Thompson for Veep?

California State Sen. Tim McClintock thinks Sen. John McCain should choose his former primary opponent, Fred Thompson for his running mate.  McClintock made that statement at the Newsmaker Conference on May 24, hosted by The American Spectator and Americans for Tax Reform.

As a self-proclaiming, “real” conservative Republican, Sen. McClintock wishes for a return to Reagan conservatism in Congress and in the Oval Office. McClintock also expressed tepid enthusiasm for the GOP’s presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain.

“I was Fred Thompson’s state-wide chairman,” said McClintock. “McCain was not my first choice. He was not my second. He was not my third, fourth or fifth choice either. We can see the difference between a ‘fire’ and a ‘fireman’ and I think you are going to see that reality take hold in coming days among conservatives in California.”

McClintock insists his desire to return to traditional conservative principles is shared among his constituents. With strong convictions on issues including immigration, gay marriage, and the Iraq war, McClintock supports the “old school” values of the Reagan administration.

“I think the reason I am here is because Republican voters have finally decided that they want Republicans who actually act like Republicans,” said McClintock. “We know what happens when Republicans ‘paint our positions,’ as Reagan said, ‘in bold colors.’ We also know what happened when Republicans strayed from [conservative] principles, doing exactly the opposite of what they promised to do in Congress.”

McClintock pledges to remain true to his conservative background in his campaign for the congressional seat in the 4th District of California. He supports a more determined  crack-down on illegal immigration, lamenting the “enormous damage” illegal aliens cause the country’s legal immigration programs. He has been a strong devotee of off-shore drilling.

McClintock expresses a particular interest in the welfare of American troops. He does not encourage the lack of backing soldier’s are receiving from the home front.

“If you’re going to put your children in harm’s way, you damn well better support them with the full might and fury of the country,” said McClintock.

These staunch conservative views of the senator aim at finding a vice presidential nominee that reflects these views and off-set the “liberal republicanism” McClintock sees in Sen. McCain.

“Fred Thompson would be my first choice [for V.P.]. I do think [McCain] needs to nominate a conservative with solid credentials. I’ve seen a great deal of speculation over icons of the left wing of our party and if he fails to appoint a conservative I think that is a powerful message that he’s not even interested in reaching out – I think that will have a very profound effect. I just hope for someone with a powerful conservative interest.,” said McClintock.
McClintock’s 15 point victory over former Congressman Doug Ose in the primaries may reflect the California district’s hope for a return to conservative values. The race was the 2nd most expensive congressional primary in United States history. McClintock now faces Democrat Charlie Brown in November for the congressional seat.

As for the presidential campaign – in the possibility of a Democratic president and Democratic majority in Congress, McClintock offers Republicans the advice of former statesman Frederick Douglass:

“Agitate, agitate, and agitate.”