Former Tennessee senators stump for GOP’s McCain

Former Tennessee senators stump for GOP’s McCain

By: AP

NASHVILLE (AP) — Two former Tennessee senators who once had presidential ambitions for 2008 were consigned to warming up the crowd Monday at a campaign rally for Republican Sen. John McCain. Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and former Sen. Fred Thompson spoke before McCain addressed the crowd at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, former home of the Grand Ole Opry. In his first public appearance in Tennessee since abandoning his presidential bid in January, Thompson emphasized McCain’s national security credentials. “This is the man who should be the leader of our country, and with your help he will be,” Thompson said in his introduction of the Arizona senator. One woman in the audience drew loud applause for reminding McCain that Tennessee voters prevented Al Gore from becoming president when he failed to win his home state in 2000 — and for proposing that he select Thompson as a running mate. “I kind of get the impression that if he were the candidate I wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time in Tennessee,” said McCain, who lost Tennessee’s primary to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Tennessee’s prominence in the presidential campaign dropped off after Thompson’s campaign got a late start and failed to capitalize on early buzz that he was the only Reagan-style conservative in the race. Published in The Messenger 6.3.08

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