Fred Thompson’s Last Stand in South Carolina

Several stories coming out about Thompson’s performance in the Fox News South Carolina Republican debate last night and how this is make or break for the Senator. Most of them are leaning toward make and I’ll explain why below.

First, Carl Cameron from is reporting that Thompson is set to receive a major endorsement in South Carolina tomorrow:

He won’t spill!
Sean Hannity tried to pry it out of him to no avail.
Taking calls for almost an hour Fred Thompson and Jeri Thompson were on Sean Hannity’s radio show today. While many of the candidates practiced and prepped for tonight’s debate, Thompson took questions from callers and Sean Hannity and played coy regarding a major endorsement he will receive tomorrow.

He said he thinks he has “a fair chance” here in South Carolina. He went on to say “South Carolina is where I stand.” He said he had a strong conservative consistent record which plays well here.
“We have to do well here without any question.”
He runs fourth in the South Carolina polls at 9%. Saturday, 19th will be the day of reckoning.

Still don’t know who it is but it’s a much needed boost for him.

Another piece out from the LA Times on Fred:

During the spring and summer and part of the fall, when for fundraising and organizational purposes candidates were pitching their appeals to a national audience, the two most frequently circling one another were Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. As the Iowa caucuses neared — and Huckabee’s support surged there — Romney shifted gears and took after Huckabee. In the fight for New Hampshire, the key combatants were Romney and John McCain.

Thompson is notably absent from this list. He needs to enlarge his presence in the GOP race, and South Carolina is where he wants to do it. And it was clear tonight he sees Huckabee as the fellow he needs to take down to do that.

Thompson made a point of using an inside-the-Beltway question about whether the Reagan coalition still exists that had been directed to Huckabee to launch an attack on him. He obviously was waiting for such a moment — as he criticized Huckabee on a litany of specifics, he was looking at notes.

Thompson summed up his case — and probably signaled the gist of the argument he will be using against Huckabee leading up to South Carolina’s Jan. 19 GOP primary — by accusing the former Arkansas governor of sounding like a Democrat in foreign policy and on some domestic issues.

South Carolina is home turf for the Senator and his campaign is taking it much more serious than any of the other contests so far. They are operating a huge fundrasing drive trying to elicit as many donations possible from supporters to keep him on the air and in the bus around the state.

After his debate performance, I think he may awaken many South Carolina Republicans to his record and we’ll see how it goes down on the 19th.

Furthermore, The Boston Globe has it that McCain and Romney are basically withdrawing from South Carolina to focus on Michigan for several days.

This may all converge into the perfect storm for Thompson if he continues on his strong conservative message and enough of his supporters come out to keep his campaign funded.


Fred’s big endorsement is Human Events.