In the week since he made his candidacy official, Thompson has forced enough God-o-Meter recalibrations to make its needle sore. After swinging up yesterday, Thompson’s God-o-Meter is down again, for telling reporters he only attends church regularly when in his native Tennessee. “I don’t attend regularly when I’m up there” he said, referring to Northern Virginia, where he lives with his wife and their two children, according to Bloomberg. At the same time, he told a crowd at his first campaign stop in South Carolina that he learned values from “sitting around the kitchen table” with his parents and from “the good Church of Christ.”
While Thompson’s acting career and (supposed) powers of communication inspire frequent comparisons to Ronald Reagan, the Gipper made a point of learning the evangelical lexicon, once telling a group of conservative pastors that he deserved to go to heaven not for anything he did, but “because of what Jesus did for me at Calvary.” In a GOP field where the other top-tier candidates have bigger religion woes than he does, Thompson’s advisors are betting that his won’t do him in among social conservatives. But it’s one more mark against him among a constituency that already has reasons for doubt.


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