Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson is positioning himself as a “reliable” conservative and plans to make weekly visits to Iowa in his bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.
Thompson says he may not be able to match some of the other White House hopefuls dollar-for-dollar in the fundraising sweepstakes, but Thompson says he can compete on the ground. “Running in Iowa is like running for sheriff in 99 counties,” Thompson says. “It’s Retail Politics 101 and I’m very good at that.”
Thompson served four terms as governor of Wisconsin where Democrats held the legislature during his entire tenure. Thompson served four years as Secretary of Health and Human Services for this President Bush.
Thompson says the country is “in trouble” and he would bring “Midwestern common sense” to the White House. “I started some wonderful, innovative programs when I was governor on health care that’s being recognized as national models,” Thompson says. “I started welfare reform in Wisconsin which became a national model and I’m also, of course, very much involved in the ethanol movement and setting up the very first international coalition of countries supporting ethanol when I was governor so I’ve got some real strengths that’s going to play well in Iowa.”
Thompson visited Iowa Wednesday to meet with advisors and potential supporters, including former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. Branstad’s youngest son, Marcus, is working on Mitt Romney’s campaign, however.