Posted: July 18, 2007 6:55 PM
Thompson Tours Iowa on Ethanol-run Winnebago
Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson’s campaign aired a new radio ad in Iowa this week. The one-minute spot, Thompson’s second broadcast ad of the campaign, outlines his plan for immigration reform — a very different plan than the one put forth by President Bush.
The first point: No amnesty for illegal immigrants. “We must support the rule of law in this country,” Thompson says in the ad. He also promises to complete a border security fence between the United States and Mexico within the first 150 days of his presidency, require non-citizens working in the United States to carry ID cards, and require immigrants who wish to become citizens to first learn English.
Thompson spent much of last week on his 99-stop tour of Iowa — onboard an Iowa-built, ethanol-run Winnebago — stopping in four or five cities every day. As of Saturday, he was on city number 47. He took a few days off from the tour and made a campaign appearance in San Diego Monday, but will be back on the bus Thursday to begin the second half of the tour. Campaign staff are keeping a daily blog of tour highlights.
Meanwhile, analysts are asking how long Thompson’s fund-raising results — less than $1 million so far — will allow him to continue his campaign.
“He’s at a point where he has to ask whether he can afford to continue,” Michael Malbin, executive director of the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, adding that it was “unfortunate” that in today’s fund-raising environment, a former governor and Cabinet official “cannot even make it to the point of being considered.”
But Thompson campaign officials say they have enough money to compete in the August Ames, Iowa straw poll.
“I would love to have more money, but we have enough to exercise our plan through Aug. 11,” campaign adviser Steve Grubbs told the Journal Sentinel.
And campaign staff do at least seem to have a sense of humor about the situation. When Thompson had to miss his Iowa tour’s kickoff event last week after getting stuck at a Colorado airport, his staff wrote on the campaign blog: “That will happen when you fly commercial. Lets be honest you’ve all seen our FEC Reports, we can’t exactly afford carbon credits.”