Fred’s new Communications Director Todd Harris says New Hampshire voters won’t hold his absence at the debate next week against him. He said “looking forward” that Thompson will be “spending a lot of time in New Hampshire.” He continued: “I don’t think that many New Hampshire voters will say he’s an authentic conservative, he shares my values and was part of the 1994 Republican Revolution but he won’t get my support because he got into the race a few months late.” Voicing what will certainly be Thompson main pitch to primary voters, Harris says primary voters will come to appreciate that Thompson is a “consistent conservative” and that Thompson “is more in line” with their beliefs than some of the other contenders. As for the past, Harris recalls that he didn’t arrive in New Hampshire with John McCain’s campaign in 2000 until mid-September. When I reminded him that McCain cleverly exploited Bush’s absence at the Dartmouth debate and went on to win the New Hampshire primary, Harris parried back with a reminder that Bush nevertheless won the nomination. This tells me a couple things: Thompson at least for now isn’t throwing in the towel on any early primary states and he’s going after Romney (not as “consistent” as Thompson, he would say) to be the conservative alternative to Rudy.