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NRLC Spins A Bad Decision

It’s official: the rationale for the NRLC’s endorsement of Fred Thompson makes no sense.  The NRLC claims that “he is best positioned to top pro-abortion candidate Rudy Giuliani for the Republican nomination,” which I would like to believe (since I stupidly predicted that Thompson would win) but which I also know at this moment to be utter nonsense.  Clearly, from a purely “he can beat Giuliani” perspective you would have to go with Romney, which is horrific but nonetheless it is the reality at the present time. 

It would be one thing to endorse Thompson on the grounds that he has a solid voting record (and they did cite this at the announcement), or that he is more reliable and trustworthy than the other leading candidates.  But this appeal to his potential as the Bane of Giuliani seems as wrong as it gets.  Then you see that they can get it even more wrong:

…and also, looking at polls against the likely Democrats, he is well-positioned, and we believe best positioned, to win the presidency of the United States for unborn children.

What polls have they been looking at?  For months, Thompson has performed worse in head-to-head match-ups with named Democrats than McCain or Giuliani.  Either you dismiss these polls as essentially meaningless and based on the opinions of poorly informed voters, or you have to acknowledge that Thompson’s national electability is worse than it is for these other candidates.  You don’t get to make up entirely new results that suit your endorsement.  I suppose these are the sorts of things that organisations have to say when they make endorsements, but this desperate “pre-buttal” of the obvious criticisms just shows how bizarre the endorsement really is. 

Then this line summed up everything that’s wrong with Thompson’s campaign:

Thompson did not attend the group’s event announcing the endorsement at the National Press Club.

Couldn’t be bothered, I suppose.  You can almost hear him saying, “I’m not saying that I don’t want your endorsement, ‘cuz I kinda do.” (apologies to SNL)

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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