Thompson Losing Evangelicals

Balk at endorsing candidate who won't talk about his religion, doesn't back gay marriage ban
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2007 12:31 PM CDT
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson, center, addresses the media on the Grand Hotel porch at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Carlos...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Fred Thompson, once the longed-for alternative to a field of uninspiring GOP candidates, didn't get through his campaign's first official month before the religious right started jumping ship, Politico reports. Thompson's refusal to back a gay marriage ban, past lobbying for an abortion-rights group, and refusal to talk religion has conservatives scrambling to find a different candidate to stop frontrunner Rudy Giuliani's nomination.

Support for Thompson is "just not going to happen now," said a member of a loose federation of conservative groups. And an email from evangelical heavyweight James Dobson saying Thompson "can't speak his way out of a paper bag," had others rethinking. But supporters point to another non-churchgoing actor with gay friends and a mixed record on abortion: Ronald Reagan. (Read more Fred Thompson stories.)