Weather or not you like Fred Thompson, it is undeniable that he is a factor in this race because of one particular group: Southern, Evangelical Conservatives. The groups that dominates the Republican base has, so far, been unsatisfied with the GOP field, and to many, Thompson was the hero figure who could save the GOP. So it may come as a surprise to many that, after less than a month of campaigning, a highly-respected and influential Christian Conservative leader has already ruled out supporting Thompson.
James Dobson, who is leader of the Conservative Focus on the Family organization had harsh words for Thompson, including:
“He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent ‘want to.’ And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!”
Interestingly enough, Dobson has ruled out every top tier candidate except one: Mitt Romney. While it may seem unlikely that Dobson would endorse a Mormon for President, he is quickly narrowing down his list of candidates he could endorse. McCain and Giuliani were off the list early, and with Thompson no longer an option, it looks like the only two remaining picks are Romney and Huckabee. While Huckabee is a minister, and could have the advantage, Dobson seems to be looking for more than just a Social Conservative, because he specifically mention campaign finance reform as another reason he could not endorse Fred. Huckabee is unquestionably a strong Social Conservative, he has a reputation as being weak on immigration and something of a nanny-stater.
I’ll keep you posted, Dobson may be poised to hand Romney the one piece of the election puzzle he has been missing.