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"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan



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Fred Thompson is coming to Virginia

Posted by Stephen on June 1, 2007

Former Tennessee Senator and possible presidential candidate Fred Thompson will be in Virginia over the weekend attempting to test the waters and drum up support among conservatives in the Commonwealth.

Thompson will be the keynote speaker at the Republican Party of Virginia’s 2007 Commonwealth Gala Saturday in Richmond.

Thompson represents a solid conservative figure for Republican Party supporters that are thirsty for the values exhibited by Ronald Reagan and seemingly abandoned by President Bush. Additionally, the three current front runners, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, leave the conservative base less than impressed.

“If the election was tomorrow, and conservatives had to go to the polls and vote for one of these three leading guys, then a lot of conservatives would probably stay home,” said state Delegate Jeffrey M. Frederick, a Prince William Republican. “The three leading candidates in the race right now all have problems with the conservative base, significant problems, and I think that conservatives nationally are looking for a bona fide conservative candidate; someone who is not a fringe candidate either, but one that actually can win.”  

Left behind by Republicans in recent years are the disciplined values of Ronald Reagan that led the country for 8 years. Conservative principles are about a belief system that centers on the success of the individual over the need for government. It is a belief system that limits taxation, while protecting the free market. It is a system of government that believes that people should have more control over what they do with the limited resources they have. Less intrusive government, responsible spending, limited taxation, and free enterprise are the corner stones of conservatism.

Many conservatives argue that Republicans lost in last year’s elections because they forgot those conservative principles, particularly limited government spending. President Bush is now being criticized for pushing an immigration proposal that conservatives say awards amnesty to illegal aliens.

Conservatives “are very unhappy with the state of the party,” said Craig Shirley, an Alexandria-based Republican strategist.
Thompson, who has yet to officially enter the race is currently third in most national polls.

“People are looking for someone who is consistent across the board. And when you look at some of the candidates, I think they may have good leadership skills, but are inconsistent on the issues, or they are consistent on the issues, but don’t have good leadership skills,” said state Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter, Prince William Republican.

Still, not everyone is sold on Thompson as the candidate.

“It’s very interesting how he has come out of nowhere in relatively few weeks, but it also tells you about the yawning chasm inside the Republican Party that is thirsting for a real conservative leader,” Shirley said.

Some leading Christian conservatives have already said they would rally behind Thompson.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a prominent Roman Catholic social conservative told the Washington Times “Mr. Giuliani, Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney fall short of conservative expectations, but Mr. Thompson is ‘right on the issues’ such as abortion and ‘better than all of the above’.” 

Charles Dunn of Regent University in Virginia Beach, said breaking into the Republican presidential primary field would be a “tall order” for Thompson, but he would likely do well in Virginia.
 
“He will appeal to the Southern Republican,” Dunn said. “He will appeal to evangelical Christians, and he will appeal to social conservatives. Those three groups pretty much dominate Republican Party politics in this state.”

Thompson will need to tell people where he stands on other issues and assure Virginia conservatives that he is more committed to tenets of limited government than the leading Republican contenders are.

The gathering in Richmond on Saturday will provide Thompson an excellent testing ground for his political ideology and a solid opportunity to receive ringing endorsements from leaders, supportive and skeptical alike, within a prominent conservative battleground.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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