radical left for what it is and instead calls conservative patriotic Democrats to consider him. That is unique, only Reagan spoke so clearly and if that is an indication of the scarcity of substance in our candidates then I’m going to vote for the individual with the most substance.
I don’t want a CEO President we have had one of those. I don’t want a bible thumper who wants to raise taxes to feed the poor and feed the government beast. I swear Huckabee sounds like John Edwards when he talks about capitalism and fiscal matters. It makes me sick to think these two posers are on the top of the ticket. It is like the GOP has become the Democrat party of 08.
Yes that's why 13.5 million listeners a week have the radio tuned to him, and don't talk about his show with others.
It's why the Dims in the Congress rise to vilify him on record.
It's why those who don't listen to the MSM or cable generate their personal conservatism based on what Rush talks about.
Keep believing he doesn't influence people or that it's why he has been so successful over the years.
You want to start the New Year with a LIE, don't you? If not for President Bush great leadership against all odds we would have lost this war long time ago and surrender to the terrorists plunging the world in a new dark age.
The obsession of the political junkies elite class with Fred Thompson is ridiculous beyond belief, and they are having fits because he is not doing well. I will tell you why he is not doing well. The man is not connecting with the non political junkies who make 99% of the base. It is as simple as that.
I respect Dole as a person, but once he started crying, he didn't stop. That's why I don't have this hatred for McCain some here have--he's a guy. I don't have to agree with all of his positions, but he's a real person.
On the other hand, I cannot shake the feeling that we will be electing Obama or HRC this cycle. The American public has been so hit over the head with this "we need to elect a minority to prove we're not biased" crap for decades that I think this is the time when it might give. Ironically, people will still hate the WOT but accept that Iraq is going well, and they can say "What the heck, ANYONE can be president, it's not like Bush was some brain surgeon. Bush is very intelligent, as his smart political opponents will tell you, but the media bashing of him has done its job--people think ANYONE can be president if they FEEEEEEEEL like it'd be a good thing for them to be president.
Thus...Obama or Clinton, I fear. But I have hopes that when confronted with Thompson, either of them will collapse. I don't think any other Republican has a chance against them other than McCain, who could win on his personality.
If by “personal stuff” you mean “as president, what kind of handouts are you going to give me” then I agree with you. Most people vote for the person they believe will give them something without having to earn it.
Do you really believe that most of his listeners will vote for Thompson because Rush Limbaugh endorses him? If you do then let us stop this discussion.
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