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A McCain-Thompson Alliance?

By Perry Bacon Jr. and Paul Kane
Could Fred Thompson be Mike Huckabee's Kryptonite and allow his old friend John McCain to emerge as Superman in the GOP nomination process? Ed Rollins, Huckabee's campaign chairman, said in an interview yesterday it was his "sense" Thompson was continuing his campaign into South Carolina to pull votes of social conservatives from Huckabee and help McCain win in South Carolina.

"If he loses this week, he will quickly endorse McCain," Rollins said.

Jill Hazelbaker, a McCain spokeswoman, called the notion that McCain and Thompson have some kind of secret alliance "nonsense." Thompson campaign manager Bill Lacy, who worked with Rollins in the 1980s when both were aides to Ronald Reagan, said "Ed taught me a lot but maybe I can teach him something here: Fred is in this to win. And Ed's comments make me think he realizes that."

Thompson was a prominent McCain supporter in 2000, and it's likely he would back the Arizona senator if he dropped out of the race. But Rollins and Huckabee have repeatedly slammed Thompson since a debate in South Carolina, when the former senator tore into Huckabee, accusing him of "liberal" policies on foreign affairs and economics. In turn, Rollins called Thompson "a successful lobbyist and so-so actor" who was "never a Reaganite," noting Thompson had backed Reagan's GOP opponents in primaries in 1976 and 1980.

While Republicans voters are going to the polls today in Michigan, the candidates already are looking forward to the South Carolina primary. Huckabee and McCain will watch the Michigan returns from the Palmetto State, where both have campaign events tomorrow, and Thompson essentially skipped the Michigan and New Hampshire primaries to campaign here. Thompson is touting his antiabortion credentials in a new ad he started running in South Carolina where he says "Friends, we're in a fight for our conservative values. I'm a conservative. Always have been. Always will be."

Thompson is unlikely to win in South Carolina, and it's unclear if he pulls most of his support from backers of Huckabee, McCain or the other GOP contenders. But he's aggressively courting the social conservative vote that is Huckabee's base, saying, in the ad, "I'm 100 percent pro-life, that's why South Carolina Citizens for Life endorsed me." Of course, he also notes "I'll fight against amnesty and benefits for illegals" a sentence before -- and amnesty is the word used by the other GOP candidates to describe a proposal by McCain that would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Huckabee's campaign is not the first to question Thompson's motives for staying in the race. On the eve of McCain's New Hampshire victory, Sen. Jim DeMint (R), Romney's most prominent South Carolina supporter, suggested that Thompson might be staying in, at least through the South Carolina vote, to split the conservative votes and boost McCain.

"If Thompson wasn't in there, I think most of those votes would go to Romney," DeMint said in an interview with The Washington Post.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 15, 2008; 12:09 PM ET
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Next: A Brokered Convention? Consider the Possibilities


Thompson cannot win the Presidency - but that is not the job he wants. He would make a very fine vice president.

Posted by: glclark4750 | January 18, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Thompson voters would never vote for Romney. Romney was much too liberal while serving as governor of MA. He increased taxes a lot and said he was not a "Reagan Republican." he called his new taxes "fees" - that is Democrat-speak. Romney was pro-choice on abortion and that wouldn't fly with the Thompson crowd.

Posted by: tomliddy | January 16, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

As a conservative Republican in SC, I can let people know why I would not vote for two candidates. McCain seriously damaged the Republican party when he made the deal with the Democrats about filibustering judicial nominees. He contributed to the Republican losses in 06, and Southerners are slow to forget. SC has a large immigration problem and most of us do not agree with McCain on immigration.

Huckabee might have drawn from the Southern Christians but Huckabee has been using push polls in this state which cross the line to libel and slander. We respect the right of others to have differing opinions, but do not cotton to those whose attacks on others are malicious. Huckabee will be hurt by his phone polling here. The other factor not understood by Washington and other media sources is that while SC has many churchgoing Christians, few would consider themselves part of an evangelical movement. Billy Graham is fine, but Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart and others have caused most of us to think of ourselves as Christians, but not evangelicals. Huckabee is painted as an evangelical by some - I have not heard him preach so I do not know but it is not an endearment here.

Posted by: jbwfive | January 16, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

This is one Thompson supporter who will NOT back McCain under any circumstance. The Huckabee campaign knows there is an angry anti-McCain contingent in Thompson's voting group and that's why Rollin's is spouting this stuff. May I point out Huckabee and McCain worked to bring down Romney in New Hampshire. If anyone is kissing cousins it's Huckabee and McCain and McCain will throw Huckabee over the fence when he's no longer a useful tool.

Posted by: laurazzcap | January 16, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I think Thompson is genuinely interested in winning, although conventional wisdom would indicate he'll probably drop out soon and, indeed, endorse McCain.

I'm sorry, but I just have to say this: american1, is it possible your physician might write you a presciption for Valium?

Posted by: sweetwtrbay | January 16, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson may have an ideology that appeals to conservatives. But he is, clearly (and at the risk of sounding unkind), a tired old man. One day last week, his campaign day began at 1:30 in the afternoon. And this guy is going to lead the free world? I don't think so. His chances of defeating the young, energetic, charismatic Obama--the likely Democrat nominee--are non-existent. Wake-up, Republicans. If we hope to win in November, we had better get behind a great communicator. Someone with fresh ideas. Someone who can debate. Someone who can put in a full-day's work. Fred is most certainly NOT that person.

Posted by: donna | January 16, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

The more I look at the picture, the more I want Bloomberg to run.

When you are at the door of recession, and depression, from a rapidly failing economy, the President you want, is one with a very, very, strong mind, and a very, very, deep, and intimate knowledge, of business.

It doesn't at all hurt that Bloomberg is also anti-illegal immigration. He sees what it is doing to America, and Americans.

I think Bloomberg may well pick a Vice-President that isn't really a politician, but an individual, well versed and disciplined in the issues overwhelming our country.

Now, if it turns out that Bloomberg wants to bring our troops home from Iraq, he would almost be the perfect 10.

And if he stripped Halliburton, of their very lucrative Iraq contracts, and the contracts they have, to manage our 700+ foreign bases, he would be the perfect 10.

Posted by: buzzm1 | January 15, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

|McCain, Hillary, Obama & all of the Democrats, plus Liberal Media and the rest of the open Border pro-illegal Aliens supporters professed & false compassion for Illegal Aliens is sicking. This Nation has 47 millions citizens without medical insurance, Million of our elderly chose between food and medicine every day. Millions of American children live in poverty with no chance at the American dream. Our vets. return from the war that came about by lies from Politicians without proper medical care or treatment. Yet they shower rewards on the Illegal Aliens, free medical, free schooling for their many children, no reward is too great or price to high for the American citizens to pay, for the ones that break our laws, invaded this country and demand their rights while waving the Mexican flag and Slaughtering, Raping and Robbing thousands of American Citizens each year.

The Corrupt Politicians and Liberal Media try to get the public to believe they are Compassion, & Wise for wanting open borders and amnesty. While American Citizens are racist & xenophobe if we request that our Constitution and Immigration laws be followed and enforced for all law breakers irregardless of race or nationally!

It is the money they get from business from supplying them slave labor with 20K worth of benefits paid each year by the tax payers and the Latino votes with the promise of millions more if we give them amnesty that they are really after.

If they really are Compassion and Caring there are Millions of American Citizens that have played by
the rules, payed their taxes, obeyed the laws, fought the wars and built this Nation that are in great need. The Politicians could use American Citizens to show their Compassion. But Compassion for American citizens or legal Immigrants does not get Money and Votes for our Corrupt lying Politicians.

Posted by: american1 | January 15, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

In Spite of the promises and hot air from our Presidential Candidates this Nation faces it most perilous times since WWII. Most of the Candidates are refusing to recognize or address problems that in time will destroy this nation!

We have an arrogant, incompetent, illiterate, and inept fool in the White House, a demoralized and decimated military, plundered treasury, trashed world standing, trampled rule of Law and Constitution, plunging dollar, and sliding into recession. While the nation is sinking under an tidal wave of Uneducated Illegal Aliens waving the Mexican flag, demanding their rights, while feasting at the trough of Public Welfare, as they Kill, Rob, and Rape thousands of American Citizens each year. .

We as a nation can survive fools in our White House. What we CANNOT survive is fools both in our Congress and white house like Bush, McCain, Hillary, Obama, Kennedy, Reid, etc. & now they want to be President! Each promising a new American, rebuilding the middle class and taking care of the poor. But what they refuse to acknowledge or recognize is no single Nation or people is rich enough to lift the 100,s of millions of poor out of poverty. In others words American & American taxpayers cannot bear the cost of becoming the welfare state for Mexico and Latin American. To attempt to do so will only reduce all Americans to poverty equaling what the uneducated invaders are fleeing from in their home countries. The poor and criminals pouring across our Borders have an average of an six grade education. Each person with less than a high education is a net cost of 20k per year for American taxpayers. This applies to American citizens as well as the millions of Illegal Aliens. So the displaced compassion, or pampering for votes, endorsed by Edwards, Obama, McCain, Hillary etc. is deeply flawed. Failure to close our border or to give Amnesty to the 12 to 30 millions of Illegal Aliens in this country will in the long run, with the Chain Immigration result in adding 100 to 160 millions poor citizens to our welfare rolls. Their high school drop out rates exceed 50 percent with a high crime rate and a very high illegitimate birth rate, is in part the very combination that keeps Mexico & Latin American a cesspool of crime, corruption, poverty & misery!

Maybe the results is what the multinational companies and the rich dream of, a Nation full of poor docile labors like China, India, Mexico, but I do not believe it is the future most Americans aspire to for their children and grand children!

In all, my country, a potential benefactor and beacon for all the world - is headed right off a cliff and to an third world status!

If the Politicians with the Citizens support, decide they must do more for the worlds poor then they must find a way like an Marshall plan for Latin American. What they must not be allowed to do, though flawed logic or by criminal intent is to turn this Nation into a Cesspool of Crime, Corruption, Poverty, and Misery by continuing the open borders policy and Amnesty for the millions pouring across our borders.

In my view - - this has all come to pass because the Politicians, the elected and sworn stewards of this country, have allowed it to happen. Surely they should have known better when they build bridges to nowhere ...when they refused to abide by the Constitution against invasion or enforce our laws they have disgraced their oath of office. One way this Nation can start to recover is for the lot of them to be gone from those hallowed halls of Congress and the White House, because most of them have become a house of party-bound Prostitutes paid by the special interests, swirling and partying, amidst the rubble of their own malfeasance - taking this Nation right down in the gutter with them.

As a proud and concerned American that proudly served my Country in time of War as did my Father, my two brothers and my son. I am appalled and very angry at what self severing, stupid/corrupt politicians have done to my country!

Posted by: american1 | January 15, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

McCain's God,s Children Argument!
Then there is they are all God,s children argument(Another McCain favor) well isn't everyone God,s children? If so then guess McCain is saying everyone and anyone has the right to Invade this Nation, waving their flags, demand their rights, while feasting at the trough of public welfare and Kill, Rape and Rob thousands of American citizens each year!

McCain's Lettuce Argument!
There's the "lettuce" argument -- we'll be paying $50/head (or starving)( McCain really likes this argument) if we don't have illegal aliens working in the fields. As Phil Martin, ag economist at UC Davis shows, the field labor cost in a $1 head of lettuce is about 6 cents. Triple those wages and Americans will do the jobs. (They're not career positions. They're seasonal jobs for young people, starting in the world of work. I have did similarly menial jobs.) And you'll be paying 10% more for lettuce and other produce. Do you spend $1,000/year on produce? OK, you'll pay $100 more.

The lettuce argument also parallels that for the retention of slavery.

Immigrant Argument!
There's the "everyone's an immigrant except for the 'Native Americans'" argument. Well, the American Indians didn't sprout from the land, they came across the Bering land bridge from Asia. So if the criterion is "You're an immigrant if you had an ancestor who immigrated here," then American Indians are immigrants, too.

In that case, "immigrant" is no longer a useful word, since Everyone's an immigrant.

Stole Southwest Argument!
There's the "the U.S. stole the southwest" argument. Well, the land in dispute was "owned" by Spain for a couple of centuries. Then by Mexico for about 25 years. During these periods, there weren't more than a few thousand Spaniards or Mexicans in the entire territory. It's been owned by the U.S. for about 160 years now, much longer than Mexico's reign. And the U.S. has actually done something with the land, made it habitable for tens of millions. As Robert Kaplan has described, the difference between American and Mexican "twin cities" straddling the border is like night and day, yet the land is obviously the same. It's not the dirt that's important, it's the people. Put another way, if culture didn't matter, Mexico and Central America would be paradise.

Illegal pay taxes Argument!

There's the "illegal aliens pay tons of taxes" argument. Sure, they all pay real estate taxes (in rent) and sales taxes (most states). Those working on the books (typically using stolen Social Security numbers) pay FICA and, perhaps, income taxes. But they're mostly ill-educated and low-skilled and pay very low taxes connected to their working -- in fact, most claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, i.e. negative income tax! If a family with both parents working has two kids in school, that's at least $15k/year just for schooling, way more than the taxes on, say, $35k/year aggregate income.

Robert Rector at the Heritage Foundation has done the systematic accounting on all this. A typical household headed by a low-skilled illegal alien is a net drain of about $20k/year for the rest of us, year after year. (Low-skilled Americans are a similar burden, but they're part of the national family, not gate crashers from other societies.)

Illegal Bad..Amnesty good Argument!

There's the "illegal immigration is bad, but make them citizens and problem solved" argument. Nope. If that were the case, legalizing (i.e. amnestying) the illegal aliens would solve the problem. But they'd still be (on average) low-skilled workers whose burden on the rest of us would continue. In fact, once legal they'd be able to access more public benefits programs, so their cost to the rest of us would actually rise substantially. In short, most of the problems of mass illegal immigration are shared by mass amnestying them.

Finally, I offer my distilled observations of what mass immigration is doing to our country based on living in southern California

The flood of immigrants drives wages and living conditions in our central cities toward those of the Third World.

- The influx imposes both sprawl and gridlock on our metropolitan areas.

- Immigrant families needing services overwhelm our schools, taxpayer-funded health care facilities, and other public agencies.

- Those requiring services don't assimilate and, instead, expect to be served in their native languages.

- American civic culture frays as each ethnic group establishes its own grievance lobby and pushes for preferences.

- Communicable diseases such as tuberculosis (new, drug-resistant strains) return.

- Shortages of water and other resources loom, especially in immigration-blitzed Southwest.
Most that come across our open borders come from countries where, Crime, Corruption, Poverty, Misery, Anti-education, and hate for Americans has existed for centuries and is normal. Should anyone be surprised they bring those same family values across the border with them?

Posted by: american1 | January 15, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

A McCain-Obama Alliance?

Rumors abound that Barak Obama, by staying in the Democratic primary, is secretly working to help John McCain. GOP voters would prefer to vote for Huck, but are being pushed to support McCain because national polls show that he could beat Clinton in the general election. (for the dense out there, this comment is parody)

Posted by: pekingfrog | January 15, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Excuses, excuses, Mitt's people will do anything to get a vote or try and explain why they are not !

Posted by: nicklan | January 15, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I did not have sex with that woman! Now that is a Fairy Tale.

Posted by: Phil5 | January 15, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

It is getting so -lame- hearing about how candidate X is just spoiling candidate Y's chances. It's called free elections. If competitors don't drop out fast enough, they're just spoilers, if they want to stay in until the convention to make a point and add a plank to the party, they're probably worse. STOP WHINING! If your candidate has a message/policy the people want to hear then they'll get the nom or elected. American campaigning is such a popularity contest thanks to the media... and more & more devoid of substance. He said, he said, she said...and they should all drop out for my candidate. Practical numerics aside, grow up! State your policies and win... if your policy is to limit the candidacies, then you lose.

Posted by: richardunn | January 15, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Failure of many in the media to focus on policy positions rather than pop culture style reporting is why the GOP is still crowded. Huckabee has benefited greatly from less substantive reporting. Now that real conservative principles are becoming aware to the voters, he is scared and releasing this type of garbage. I am not surprised that another "politico hit job" is on the way for Fred Thompson. To think that Fred Thompson would spend so much time dedicated on the campaign trail for someone else is preposterous. Fred Thompson has dedicated long days to stay in this race, undergone constant personal attacks, and even relived emotions on his daughter's death. No man enjoys this process. No man! This issue smacks of a hit job that can only be accomplished by unprofessional reporting catering to scared campaigns with, all jokes aside, incompetent candidates. Go Fred Go!

Posted by: Lonewolf2law | January 15, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Senator John McCain an enabler of pork!
YES Senator John McCain an enabler of pork!

Want to know more.. then read this from C-Span and judge for yourself.
Copy and paste this whole URL

Want to watch the video then copy and paste this URL.. NOTE You may need RealPlayer to watch it.


Posted by: politiciannc | January 15, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

This is ludicrous spin!

While this type of underhanded tactic would be McCain's typical scam on the American people, Fred Thompson is a man of principle and would never entertain the thought much less participate.

Only those who don't know the man would find this drunken idea as another conspiracy theory.

We're voting for Fred as the only conservative in the race who can win.

Check the rest of their records to know this is true;

Candidate Research - Know Who You're Voting For ( The Easy Way )

Posted by: Winghunter | January 15, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Well at least you used a question mark! WHY do our so-call "news" sources continue to pander to such trumped up tripe? Another example of media wielding it weapons of mass disTRACTion.

Ed Rollins is a shrewd campaign manager, skilled in the tactics of back door politics and disingenuous packaging. Huck wouldn't stoop to running a negative ad - no really, he wouldn't... except we got to see it anyway. Huck wasn't REALLY trying to suck up to blind-faith Evangelicals, that was just a nice, sincere Christmas message.

Uh-oh, Fred Thompson pointed out how weak Huck's positions are and how Huck couldn't stand up for himself and now more and more people are REALLY starting to notice WHO and WHAT Thompson is and that he's actually IN this race. We'd better start a rumor that Fred is no more than a shill for McCain.

And if that doesn't work, we can always hint around that we've got some real dirt on the former senator - of course we'll have to twist a few facts around, but you know, it's gotta make people wonder.

Yeah, it makes me wonder if Mike Huckabee studied his "Christian" moves at the feet of such luminaries as Jim Baker and the "Rev." Al Sharpton.

Posted by: KMcBeagle | January 15, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

It's time to tell the Ed Rollinses of the world that Fred will bury Mike Huckabee. It's time that this meme be buried, which it will be this Saturday.

Fred's building a winning coalition in South Carolina, fueled by psasionate supporters who are flying in from across the country to help with Fred's GOTV operation.

Here's what I posted about this insane meme:

More than once, pundits or pollsters have said, "Fred just doesn't have the fire in his belly," or "have you noticed in debates Fred runs out of things to say before his time has run out?" Perish the thought; a candidate should actually answer a question without qualifiers and get to the point. I am tired of hearing candidates go on for three minutes when they've been asked a simple question requiring a "yes or no" answer.

Fredheads don't have to worry about which candidate they'll fall in with because McCain, Romney & Huckabee are liberals. Huckabee is a policy lightweight.

Posted by: gmg425 | January 15, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

First it was Huck and McCain ganging up on Romney, now it's Thompson and McCain ganging up on Huck? If Thompson wanted to do McCain a favor he would have dropped out before Michigan and endorsed McCain then instead of letting Romney's campaign get a breath here.

Thompson voters would never go to Romney. Romney is a complete liberal. From supporting abortion, to gun control, to Romneycare, to his anemic drop growth numbers as governor, to his inability to tell the truth Mitt is a complete and utter liberal.

Posted by: donttreadonme | January 15, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

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