Fred Thompson Endorses McCain

Fred Thompson Endorses McCain Fred Thompson has become the latest former 2008 Republican presidential candidate to endorse John McCain.

Fred Thompson, the one-time Republican presidential candidate, endorsed Sen. John McCain Friday, calling on the party to “close ranks” behind the presumed nominee.

“This is no longer about past preferences or differences. It is about what is best for our country and for me that means that Republican should close ranks behind John McCain,” Thompson said in a statement reported by the Associated Press.

One wonders why Thompson held his fire this long. The endorsement was natural and expected and yet he waited until McCain had the nomination all but mathematically sewn up.

One also wonders how long cognitive dissonance will continue to plague anti-McCain Republicans. Many were enthusiastically behind Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, and even Rudy Giuliani, all of whom are now backing McCain. Were they wrong about those guys? Have they sold their souls in the name of party unity? How about John Bolton, the Patron Saint of Diplomacy? Or Tom Coburn? Steve Forbes? John Cornyn? George Allen? The list is getting pretty long.

Image: PoliGazette

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Rob says:

    Fred’s endorsement of McCain reads to me like not so much an endorsement of McCain himself but rather the endorsement of the lesser of two evils.

    It’s not optimal, it’s “what’s best for the country.”

    And Fred’s undoubtedly right, but I’m still not supporting McCain. The GOP needs some rebuilding years.

  2. Bithead says:

    What dissonance there is, James is created by McCain, himself.

    And Rob has it right; The lesser of two evils is the question this race will end up being decided by. It’s still an open question, for most.

  3. capital L says:

    “And Fred’s undoubtedly right, but I’m still not supporting McCain. The GOP needs some rebuilding years.”

    And by correlation what? The nation needs to suffer so that the GOP learns its lesson? I don’t know what challenges our country will face in the next four years, but I’m unhesitant in the belief that McCain will face them in a better manner than Obama or Clinton.

    While you obsess over the possibility that McCain will be just like Obama or Hillary, you forget that the latter actually are Obama and Hillary! You don’t know that the GOP will swing back to power in 4 years. People enjoy entitlements, ending the war will in all likelihood be popular, and the economy is as likely as not to be chugging along in 4 years. Meanwhile the left gets to appoint judges, fill the federal bureaucracy, and scheme away on the Great Society II.

    But I guess you wont mind, because we’ve really won the long term battle by putting the GOP in time-out– lifetime appointments, shortsighted foreign policy, and incredibly hard to undo government programs notwithstanding.

  4. Ed says:

    John’s far right critics are sounding just like those they have labeled as “wingnuts”. Either you are for the number one important issue of national security or you aren’t. I am a retired Army Officer and to my knowledge which one of these far right wing wingnuts has ever served and which one of these “nothing but entertainers” has a service credential worthy to wash John McCain’s feet. They are only interested in radio talk show ratings and book sales not the safety of America. Shame on them.

  5. DL says:

    Love the picture choice – though I think one of them (the McCain Geezer) is about to morph into Kermit the Frog with his love for all things green (ooops! I wasn’t referring to the Keating Five, honest!)

  6. graywolf says:

    The conservatives “I’d rather be right than be president” behavior just proves the first half of my quandry:

    Stupid and weak to the right of me (eg. the Bush admin.); socialist and traitorous to the left of me (eg. the dem cong).

  7. Bithead says:

    The issues most people have with the man… particularly the conservatives are well documented.. a point which even a McCain supporting Victor Davis Hanson concedes;

    Again, the anger apparently derives from his gratuitous past snubbing of prominent conservatives (especially the notion that a rude McCain didn’t need them then, but a conciliatory one does now) and can’t be assuaged. At this point, I take the base’s claims they will sit out – or that Hillary or Obama is no worse than McCain-as genuine.

    And here’s the issue; Nobody… and I mean nobody… is going to win without the full support of the base. Sorry, it’s just not going to happen. So it is that the Rockefeller Republicns would seem to have set us on a self- destructive trend toward McCain.

    Finally, let me say that I’m growing weary of being told people who have large problems with McCain are “deranged”.

    I’m with Andy McCarthy on this one:

    McCain has not “admitted his mistakes on immigration.” He has not abandoned the goal of legalizing the status of illegal aliens (his biggest mistake since it incentivizes them to wait it out in the U.S. rather than go home and try to immigrate legally); and he refuses to say he would not sign his disastrous comprehensive reform if it crossed his desk as president.Sen. McCain says he won’t raise taxes, but he also says he opposed the Bush tax cuts because they were not matched by spending cuts – a claim that is demonstrably false (he opposed them on class-warfare grounds – because they benefited “the rich”).

    Finally, Dr. Hanson’s point about judges may be the least persuasive of all.

    Sen. McCain’s two major legal issues over the past decade have been the suppression of political speech (aka campaign finance reform) and the aforementioned extension of Geneva Convention and other legal protections to alien terrorists. Since 2002, these issues have been the subject of several Supreme Court decisions, most notably McConnell and Wisconsin Right to Life on campaign finance and Rasul and Hamdan on rights for enemy combatants. In each of those cases, McCain’s ardent position was the polar opposite of what he refers to as “strict construction” of the law. In each of those cases, McCain’s positions were adopted by Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer – the liberal wing of the court (Justice Souter, by the way, is the gift that keeps on giving whose nomination was championed by Warren Rudman -a top McCain adviser previously floated by the senator as a potential Attorney General in a McCain administration.) The conservative justices the senator claims to regard as models roundly rejected McCain’s legal theories.

    The objections to McCain are being ignored and being called names, not answered. That’s not how to change minds.

    And let’s say we endorse McCain, and his decidedly non-conservative positions with our votes. How will we ever be able to get the RNC to offer us a real conservative candidate in future? This would be far less a serious question were the trend of he Republican party not away from conservatism, over a period of years.

    It’s time to understand this is not about the Republican party per se, and it’s maintaining power in the WHite House. … I don’t give a DAMN about the Republican party per se’, except insofar as it offers up conservative ideals as it used to. Indeed, the farther left it goes the more it deserves defeat.

    Ronald Reagan showed us what kinds of victories can be had when we offer the voter a true conservative who is willing to fight for conservatism, who is willing to fight to change minds. It certainly looks easier to become liberals ourselves, but that way lies certain defeat.

    And it’s time the Republican party re-learned that lesson, because those facts have so apparently slipped their minds.

  8. “Patron Saint of Diplomacy?”

    I’ve quoted you and linked to you here.