Former Senator Fred Thompson, an also-ran in the 2008 GOP presidential race, has made his support of Newt Gingrich well-known.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Fred Thompson and Senator John McCain, who endorses Mitt Romney, sat side-by-side. Each extolled the virtues of their respective candidates, prognosticated on the outcome and consequences of the upcoming Florida GOP primary, and talked about different topics of the day.
At one point, Fred Thompson referenced a New York Times article from that morning that outlined Mitt Romney’s recent attacks on his man Newt. In that context he also stated that Romney was getting biased support from Matt Drudge’s “Drudge Report” website in the form of positive coverage for Romney and negative for Gingrich, saying Romney has Drudge in his “back pocket”.
Recently, much hay has been made some supposed statements Newt Gingrich made in private, disparaging Ronald Reagan. And, that headline was played up big on Drudge.
Most GOP candidates go out of their way to speak glowingly of Reagan, who was an extremely popular president for them. To be seen as critical of Reagan in a GOP race would invite ostracism from the party faithful and old guard. And, Gingrich has been selling himself in Florida as a “Reagan conservative”.
Gingrich stumped in and won the recent South Carolina primary with the message that Romney was the GOP pick, regardless of what the people want. He presented himself as an anti-establishment Washington outsider who would challenge the GOP’s presumption.
The Drudge Report ran the story of Thompson’s accusations, and responded with links to three stories that had reported Newt in the lead in weeks prior.
But, they also soon top-lined these gems.