The 2008 presidential election is the most unusual and most important in many years. It's been more than five decades since such a race didn't feature an incumbent President or Vice President. Since World War II, America has not had a presidential election at a time when the stakes were higher. Conservatives have to win this election, and to do so, we have to identify a candidate around whom we all can rally.
We begin by recalling the profound words of Ronald Reagan at the Conservative Political Action Conference Feb. 15, 1975: "A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency or simply to swell its numbers." We believed that then, and we believe it now. The issue for us -- and for the conservative community -- boils down to which of the candidates is most representative of the fundamental conservative principles we believe in. The answer is Fred Thompson.....
We make this endorsement on the basis of much research, having interviewed Sen. Thompson and some of his opponents, as well as examining what they have all said and done. We conclude that Thompson is a solid conservative whose judgment is grounded in our principles.
In his Senate years, Mr. Thompson compiled an American Conservative Union lifetime rating of 86.1, which is higher than both Sen. John McCain (82.3) and Rep. Ron Paul (82.3). The Club for Growth has praised Thompson as someone who has a strong commitment to limited government, free enterprise and federalist principles.
On the issues that matter most to conservatives, Sen. Thompson's positions benefit from their clarity. He is solidly pro-life. He said that he was in favor overturning Roe v. Wade because it was "bad law and bad medical science." As the National Right to Life Committee said in its endorsement of him Nov. 13, 2007, "The majority of this country is opposed to the vast majority of abortions, and Fred Thompson has shown in his consistent pro-life voting record in the U.S. Senate that he is part of the pro-life majority."
Thompson's record is solid on voting to preserve gun owners' rights, cut taxes, reduce government spending and drill for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He has voted consistently against gay marriage. Thompson is by no means perfect. He strongly supported the McCain-Feingold bill, did not support the impeachment of Bill Clinton on perjury and more than once voted with the trial lawyers against limitations on liability in defective product and medical malpractice cases.
We like the way Thompson unhesitatingly attacks the liberal ideologues and their activists such as MoveOn.org and the ACLU, and the way he reaches out to those we knew as the Reagan Democrats.
The question now is whether Sen. Thompson will do what he has not yet done: Take the advantages he is given by his intelligence, his principles, his political skills and this endorsement and make the best use of them.
Posted by John Ray
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