By: Joe Strupp
Did the George W. Bush re-election campaign blow off conservative columnist Cal Thomas? According to the syndicated writer, whose views are avidly read by millions of Bush’s base of evangelical Christians, the president’s people promised an interview at least two months ago and never came through.
“They promised me on several occasions, but they never let me in,” an upset Thomas told E&P Thursday. “He did a lot of interviews for the ‘rah-rah’ types. I think a solid newspaper interview would have gone a long way to help him.”
Thomas recalled spending time with Bush on several occasions during the 2000 campaign, citing a trip in a van with him to a campaign stop and time on the campaign plane. But he said he never got near him this round for any length of time, despite the supposed promise.
“‘We’re going to get you in’ came from one of their top guys several times and they never did,” Thomas said. “It’s not like I would have gone in there with an agenda. They are very closed over there and they operate in a pretty tight environment.”
Thomas is published in more than 500 daily newspapers through Tribune Media Services.
A spokeswoman from the White House press office did not recall a request from Thomas for an interview, but said such requests would have been handled by the re-election campaign. Calls to the campaign’s communications office were not returned.
Thomas said he was not overly upset about the alleged snub, but noted that his conservative credentials would have likely meant a fair interview for the commander-in-chief. “It’s not like I’m a typical left-wing guy coming in there,” Thomas stressed. “You might believe I would be pre-disposed to a fair and accurate interview. I would ask tough questions, but I would really be interested in the answers. Not one of the ‘gotcha’ interviews.”