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Allen and McDonnell Endorse Thompson

Tim Craig

Former senator George F. Allen (R-Va.) and Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell (R), potential rivals in the 2009 governor's race, joined this morning to reiterate their support for Fred Thompson's bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

At an event in Richmond, Allen and McDonnell praised Thompson's conservative credentials and said he is the Republican's best hope for unifying the party.

"It is very easy for me to advocate for Fred because we think so much alike," said Allen, who cited Thompson's views on abortion, taxes, national security, illegal immigration and trade.

McDonnell noted that Thompson won the endorsement yesterday of the National Right to Life group. "He has been a longstanding supporter of traditional values, a longstanding supporter of marriage and life," said McDonnell, who also noted that Thompson has a house in Northern Virginia.

Besides the politicking for 2008, Allen's appearance at the statehouse was a bit of a homecoming for the former governor. After his loss to Sen. James Webb (D-Va) in last year's Senate race, Allen spent much of 2007 out of public view.

But in recent weeks, Allen has been stepping up his public appearances, including campaigning for GOP candidates in last week's election and penning an op-ed for the Richmond Times Dispatch Sunday.

Relaxed and upbeat, Allen personally welcomed nearly every reporter in the room by their first name, including some he hadn't seen in over a year.

Allen also kept up his reputation for being quick with the football analogies. When asked about Thompson's late entry into the campaign, Allen replied, "what they are trying to do is put together an expansion franchise in the middle of the season."

Towards the end of his 2006 campaign, Allen often tried to avoid questions from reporters. But McDonnell and Allen, who will serve as co-chairs of Thompson's Virginia campaign, stood for nearly 30 minutes answering reporters' questions.

Question: What does Allen think of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, who is also a Republican candidate for president?

Answer: Allen likes Giuliani and would support him if he were the nominee. But Allen fears some of Giuliani's views on abortion and gay rights could cost him votes from some conservatives in a general election.

"There is a concern there could be 2 or 3 percent who normally would vote for us, wouldn't if there were a certain candidate who had certain stances on the issues," said Allen, adding that could be enough to doom the GOP ticket's chances to win a competitive state like Ohio.

Question: Does Allen or McDonnell think former governor Mark R. Warner, a Democratic candidate for the Senate in 2008, can be beat next year?

Answer: They do (especially if Thompson is the Republican nominee for president) But during a three-minute discussion about the Senate race, neither McDonnell nor Allen mentioned former governor James S. Gilmore III, who is widely expected to be a GOP candidate. "It's still early, who knows who our nominee will be," Allen said after being asked whether he thinks Gilmore will be the nominee.

Neither Allen nor McDonnell talked about their plans for 2009.

Over the weekend, McDonnell said he is likely to be a candidate for governor in 2009, even if Allen is in the race. McDonnell's staff has also been insistent that their boss is running irrespective of Allen's plans.

Allen blushed when a reporter asked McDonnell about his printed comments over the weekend. "We're both for Fred Thompson in 2008, and that is what we are focusing on," Allen said. "Bob and I are good friends, and we have the same philosophy."

By Tim Craig  |  November 13, 2007; 2:38 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , George F. Allen , James Gilmore III , Mark Warner , Tim Craig  
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Comments

Senator Fred Thompson is the only candidate that gets it. He makes decisions based on principles. Principles don't change. You have to stand for something and not change who you are based on the polls. That is what Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani have done and all of the Democrats do it. Give me a leader that will stand by his principles anyday versus someone that stands for everything.

I know many Republicans and conservatives that will stay home if Rudy Giuliani is the candidate. He does not represent our values as conservatives, and never will. Millionaire Mitt Romney is a Republican-in-name-only (RINO) that simply has everything else and nothing to do. "I guess I'll just try to buy the presidency". The White House isn't for sale! Mike Huckabee is pro-amnesty! NO THANKS!! Conservatives will simply stay home and the Democrats will pick up additional seats in the House and probably get the 60 seats in the Senate they need to completely destroy our country. Nice picture huh?

However, I think Fred can bring America back together, if that's even possible. America needs a rebirth of patriotism and honor. Republicans also need a rebirth. President Reagan was our last rebirth and he can never be duplicated. Fred Thompson will bring his own down-to-earth common sense to this country. If a conservative runs as a conservative, he will win!

Think of it this way: Eight years of another Clinton White House? Now if that is not a sufficient enough reason to pull together as a nation, and fight this socialist liberal takeover of our government, what is?

Folks, we are in for the fight of our lives, just as our young men and women are fighting for our freedoms in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must fight for our nation right here and now! I truly believe Fred Thompson is the one man who can pull this nation back together! Rudy Giuliani will just tear us apart.

Posted by: Regina, Richmond VA | November 14, 2007 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson has the support of the redneck voters in the South represented by the likes of Regina. He barely registers in Iowa and New Hampshire. Huckabee is a better bet than Thompson.

Posted by: George Chell | November 14, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I'd be interested in everyone's thoughts on the 08 presidential election here in VA. A lot of people think that the recent election is a sign that VA is a battleground and could go to a Dem candidate in the general, but not a lot of people are writing about it yet. Would the influx of dems have an impact on whether VA would tilt towards Hillary over Thompson for example? The only place I've seen someone really talking about it is at Fred Malek's blog here: http://fredmalekblog.com/2007/11/13/upbeat-gop-prospects-for-battleground-virginia/ who thinks that the GOP shouldn't be worried.

Posted by: KP | November 14, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I'd be interested in everyone's thoughts on the 08 presidential election here in VA. A lot of people think that the recent election is a sign that VA is a battleground and could go to a Dem candidate in the general, but not a lot of people are writing about it yet. Would the influx of dems have an impact on whether VA would tilt towards Hillary over Thompson for example? The only place I've seen someone really talking about it is at Fred Malek's blog here: http://fredmalekblog.com/2007/11/13/upbeat-gop-prospects-for-battleground-virginia/ who thinks that the GOP shouldn't be worried.

Posted by: KP | November 14, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes I believe Virginia is indeed a battleground state; especially with all the foreigners and carpetbaggers arriving in my Commonwealth the past 50- years or so. By the way; are any of the Post's "VA Politics" folk from Virginia? Didn't think so...
Have some ham and peanuts, attend 40 plus shad-plankings, and I might listen to what you have to offer. Might do you a bit of good to shut-up and listen for a change. That's what REAL Virginians do... then we act!

Posted by: Susan | November 14, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

My direct namesake-ancestor stepped of the boat in Jamestown in 1662, a 19 year old from N.E. England.
I like ham and (boiled) peanuts, but I thank God we are a country that always welcomes fresh blood and vitality to our shores. Otherwise we would become rigid, unable to adapt, conservative & dull.
Thankfully, a new citizen, who has a Virginia address, has a vote that is worth just as much as those people in the commonwealth who think that the only true "Virginians" are those who can trace their ancestry back a few centuries in Virginia....(back when ancestors were immigrants).
Susan, if you go back far enough we are all "carpet-baggers or foreigns (or their decendents).
GOD Bless America!!!

Posted by: Kirk | November 14, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Go, Fred, GO!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 14, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Well said, Regina in Richmond

Go, Fred, Go!

Posted by: Dick | November 14, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Do not vote for a GOP puppet who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rudy, Fred Thompson, Romney, and McCain are all puppets. Big Talk Big Crap.

Posted by: Mike | December 1, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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