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.
Coincidentally, Marc has the latest CBS-NYTimes polls from New Hampshire and Iowa. If you run your eyes down the list of GOP candidates, you'll find Fred Thompson running fourth in the caucuses, with nine percent of the vote; in New Hampshire, he's sixth, at six percent. But I guess he's got Rudy right where he wants him.
I don't always buy into the notion, advanced by Jon Chait among others, that the economic right calls all the shots in the GOP. I do, however, think that the folks at, say, the Club for Growth are a lot better at the hard business of intra-party infighting than some of their friends and rivals on the religious right.