This article appeared late last week in the Richmond Times Dispatch. Gilmore continues to claim that he is the only true conservative in the race. Thus he is emphasising the fact that he is a Reagan conservative, in comparison to the other candidates.
Gilmore says conservatism will help him win GOP nod
BY TYLER WHITLEY - TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Former Gov. Jim Gilmore said yesterday that he can win the Republican presidential nomination because he brings a consistent conservatism to the race that his opponents do not.
"I am the Reagan conservative," Gilmore told the annual meeting of the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association, an organization of journalists who cover the state Capitol. Many covered Gilmore during his tumultuous term as governor, from 1998 to 2002.
While he acknowledged he got into the race late, "it is very doable," he said.
The states begin nominating delegates to the national convention in 11 months, and many GOP campaigns have raised far more money and have far more extensive organizations than Gilmore does.
Gilmore said he would campaign as a tax-cutting governor who carried out his campaign promises and who is an expert on homeland security. As an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, he led a national homeland security organization for five years.
Asked if President Bush would be a liability to Republicans in 2008, Gilmore said Republicans should run on their own record. Asked if he could carry Virginia, Gilmore answered simply, "Yes."
He left office unpopular after fighting with fellow Republicans in the Virginia Senate. He also left with mounting budget deficits that some blamed on his campaign promise to repeal the personal-property tax on cars and trucks. The Senate halted that repeal after it cost the state treasury $950 million, about 70 percent of the total repeal.