Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson dissed a potential presidential run by former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson in a recent interview with US News and World Report. Going so far as to say the Church of Christ-baptized Thompson was not a Christian – or, at least, not the type of Christian that meets with Dobson’s approval – Dobson all but ruled out support for a Thompson candidacy from Focus On the Family. They won’t even donate some custom pens that say “Christians for Thompson ’08!”
Dr. Dobson has also recently suggested he’d be lukewarm to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s bid for the White House, due to Romney’s Mormonism. Wonderful Pessimist wonders exactly what kind of conservative it would take to please Dr. Dobson. Is an evangelical Christian faith all that matters? Current GOP President George W. Bush said all the right things about faith in both his campaign runs, yet has governed less conservatively than many on the Christian right anticipated.
Wonderful Pessimist isn’t bothered by looking at candidates’ religious background, but having it be the sole determining factor is a bit ridiculous. The reason not to support Mitt Romney is that he’s less conservative than George W. Bush, not that he’s a Mormon. As for Thompson, he’d be the leading conservative in the crowd, if he declares, so Wonderful Pessimist would welcome him into the GOP nomination fray.
Of course, Wonderful Pessimist is still holding out hope for a Newt Gingrich candidacy; there’s no sharper conservative thinker on the national stage right now, and while he was some character issues, I doubt they’d ultimately cripple his candidacy.