STATEMENT posted on King for Congress website
December 17, 2007

King's Rationale for Endorsement of Presidential Candidate

Iowans have a profound opportunity and a great responsibility to make the first in the nation recommendation for president to the rest of America. Of 300 million Americans, one in 100 are Iowans. Of Iowans, only about one in 15 will attend either the Democrat or the Republican caucus. Your vote in the Iowa caucus will likely have 1500 times more impact than that of the average American. This is a profound responsibility. It is our duty to determine the most important issues and set criteria for how we make our decisions.

Iowans have a unique and historic opportunity to see and hear, in person, each of the presidential candidates. As a Republican member of the Iowa Congressional Delegation, I have had the opportunity and the privilege to meet individually and privately with them, giving me a unique insight into the candidates.

During the past year and a half, I have come to like and respect all the presidential candidates. Each has demonstrated real leadership and success in their respective careers. All are capable and effective. All are capable of winning the general election. The questions before us are, “Who would make the best leader of the free world? Who would best lead the United States to the next level of our destiny? Which of the candidate’s records demonstrates the vision to lead and is consistent with our platform and values?”

It’s the culture of America that produces our leaders at every level, from precinct captain to city council, from Congress to president. We elect leaders who reflect our values. We determine by our vote the issue priorities of our culture which charts the course of our national destiny. Our challenge is to elect a president who will best position America to pass the American Dream on to future generations. America needs a president who will refurbish the pillars of American Exceptionalism.

Among the most important issues in the presidential campaign are Social Security reform, healthcare, tax reform, Tax reform, 2nd Amendment-gun rights, Global War on Islamic Jihad, abortion, marriage, illegal immigration and the imperative to reestablish our national sovereignty. Our decision on who to support should emerge as we evaluate the priorities of the candidates.

Fundamentally, there are two types of issues. Those issues that improve or protect our quality of life, and issues that redirect our national destiny. Of the quality of life issues, some are not at risk and either will be protected by all candidates or by Congress. Social Security and healthcare are two issues we can be confident will be available to eligible Americans, regardless of who we elect. I have pushed for decades for real tax reform but since our republic functions best under the lash of necessity, the time has probably not yet arrived. In any case, Social Security, healthcare, and tax reform are not likely to redirect our national destiny. Destiny issues should determine the next leader of the free world.

Second Amendment gun rights will get a new Supreme Court decision of likely sweeping proportions within the next several months. The courts may make guns a critical issue but it is more likely they will reinforce our 2nd Amendment rights. If the Supreme Court upholds the Constitution, which I expect, loss of our right to keep and bear arms will not be infringed. Our destiny will not be changed, if our gun rights are upheld by the court.

Every Republican candidate, except Ron Paul, will fight Al Qaeda and the Global War on Islamic Jihad. The combination of eternal vigilance and good fortune has kept us safe within our borders. We must stay on the offensive if we are to eventually defeat our enemies. The Republican nominee will fight this war and move us closer to a final victory. The differences between the candidates on the war are ultimately unlikely to dramatically redirect our destiny. The differences between the candidates is in degree, not substance.

Of profound implications to the cultural destiny of America are the issues of marriage and the protection of innocent human life. These battles will play out in Congress, the states, and the courts. Except for partial birth abortion, abortion on demand and the full rights of marriage for same sex couples have been ordered by the courts and, here, are the law of the land. Both are likely to be determined by the next two confirmed presidential appointments to the Supreme Court.

I’ve asked of the presidential candidates, “Would you appoint justices who will interpret the Constitution as it was understood when written, ratified, and amended? Will you fight for their confirmation in a hostile Senate?” Each Republican has answered, “Yes.” The question becomes the question of discernment. President Bush had the right position, made the right statements, and eventually made the right nominations which will be his enduring legacy. But President Bush needed help in reselecting a Supreme Court Justice. The next president will need our help as well. His legacy of Supreme Court appointments will endure for at least a generation beyond his presidency.

We need a president who will uphold the Rule of Law by enforcing current immigration law. We need a president who will reconstitute our national sovereignty by establishing operational control of the border. We need a president who really means it when he says, “I am opposed to amnesty.”

Each of the Republican candidates are on record opposing amnesty. No candidate has defined amnesty except to say what amnesty is not. We understand that defining what amnesty is not, implies an admission that the definer’s plan is amnesty as understood by the American people. The definition of amnesty is granting a pardon to immigration lawbreakers and rewarding them with the objective of their crime. Immigration law breakers must get no advantage for having broken our laws.

The future of the American Dream lies in how we make decisions on life and family. We pour all of our values, from faith to freedom, through the womb of marriage and into the next generation. Essential components of our unique American culture will be shaped by our next president.

The Rule of Law is the central pillar of American Exceptionalism. Our failure to enforce the Rule of Law is the reason we have an illegal immigration crisis. Our southern border alone has 11,000 illegal border crossings a night. We catch and release illegal border crossers as many as 17 times before we adjudicate them. Eighty to ninety percent of all illegal drugs used in America at a cost of some $65 billion comes across our southern border. Internal domestic immigration law enforcement remains statistically nonexistent. Contempt for the Rule of Law is common for border jumpers, major corporations, national organizations and even funded by federal tax dollars. The American civilization, as we know it, will not survive another generation of deteriorating respect for the law. Because of vested interests in illegal labor, the critical mass of Americans is near the tipping point. Congress has no power to force the administration to enforce the law. The president must have the will. If he does not, our immigration policy will continue to be determined by the cumulative effect of millions of “willing travelers” from countries of their choosing. Illegal immigrants are setting our immigration policy every day by voting with their feet. They are in control, not American citizens. Our national sovereignty is at stake. We will not be the United States of America in fifty years if we do not control our borders.

For these reasons, I must have confidence that the next president will make informed originalist appointments to all of the federal courts. I have to believe he will reconstitute our national sovereignty by restoring the Rule of Law.

Tom Tancredo deserves the greatest appreciation and admiration of the American people. Without Tancredo relentlessly pressing the issue first from the floor of Congress and then as a candidate for president, the American people would not have jammed the switchboards and blocked comprehensive amnesty. Tom is running for president to save our country from the impending disaster that I’ve described. The measure of his success is in the platforms of every Republican candidate and even in that of the Democrats. No candidate has had so profound an effect on any public policy of America. Every Republican has taken the no amnesty pledge and adopted a tough on illegal immigration stance. Tom Tancredo has been so successful that much his political capital has been co-opted by his opponents. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

John McCain is a great American who has served his country every day of his adult life. No one in the field can match his patriotism, sacrifice, or experience. McCain remains an active proponent of comprehensive amnesty which puts our national sovereignty at stake.

Rudy Giuliani, America’s Mayor, cleaned up a city and managed a crisis well. His positions on life and marriage do not square with a promise to appoint “strict constructionist” judges. The former mayor of a sanctuary city would be unlikely to put an end to sanctuary cities, let alone bring operational control to the border and shut off the jobs magnet.

Mike Huckabee is unquestioned in his commitment to life and marriage. He, like President Bush, would need help in selecting judicial appointments. No one could dislike the man or disrespect his convictions. But Huckabee has been forceful and even judgmental in voicing his conviction to give scholarships to illegal immigrants. Just one amnesty policy, and there are others, destroys the chance to reestablish the Rule of Law. How can Huckabee answer to the sons and daughters of veterans or veterans themselves who come back from the war to find that illegals have desks in classrooms at a discount prohibited to them? Compassionate conservatism run amok is hard to harness, as we have seen. The Rule of Law cannot be reestablished without “tough love”. Our destiny pivots on amnesty.

Fred Thompson is a solid conservative with a pro-life voting record and a logical Constitutional strategy to protect marriage. Of the candidates, he has the best understanding of the principles of federalism. He has adopted good policy and put together a solid platform. I have confidence that he would defend the border and the Constitution with appointments to the courts. Thompson, like Bush, would need help with appointments. He needs to really want to be president. Although he might bring the wisdom of Solomon to the White House, he needs the fire in the belly to get there.

America cannot afford the cultural calamity toward which we are headed if we decide poorly on these major issues. Each past president, and the national debate on the way to his election, has redirected our national destiny. The decisions made in the oval office move the chess pieces of world history. Our decision in the coming weeks will determine the America our children will leave to our grandchildren. They will have to build upon the foundation we leave them because a nation cannot be stripped to its original foundation and rebuilt without revolution.

The cultural calamity toward which we are headed is the focus of my life. I believe America was founded by Christians and that the broad core of our culture is Christian, founded in Judaeo-Christian values. I do not believe America, or the American Presidency, is closed to other faiths, let alone other Christian faiths. I believe our destiny as a nation is in the hands of God, but as individuals we have free will. Some are so passionate in their beliefs that they believe they have the market cornered on salvation. In fact, if we didn’t believe our faith was the true faith, there would be no reason for competing denominations. God only knows if any of us are right, but each of us justly believe we are.

In the time that I’ve been evaluating the candidates, I’ve dealt with them in every arena. I’ve probed their private thoughts and measured their responses. I’ve gotten to know their families. I’ve watched and sometimes helped shape their policies. I’ve measured their instincts and intelligence

There is only one candidate who epitomizes the full spectrum of our conservative values. There is one who is a comfortable conservative whom I have full confidence in his decisions.

That candidate also has to have the fire in his belly to go the distance and the brains and resources to get there.

That candidate also meets the test of life and marriage, judges and borders. That candidate has taken solid, persistent, and principled positions consistent with the Republican platform-which we wrote to inform the candidates of the positions of Iowa Republicans.

That candidate has a record of faith, family, freedom, service, and success.

There is no question about that candidate’s position on protecting our sovereignty at the borders, in the workplace and on the streets of America. The Rule of Law will be reestablished in American life. My long and exceptionally deliberative evaluation of the Republican candidates for president has come to an end.

I will put all my efforts into and the fire into the belly of the person whom I believe destiny has called to be the next president of the United States, Fred Thompson.

PRESS RELEASE from Friends of Fred Thompson

December 17, 2007

Statement from Fred Thompson on Endorsement from Iowa Representative Steve King

McLean, VA - Fred Thompson released the following statement after being endorsed today by Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King:

"Congressman King's leadership in support of the sanctity of life and his efforts in the fight against illegal immigration have made him one of Iowa's great Republican leaders.  He's a tireless fighter for the 5th district of Iowa and I'm honored by his support. I look forward to working with Congressman King over the next three weeks and into 2008 in support of the traditional conservative values he and I share."