Congressman King endorses….Fred Thompson

All the Romney staff just arrived in the room where the announcement is to be made.  King is now in the house, at 9:06 a.m.  There are Thompson people here now, too.

King suggested it would have been a bit cowardly not to endorse after he’s had such access to the candidates.  “I just don’t think that’s the leadership that you’re asking for from me,” King said.  “…If I wait until January 3rd, there’s no impact there.  The responsibility is to step up to this now.”

King then goes down the list of candidates, revealing that when he does the Internet match-up quizzes, he’s usually matched with Duncan Hunter.  “I wish he had more traction,” King said. “He does not.  Another person who I have profound respect for….a very, very close friend…is Tom Tancredo….and we have talked and he understands that I am going to make an announcement today…but he’s won.  He’s won this immigration issue…and I want to congratulate him for that….I also serve with Ron Paul and he is a strict constitutionalist and I great admire the positions he has taken….We differ on the issues of trade and isolationism….He’s quite a phenomenon.”

King is now enumerating the issues about which he cares and the candidats have been speaking of on the trail. 

“It is a very heavy decision, among the hardest decisions that I have ever made in my life….I want to say this about Rudy Giuliani, the America’s mayor…I differ with him on a few issues…(mentions sanctuary cities)….that’s where I part company at least for the time being….John McCain has served America every day of his adult life….this is a very solid, patriotic man…(but King cites immigration & ethanol as stumbling blocks)…I am a great admirer of John McCain…then I’m down to the remaining three and I will tell you that Mike Huckabee, you can’t not like Mike Huckabee…He brings a lot of tools to the table, along with a great sense of humor….(but King questions his immigration policies in Ark)…I have to draw the bright line on the rule of law….So I’m down to, of course, Romney and Thompson and in the end I have to come down on the side of this — who am I most comfortable with on the issues that I believe in….When I se someone who believes in their core….when they make a decision, if they’re where I am philosophically….so after really, I didn’t sleep last night but I come here to the podium to tell you that I have great respect for all the candidates.”

King now veers into a discussion of faith — an apparent reference to Romney’s Mormonism.  King suggests no one should be denied the presidency because of their personal faith.

Now, he’s talking about “fire in his belly” and concludes with this, calling his pick, “the person who I believe destiny has called to be the president of the United States.  I will be working for…Fred Thompson for president.”

He was questioned about the “fire in the belly” comment.

“I’m kind of an antidote for that,” King said.

After the event, I asked King if he had made up his mind on the spot as he was speaking this morning.

“You have great intuition,” King replied.

UPDATE: Here is the Radio Iowa story.  There are mp3 files at the end.  One is King’s announcement.  The other is Congressman Dave Loebsack’s endorsement of Barack Obama.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. What a waste of an endorsement.

  2. I would have expected better from Rep. King than to pick a loser like Thompson, and am shocked that he decided to throw his endorsement away on a sinking ship.

  3. Thanks Congressman King! Fred begins his “surge” now in Iowa!

  4. Great choice by Mr. king. He chose the ONLY true conservative in the GOP race. Not one who panders to voters depending on where they are speaking. Not one who changes their stances on the issues to try and match up more closely to the GOP base. That clearly rules out Huckabee, Romney, Giuliani and McCain.
    Fred Thompson is the only candidate who does that. Mr. King, I applaud you for endorsing the CONSISTENT CONSERVATIVE in this race.
    Fred Thompson 2008!

  5. Stephen Young says

    This is a good endorsement. Fred Thompson is the conservative who fits the bill for all the major issues for the republican party and hasn’t had to have a makeover get that way.

  6. Get a life you sore losers. Thompson is the only conservative in the race. King made a great pick.

  7. Matthew Price says

    WOW. I have always liked Thompson. Since the debate and a few other things and then this endorsement, I’m ready to vote for this guy! Fredmentum!!!

  8. Vince –
    Apparantly you cannot differentiate between winners and losers; or you are a left-wing nut job.
    The choice is clear when you look at the only viable candidates from their own mouths and news articles at
    It would appear, Vince, that you really do not know Rep. King.

  9. Brenda Jinkins says

    Fred Thompson does not lie about NRA endorsements like Mr. anti-gun Romney did yesterday. He is for stopping the flow of illegals unlike Huckabee who made Arkansas a sanctuary state.
    He lowered taxes while in the Senate not raised them 47% like Huckabee. can find no fault with Fred’s statements during the campaign.
    He actually has foreign policy knowledge and experience both during and after the Senate unlike the governors and even the mayor.
    Who would you like to see across the table from our enemies representing you? Would you like social conservative liberal, a flip-flopper, or an honest man who has been conservative since he worked for Barry Goldwater?

  10. Indeed. What a waste!
    Fred is a disaster of a candidate. Why do you think he tanked after his initial surge? He didn’t catch on!
    I’m glad Clemency Huck didn’t get the endorsement, though I didn’t expect a man with “sound” judgment to endorse a liberal like Mike.

  11. Conservative as a U.S. Senator from Tennessee, voting record was 100% pro-life, served as chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, taking a look at the wasteful spending in the government:
    and was on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Has come out with major policy proposals in the ’08 race from Border Security and Immigration reform, National Defense, Social Security Entitlement Reform, and Tax Reform that includes an optional flat tax. Not too shabby.

  12. Shannon Kerr says

    This is great news! Fred is consistently conservative and has a very strong plan to end illegal immigration. We need a president who is going to do something about this. We need the borders secured and need a plan like Thompson’s to fix the problem with the illegals that are here already (through attrition).

  13. King chickened out

  14. Robert Thompson says

    This is a logical and responsible endorsement. How Huck even makes the list is beyond me.

  15. Mark-
    Nope, im not a lefty, im just pro-Fred. And if you think Congressman King’s endorsement is meaningless, why did you waste your time writing such a meaningless post?

  16. True lifelong Conservative:Fred Thompson

  17. Rep King missed out on this one.
    Guess it now comes down to the voters to decide. What we need in Washington is a change in leadership, Thompson is a part of the past and what did he accomplish? Nothing. Used his position in establishing contacts for his acting profession. Iowa help this nation pick the best man, Mitt Romney is the man. The others cannot haold a light to him.

  18. Jack Reynolds says

    Of all the comments made so far, not one attacking this endorsement has done so on any of the issues. The only attack has been the vague allegations that Thompson is a loser. We need someone who will stand with the American people on the issues, not someone who is willing to sell their soul to win. We do not need a Republican Hillary! Fred Thompson is the only candidate who is, and always has been, truely conservative. That is why he got the endorsement.

  19. Fred is so dead. He has no charisma at all. He looks like the creature from the black lagoon. He can’t even speak. His record on the issue?? Lackluster at best. My respect for King has plummeted.

  20. This is more of an Anti-Huck statement than anything. The fact that he had both Fred and Mitt there with him while praising them and went on to criticize Huck’s damaging stance on illegals speaks volumes. It’s a message to his constituents that Huck is not the man. Either of these 2 fine men will do, but not Huck. Let’s see if they get the message.

  21. Senator King has obviously suffered some moments of confusion – the candidate whom he described is Romney 100% – he has forgotten to whom he was speaking and getting to know – Fred certainly does not exemplify family values with an early pregnanacy marriage, years of “dating around” and opposing the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.
    He has also accomplished virtually nothing of a significant nature, politically. As a nurse, Fred and his staff are fooling their followers if they think his Lymphoma will not become a major factor in this campaign. The stress will eventually wear him down – in fact, it looks as though it has already begun to do that. Being President requires excellent health, energy and mental alertness – Fred is already showing a significant lack of each of those. Truly – he puts me to slepp when I listen to him.
    Wake up America – Mitt Romney has the experience, the success, the energy, the mental alertness, the good family values we need so desperatley in a leader to guide this country during these very challenging times. Those advocating Fred are probably democratic operatives trying to make everyone think Fred is the right man for the job – they know they can beat him when push comes to shove. He is just not a fighter.

  22. Vince –
    My apologies. That was for kermit, not you. I read the posted by line incorrectly.

  23. Why did he not just endorse Tom Tancredo if he was so set on picking someone who has not chance of winning like Thompson. By doing this he may be stuck with Huckabee. King really dropped the ball here folks.

  24. Patrice in AZ says

    I am truly disappointed with Steve King’s endorsement! No other candidate compares to Tancredo’s conservative voting record! He is the only candidate who remains firm on the issues! He was the ONLY candidate who refused to pander in the Spanish-speaking debate, the same debate that used a Mexican citizen as a moderator!
    Mr. King, you need to toughen up and hold your ground!!! You’d think your good friend, Tom Tancredo, would have taught you that!

  25. Patrice in AZ says

    I apologize. I posted the wrong site about the Univision debate.

  26. I think Mr. King made a great choice. He is right that there are several good candidates but he went with his gut and picked the best one. Obviously I’m somewhat of a Fred supporter but in the end the only important thing is that it is not Huckabee.
    We just got today one of those push polling type phone calls that were previously linked to Huckabee. Sure it could be anyone doing this but between the prior linkage and Huckabee’s personal use of the vague attacks on Romney I would not be at all surprised to find that it was an authorized Huckabee representative.

  27. SovereignMan says

    I would have liked for Rep King to have endorsed Rep Tancredo given the work they have done together in the House, particularly with regards to illegal immigration.
    Rep Tancredo is rated higher than all the other candidates by a number of Conservative Organizations. Also, he has never waivered in his positions.
    Even without the King endorsement I am still going to vote for Rep Tancredo.
    Well, you can’t win them all but like Rep King points out Rep Tancredo has to a great extent succeeded in his mission to bring the issue of illegal immigration to the political forefront.
    P.S. the state with the highest amount of illegal aliens per capita is Arkansas.

  28. if you have ever been around tom tancredo you would know why i wont quit him mm terry

  29. tom trancredo is the one that will do as he has said if you have ever been around him truth and insperation and a sence of godleness gives him real leadership minuteman terry