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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Richard Land Fires Back at Dobson on His Criticism of Thompson

Brody File:

Fred Thompson just got some encouraging news. Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission tells The Brody File the following:

"My assessment is that at this moment in time it is Fred Thompson's race to lose. It may be a convergence of the right man, in the right place and at the right time. I have never seen anything like this grassroots swell for Thompson. I'm not speaking for Southern Baptists but I do believe I have my hand on the pulse of Southern Baptists and I think I know where the consensus is."

Strong words. Dr. Land doesn't endorse candidates but he is a powerful figure in Evangelical circles. His words matter. So why the fascination with Thompson? Land told me there are a lot of factors. He believes electability is extremely important and thinks that Thompson may be the best social conservative candidate right now to beat Hillary Clinton. He says just look at the head to head polling between the two of them. But there's more. You know, it was Land that came up with the term, "Southern-Fried Reagan" when describing Thompson. So now he tells me the following:

"He has an ability to connect with people. He comes from small town America where he can appeal to NASCAR dads, Security moms, and Reagan Democrats."

Brody notes that this hurts Mitt Romney's campaign.

The Brody File is always trying to give it to you straight so let me do so here. Dr. Land is not the only Evangelical leader to feel this way. Others that I have talked to haven't gone on record but they like what they see from Thompson. This has got to be a major concern for Mitt Romney…not to mention frustrating. Here is Romney working hard on the campaign trail for months and securing key conservatives along the way. He's put out policy initiatives, talked about the culture war, etc. Thompson skips along singing a happy tune because he's not officially in yet. Romney needs some of those Evangelical heavyweights. Having them in his hip pocket is crucial. It would give him cover on the Mormon issue. It's a long race but I'm hearing that you can expect some of these national leaders to come out by the fall with who they like. Time is of the essence.

Apparently James Dobson's group is losing money. They are laying off staff. Muskrat Hunt:

FOF (Focus on de Fambly) is laying off 30 and reassigning 15... Big Daddy Dobson says donations have fallen... the right-wing churches are seeing decreasing income...