Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore formally kicked off his campaign for the Republican Party’s 2008 presidential nomination today.
Gilmore gave a speech over the noon-hour from the state Republican Party’s headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, that was broadcast "live" on his campaign website.
"This is a campaign about national security…America is in a national challenge overseas and at home," Gilmore said during an interview. "We have to focus our attention on homeland security and getting this country ready for an attack that will inevitably come and get it prepared and we are not yet prepared."
Gilmore warns a terrorist attack is "quite likely" and touts his work as chairman of a "congressional advisory panel" formed in 1999 to assess terrorist threats to the United States. Gilmore also reminds audiences that back in 2001, when he was just wrapping up his four-year term as Virginia’s governor, his state was the second to be attacked on September 11 as the Pentagon sits on Virginia soil.
Gilmore drew a few boos earlier this month at an Iowa Republican Party banquet when he said "Rudy McRomney is not a conservative" – a remark aimed at perceived party front-runners Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney.
Gilmore said he didn’t hear the boos that night, but was buoyed by positive comments afterwards.
"The fact is that many people that night told me that they were rather happy I had torn the veil away and told the truth," Gilmore said.
Gilmore describes himself as a Reagan conservative. "The concepts, the ideas that I have that I’m running on are the right ones for America," Gilmore said. "The other rivals…are not conservatives."
Gilmore, who is a lawyer, was chairman of the Republican National Committee during 2001.