The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Joel's S.C. Diary

Fred Thompson Gets Mad

Fred Thompson was angered on behalf of supporters in South Carolina. (AP).

By Joel Achenbach
PROSPERITY, S.C. -- You rarely see Fred Thompson get too riled about anything, but steam was near about shooting from his ears today when he heard at a campaign stop that some of his supporters had received "push poll" calls from a group supporting Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

At a steak house in this small town west of Columbia, a man in the small crowd told Thompson that many people had gotten such calls in the past 24 hours. Thompson asked anyone who had received such a call to raise his or hand. At least a dozen hands shot up. The former senator said he'd heard of push polls accusing him of supporting partial birth abortion.

"They're taking the most outrageous, easily disproved things that they can come up with. It's amazing to me. Its so ham-handed," Thompson said. "I had a 100 percent pro-life voting record over 8 years."

Trey Taylor, 41, told The Post that he'd gotten a call in which, after he'd revealed his preference for Thompson, a recorded voice said Thompson had lobbied on behalf of a "radical" pro-abortion organization. The recording then cited Huckabee's anti-abortion record.

Speaking with reporters, Thompson looked like he was ready to strip the bark off Huckabee. He suggested that Huckabee isn't trying to "win the legitimate way" by focusing on the issues. At the most recent debate, he said, "I confronted him man to man, with regard to the issues. This is the response I get."

Thompson said he expects the governor of South Carolina to respond to the push polling. The state, he said, has gotten a "bad rap" for nasty campaign tactics in the past. This time, he said, "The only one I know that's doing any negative campaigning here is the Huckabee people."

Posted at 5:32 PM ET on Jan 17, 2008  | Category:  Joel's S.C. Diary
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Posted by: Braden owotr | April 9, 2008 1:57 PM

Fred is prolife we all know that . But watch this and you will see why he is for stopping immigration.

This is a wake up call for sure

Posted by: lindalou21217 | January 18, 2008 1:30 PM

Thompson knows fully well that Huckabee has no control over those 527's set up in his name, thanks to his buddy, John McCain. He also smeared and bullied Romney right in front of everyone, now he's mad that someone does it to him?

Posted by: dsherr | January 18, 2008 1:18 PM

As a veteran and conservative, I haven't found a better candidate than Fred. It's encouraging to hear conservative talk radio hosts acknowledging his consistent conservative stance. As a christian, I can't take Huckabee seriously. A minister turned politician? doesn't add up.

Posted by: sid_wood76 | January 18, 2008 11:52 AM

TO JAKE: Huckabee doesn't need any money for this push-polling, the group Common Sense out of Colorado has come out and said they were doing it with their own money to show support for Huckabee. Huckabee's true colors are coming out and Jesus should not be happy. Mike's just like a child when caught in a lie, he goes for dirty tricks and making jokes to cover that his economic record and immigration ideas are very liberal. Talk issues and then you'll see Fred Thompson is the conservative here and will stand up to this garbage. Huckabee could stop it if he really wanted to, but he doesn't. Some Christian ideals!! He should be ashamed of the way he has acted and I can't understand the support he is getting. People need to wake up and do their homework. Check out See the light!!

Posted by: lkohm | January 18, 2008 11:08 AM

"Voting records" are not everything -- besides, neither Romney nor Huckabee HAVE "voting records" . . .

Actions speak louder than words. And as for Huck and Mitt, the bills they have signed and endorsed in their records would count for "voting".

Hunter and Thompson are the only two "real deals" we have present. Period.

Obama used to be that way until he decided that he wanted to actually make a stance for our national defense (he used to be a solid pacifist).

Posted by: r_cmacleod | January 18, 2008 7:57 AM

FRED THOMPSON is the best person to lead this country. He is a true conservative and has been his entire life. All one has to do is check his record to see this.

During my time in the Army as an Intelligence Analyst, I served under both Presidents Carter and Reagan (as my commanders in chief). Without argument, President Reagan was the best commander-in-chief a military person could ever have served under. Fred Thompson possesses the same qualities and vision as President Reagan in that he is strong on national defense and sees a dire need to secure our borders and control immigration.

I can think of no better person to lead this country and fix the problems we have. He is the only candidate from either party who has specific and detailed plans on border security and immigration reform; revitalization of America's armed forces; saving and protecting Social Security; and tax relief and economic growth. These are detailed on his Web site at . I challenge you to find any other candidate who has laid out specific plans to fix anything.

Fred Thompson has published his first principles, some of which are mentioned above. In addition to those, he strongly believes in individual liberty, personal responsibility, limited government, federalism, traditional American values, the rule of law and is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment -- all concepts established during the birth of our country and documented in our Constitution.

Again, try to find any candidate who has laid out their plans to "fix" this country. You will find they all speak in vague and abstract terms on their plans.

For those who have heard Fred Thompson speak, you will usually hear him say that the Fred Thompson you see today is the same Fred Thompson you saw yesterday and is the same Fred Thompson you will see tomorrow. He stands by his principles and values and doesn't shift his positions based on polls or public opinion; in other words, he doesn't say what the voters want to hear just to get elected, but remains steadfast on his views and convictions.

During his time in the Senate he focused on three areas: to lower taxes, strengthen national security and expose waste in the federal government. Fred Thompson has foreign policy experience, having served as member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Intelligence committees.

As chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, he opened the investigation in 1997 on the Chinese government's attempt to influence American policies and elections, and this investigation identified connections with the Clinton administration (documented in the committee's report).

As a member of the Finance Committee, he worked tirelessly to enact three major tax-cut bills. Fred Thompson remains steadfast and even though a person may not agree with all his views and he understands some may disagree with him, you can count on him to be consistent and unwavering.

Don't be fooled by his laid back approach and what critics call his "laziness." As a former assistant U.S. attorney, he earned a reputation as a tough prosecutor and he possesses the toughness this country needs in order to tackle today's and tomorrow's issues.

I ask that you take a hard look at what this country needs, then take a hard look at all the other candidates' views, policies, their records and their track record on consistency. Fred Thompson possesses integrity, loyalty, commitment, energy and decisiveness, all traits of an effective leader, and will emerge as the best person to take this country boldly forward.

Please help Fred win in 2008:

Posted by: fkpaxson | January 18, 2008 3:17 AM

As a Fred supporter myself, it seems unlikely that Huckabee or his supporters ran that push poll.

Why? Because the poll is so over the top false. It looks more like a poll to get Huckabee the nomination because they believe Huck is easy to beat.

Hmm, who could THAT be? Could it be the candidate who illegally raises thousands of campaign dollars from Chinese dishwashers?

Could it be someone who wants to wreck Fred's "line in the sand" state to be sure he has no chance whatsoever of winning the nomination?

Who is it that has a history of putting out their dirtiest trick on the Thursday before Tuesday's voting day...such as Bush's old DUI in the 2000 election?

Ironically, it might piss of Fred enough to stay in the race regardless of the outcome in SC.

Just like when he got pissed when the democrat leaning Politico falsely put out the word the Fred would be dropping out after Iowa to support McCain.

Posted by: awthrawthr | January 17, 2008 11:03 PM

What a bunch of blind sheep Thompson has been push polled by Huckabee CNN had the video on tonight !! Fred Thompson is a far better Candidate than any other RINO running what is wrong with you people you want style over Substance ??? Ron Paul is not a RINO he is NUTS he can't win! Get behind Fred Thompson or give it away to Hillary no other Candidate can or will beat Bill Clinton face it thats who is running !! Wake up or wait in line for your Hillarycare paid for Lobotomy !! Time to stop listening to the MSM and vote for the true Conservative once in a lifetime a man like Fred Thompson comes along !! At least go to and educate yourself before you vote Fred has the best plans ask Rudy , Huckabee and Mitt they have all copied his papers!! We need to beat the democrats Fred will Protect our Borders, Kill the Terrorists and Punch the Hippies !!!

Posted by: delburd | January 17, 2008 10:29 PM

I can definitely see a Thompson/Romney (although nobody likes Romney) ticket in that order, or Thompson/Giuliani. Thompson's the best man for the job to face down the neo-Socialists incl: Barama.

Posted by: gregcontreras | January 17, 2008 10:13 PM

Oooh Rush said it ... it must be true.

It would be funny if Rush told his listeners to stick their heads in the toilet. They'd all do it. Rush said so.

Posted by: Bud0 | January 17, 2008 10:08 PM

Sen. Thompson is the REAL conservative; ask Rush

Posted by: gmorles | January 17, 2008 8:43 PM

Yes, JakeD, it's true that Thompson lobbied for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Assn., which I suppose you nutters might consider a "radical pro-abortion group".,1,1358124.story?coll=la-politics-campaign&ctrack=3&cset=true

Abortion-rights group says Thompson once lobbied for it
By Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 7, 2007
Fred D. Thompson, who is campaigning for president as an antiabortion Republican, accepted an assignment from a family-planning group to lobby the first Bush White House to ease a controversial abortion restriction, according to a 1991 document and several people familiar with the matter.

A spokesman for the former Tennessee senator denied that Thompson did the lobbying work. But the minutes of a 1991 board meeting of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Assn. say that the group hired Thompson that year.

His task was to urge the administration of President George H. W. Bush to withdraw or relax a rule that barred abortion counseling at clinics that received federal money, according to the records and to people who worked on the matter.

The abortion "gag rule" was then a major political flashpoint. Lobbying against the rule would have placed Thompson at odds with the antiabortion movement that he is now trying to rally behind his expected declaration of a presidential bid.

Thompson spokesman Mark Corallo adamantly denied that Thompson worked for the family planning group. "Fred Thompson did not lobby for this group, period," he said in an e-mail.

In a telephone interview, he added: "There's no documents to prove it, there's no billing records, and Thompson says he has no recollection of it, says it didn't happen." In a separate interview, John H. Sununu, the White House official whom the family planning group wanted to contact, said he had no memory of the lobbying and doubted it took place.

But Judith DeSarno, who was president of the family planning association in 1991, said Thompson lobbied for the group for several months.

Minutes from the board's meeting of Sept. 14, 1991 -- a copy of which DeSarno gave to The Times -- say: "Judy [DeSarno] reported that the association had hired Fred Thompson Esq. as counsel to aid us in discussions with the administration" on the abortion counseling rule.

Former Rep. Michael D. Barnes (D-Md.), a colleague at the lobbying and law firm where Thompson worked, said that DeSarno had asked him to recommend someone for the lobbying work and that he had suggested Thompson. He said it was "absolutely bizarre" for Thompson to deny that he lobbied against the abortion counseling rule.

"I talked to him while he was doing it, and I talked to [DeSarno] about the fact that she was very pleased with the work that he was doing for her organization," said Barnes. "I have strong, total recollection of that. This is not something I dreamed up or she dreamed up. This is fact."

DeSarno said that Thompson, after being hired, reported to her that he had held multiple conversations about the abortion rule with Sununu, who was then the White House chief of staff and the president's point man on the rule.

Thompson kept her updated on his progress in telephone conversations and over meals at Washington restaurants, including dinner at Galileo and lunch at the Monocle, she said. At one of the meals, she recalled, Thompson told her that Sununu had just given him tickets for a VIP tour of the White House for a Thompson son and his wife.

"It would be an odd thing for me to construct that thing out of whole cloth," DeSarno said. "It happened, and I think it's quite astonishing they're denying it."...

There's more that I didn't paste.

Wow, you know, this Republican-style muckraking is kinda fun.

Posted by: Bud0 | January 17, 2008 8:29 PM

I never doubted such calls are being made -- I'm wondering if there's any proof that Huckabee ordered them made -- also, whether anything in the call is untrue.

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 7:57 PM

If you don't believe this is happening, take a look at an actual video recording of this outrageous behavior.

Posted by: k.mahaffey | January 17, 2008 7:55 PM


I don't have documents -- that's why I was asking the question -- I understand that Thompson, perhaps honestly, does not have any recollection of doing any such lobbying work. However, you will admit that the former head of said "radical" pro-abortion organization DOES have such a recollection. It says so right there in the link you provided.

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 7:42 PM

Republican South Carolina Primary - Prediction Time!

Who do you predict will win the Republican South Carolina Presidential Primary?


Posted by: jeffboste | January 17, 2008 7:26 PM

JakeD: Fred Thompson did no such lobbying. There are no documents to prove it. There are no billing records. The story comes from Hillary supporters.

Here's more background:

If you have actual records to show, JakeD, please show them. But you won't: There are none.

Posted by: gaelic | January 17, 2008 7:20 PM

JakeD: Fred Thompson did no such lobbying. There are no documents to prove it. There are no billing records. The story comes from Hillary supporters.

Here's more background:

If you have actual records to show, JakeD, please show them. But you won't: There are none.

Posted by: gaelic | January 17, 2008 7:20 PM

Republicans need to stop fighting amongst ourselves and focus on the fight in November. I support Mike Huckabee, but I'm willing to support Fred Thompson if the Giuliani, Romney, and McCain people will do the same.


Posted by: cpatter6 | January 17, 2008 7:16 PM

Ron Paul here Ron Paul there... I can't wait to stop hearing about this doctor dude Paul. This guy needs to take his medecine evrytime he goes and debates on tv. The doctor is out of touch with the Republican party so please doctor Paul you are not going to win we all know that already so drop out and give the money to charity. Sincerly Rafael a tiered citizen of hearing your mouth. Thanks

Posted by: irizarryrafael | January 17, 2008 7:07 PM

"If you want an honest campaign on the issues, better consider running as an independent or democrat."

Now that's funny! The Clintons are all over Obama with their nastiness! Massachusetts denizens voting in the NH primary, Repeatedly talking about B. Hussein doing drugs, possibly selling them, "spadework," Rezko deals, innuendo etc., while reporters aren't allowed to ask her Thighness about issues. Most interviews feature only pre-screened questions. If Russert slips a question about illegals' licenses, Hillary completely dissembles. Chris Wallace and Mark Matthews each get ripped a new one by a finger-hein-the-chest-poking, impeached, law-license-revoked ex-president going ad hominem when the reporter asks same type of question s/he would ask anyone else.

Democrats can't handle the issues! Democrat candidates are not explaining their health care "solutions" to the public, but merely waving their hands over them. Barry blatantly misleads, trying to act as a visionary, with allusions to JFK and RWR, with whose actual governance he is 180 degrees out of sync. Again, rarely do the Democrat candidates give any commentary--beyond platitiudes---concerning any issue specifics.

Swiftboat VFT swore out affidavits that have yet to be disproved on any material tenet, even with T.B. Pickens $1M incentive to JFnK. Even two months later, there's been zilch from Kerry, beyond his saying he'll "take up" the offer. What a crock of misrepresentation! Honesty? Where? (Sign the Form 180 for all to see, John.)

I've yet to hear how there have been any significant lies about McCain. There are plenty of open facts Republicans find more than troublesome of that CFR/Keating Five/Gang of 14 member. Lies or misrepresentations are simply not needed to see the man has no business claiming even to be in the Republican party.

I'll grant you, if you're suggesting Ron Paul run as an independent or a democrat to run an honest campaign, you may have something there.

Posted by: hfaweva | January 17, 2008 6:52 PM


"Voting records" are not everything -- besides, neither Romney nor Huckabee HAVE "voting records" . . .

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 6:46 PM


If you think running democrat means running a fair campaign, try referencing these things in history.

Dead votes.

KKK party affiliations.

WhiteWater scandal.

MLK wiretappings.

Anything refering to the Kennedeys.

Anything refering to the Clintons.

Please don't assert one side has a gambit on being legit.


As for the ronpaul poster.

You DO realize Ron Paul is a leader of sheep, right? Read up on his connections with a man named Rockwell. Get enlightend.

As for the thread itself:

Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter are the only two candidates who have solid voting records in regards to an honest platform (from EITHER party). Voting democrat or republican, those two are the only one's you will know what you get when you vote for them.

Check out their voting records. Squeeky clean.

Posted by: r_cmacleod | January 17, 2008 6:40 PM


Have you heard of the "Ron Paul Political Report"?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 6:27 PM

Here is how I see it. John McCain can not pull conservatives together with his prior liberal voting record. Not a chance! McCain plotted against true conservatives too many times.

Fred Thompson can not pull conservatives together with his prior record of under achievements that did not improve the every day lives of all Americans. No way!

Can Mitt Romney buy the White House? Maybe! But not in the South!

Posted by: d_shoup | January 17, 2008 6:23 PM

People -

It is ironic that we are sending to undeclared wars by Congress thousands of our young man and women to Kill or be killed "to bring Democracy and freedom" as President Bush once says, while here at home we have a set of media and industries conglomerate behaving in ways that point to a different trajectory. These groups are following the trajectory that our founder's fathers were against it, the trajectory they suffered from, the one they saw and felt and united them to bring about our beloved Constitution.

For the most part these conglomerate using sillies excuses acting like third world countries do during any governmental elections. One need to look next door elections (Mexico) as well as Venezuela just to mention a few to see the similarities. If you look at those two countries past elections you will see the same pattern of distortions and half-truth to those individuals they do not want to get any track while giving as much media cover to those they represent and want.(did someone says Fair and Balance?) it must be an illusion. May be that is why In venezuela one main Tv station GlobolVision was closed by the goverment not so long ago for portraying to be "Fair and Balance" during the Coup d'état.

One need to ask.. What is going on in this country? Do the economy controllers think that the American people is so concern about their daily chores that we have actually become sheep just as Judge Napolitano latest book "A Nation of Sheep" explain?

There is so much the American people can take before the giant awakes, and that my friends is what is taking place, this and other important issues is resonating to the American people of all ages and they are being carry by Dr. Ron Paul message.
It is the common citizen that are awakening from all the noise that for so long has been dominating the political arena and the people in general feels disfranchised.

A concern of our present and future wellbeing is at stake and change is desperate WANTED. Use the power of your vote and voice to bring change not just to the executive but especially the legislative branch.
[*** Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. THOMAS JEFFERSON ***]

Posted by: politiciannc | January 17, 2008 6:22 PM

Fred: which party's nomination do you think you're running for?

This is the party of Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, watergate and the "plumbers" who did nixon's dirty tricks, and the people that brought you swiftboating and lying about John McCain.

If you want an honest campaign on the issues, better consider running as an independent or democrat.

Posted by: CynthiaS1 | January 17, 2008 5:57 PM

First, does he have proof that Huckabee can even afford push polling? Second, isn't it true that Thompson lobbied on behalf of a "radical" pro-abortion organization, or is he just saying that should not be an "issue"? Third, did said organization, or Thompson's lobbying directly, relate to partial-birth abortion in any way?

Posted by: JakeD | January 17, 2008 5:42 PM

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