Fred Thompson: I Will Not Dance to Dr. Dobson Tune

Thursday, 04 Oct 2007 03:58 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson has responded to criticism from Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, saying he doesn’t want to speak with Dobson unless he apologizes for his remarks.

In March, Dobson – one of the nation's most politically influential evangelical Christians – had said about Thompson: “I don’t think he’s a Christian.”

And in September, Dobson made it clear in a message to friends that he will not support Thompson, charging that he is weak on the campaign trail and wrong on issues dear to social conservatives.

Appearing on Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes” with his wife Jeri and their two young children, Thompson told Sean Hannity: “Don’t read too much into the Dobson thing. He is a gentleman who has never met me, never talked to me. I’ve never talked to him on the phone.”

Thompson said a Dobson aide did call him to apologize for Dobson’s comment that the former Senator isn’t a Christian.

But when asked if he was interested in speaking personally with Dobson, Thompson responded: “I don’t particularly care to have a conversation with him. If he wants to call and apologize, it’s O.K. with me.

“I’m not going to dance to anyone’s tune.”

Thompson’s 4-year-old daughter Hayden sat on his lap during part of the interview, and could be heard whimpering or chirping as Thomson and his wife spoke with Hannity.

Hannity quoted a published comment that some people close to Thompson question whether winning the White House is truly his life’s ambition or more the dream of his wife.

“I plead guilty” as far as the presidency not being his life ambition, Thompson answered. “But times change, and you change as an individual.” Running for president, he said, is “the right thing to do for our country.”

He also said Democrats were “pandering to the left” by attacking Rush Limbaugh over his comments about “phony soldiers.”

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