At least one group of pro-Fred folks found the senator's skip-the-debate stunt more chicken than charming. In its most recent web missive, the wing-nuts over at GOPUSA--who have for months now been positively giddy about the prospect of a Fred candidacy--grouse: "Thompson's No Show is a No Go."
The item in the attached newsletter reads:
The GOP presidential candidates met last night to debate issues such as Iraq, immigration, and taxes. Many of the candidates performed well, and most showed why they should be up on that stage. The biggest disappointment came from the "candidate" who was not there. Fred Thompson, saying he is running for president, decided to make an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno rather than debate his opponents. Come on, Fred... jump in and mix it up with the big boys!
Bad sign, Fred, when even your hard-core conservative fans suspect you're ducking the fight.