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Fred Thompson on Principles & Values

Former Republican Senator (TN)


Need a president who feels no need to apologize for America

America needs a president who understands the nature of the world we live in, a president who feels no need to apologize for the US. We need a president who understands that you don’t make citizens prosperous by making Washington richer and you don’t lift an economic downturn by imposing one of the largest tax increases in American history.
Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention Sep 3, 2008

Obama is the most liberal and inexperienced nominee ever

Terrorists, rogue nations developing nuclear weapons, an increasingly belligerent Russia, intensifying competition from China, spending at home that threatens to bankrupt future generations, for decades an expanding government, increasingly wasteful and too often incompetent. To deal with these challenges, the Democrats present a history-making nominee for president--history-making in that he’s the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever run for president.
Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention Sep 3, 2008

Worked for law firm that worked in Libya; but not personally

Q: Mike Huckabee said, “Fred Thompson is a registered foreign agent, lobbied for foreign countries, was in a law firm that did lobbying work for Libya.” Those are pretty strong words. Are they factually accurate?

A: I was in a law firm that did some lobbying work for Libya. Yes, that’s correct.

Q: Did you personally get involved in that portfolio?

A: No. I never talked to any of the clients or anything like that.

Q: He says you were a registered foreign agent. Is that true?

A: No.

Q: You never registered with the Justice Department on behalf of foreign country?

A: No, no, no. It is one of those things that takes about 10 minutes to explain. Someone asked me a matter about a foreign client that they had, and I made about 5 minutes’ worth of contribution to that client’s problem. And anybody that ever does anything like that has to register and tell what they did.

Q: What was the country?

A: It was Haiti. At that time, it was totally consistent with the policies of this country.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer Jan 13, 2008

Not consumed by politics; running for future of kids & US

Q: You’re getting headlines for some comments you made: “I’d like to say I’m only consumed by very, very few things, and politics is not one of them.” Then you went on to say, “I’m not sure in the world we live in today it’s a terribly good thing that a president has too much fire in his belly.” Don’t voters want someone who really wants to be president?

A: The very next sentence was that I am consumed with the notion of what’s going to happen to my kids, my grandkids & my country, and that that’s why I was running for president. We had a long discussion from which they cherry-picked, of course, to try to make a little interesting story out of it. I’ve never been personally consumed. It’s not a part of my identity--politics isn’t, and never will be. I’ve said that I don’t like every aspect of the way that people have to campaign nowadays in terms of process taking precedence over substance. But I’m in the middle of a 50-town tour in Iowa, working day and night. I think that speaks for itself.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews Dec 30, 2007

Declined to answer Boston Globe questions on Executive Power

Q: Does the president have Constitution powers to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?

A: The candidate declined to answer this question.

Q: In what circumstances would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress?

A: The candidate declined to answer this question.

Q: Under what circumstances would you sign a bill into law but also issue a signing statement reserving a constitutional right to bypass the law?

A: The candidate declined to answer this question.

Q: Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

A: The candidate declined to answer this question.

Q: Do you think it’s important for all would-be presidents to answer questions like these before voters decide which one to entrust with the powers of the presidency?

A: The candidate declined to answer this question

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

100% free & clear of cancer; will release all health records

Q: You’ve lost a considerable lot of weight. Is it health-related?

A: No, it’s not health-related. I was encouraged by my wife and other people in the health field to watch my cholesterol, to watch my weight, to exercise more.

Q: But you have been diagnosed with lymphoma.

A: Yes.

Q: And you said the other day you were going to have some tests. Did you?

A: Yes. I had tests in September.

Q: And the results?

A: 100% free and clear. Some people in the news media asked for that. I sent it to them. I didn’t make a public announcement, but I had all the tests. The doctor put out a statement I’m in good shape. It’s totally legitimate. The American people have a right to know.

Q: Will you release all your health records?

A: I will release whatever the common practice is. There’s 30-something different kinds of lymphoma, and I’ve supposedly got one of the better kinds. I fully expect to live long enough to pass away from something else.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series Nov 4, 2007

Giuliani sides with Hillary on abortion, guns. & immigration

Q: [to Giuliani]: Sen. Thompson says that you’re soft on abortion, that you’re soft on gun control, & that you’ve never claimed to be a conservative. Who is more conservative: you or Fred Thompson?

GIULIANI: I can’t comment on Fred. I can tell you that George Will wrote that I ran the most conservative government in the US in the last 50 years. I brought down crime more than anyone in this country. I brought down taxes. I drove pornography out of Times Square. You can always find one exception or two to someone being absolutely conservative, but I think I had a heck of a lot of conservative results.

THOMPSON: Mayor Giuliani believes in federal funding for abortion. He believes in sanctuary cities. He’s for gun control. He supported Mario Cuomo, a liberal Democrat, against a Republican who was running for governor; then opposed the governor’s tax cuts when he was there. So I simply disagree with him those issues. And he sides with Hillary Clinton on each of those issues I just mentioned.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Consistent since reading “Conscience of a Conservative”

Q: [to Romney]: Sen. Thompson says that you run to the left of Teddy Kennedy in 1994, that you were proudly pro-choice, as recently as 2005, and that his philosophy doesn’t depend on geography. Who is more conservative: you or Fred Thompson?

ROMNEY: We’re going to have to bring together the same coalition that Ronald Reagan put together; conservatives fiscally, conservatives from a military standpoint and conservatives socially. Because we’re not going to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House by acting like Hillary Clinton.

THOMPSON: I was conservative as soon as I put down Conscience of a Conservative when I was in the college. I came back to Tennessee & started the first Young Republicans Club. In 8 years in the US Senate, I fought for tax cuts, a balanced budget, and welfare reform, all of which we achieved, and I also fought for judges who would abide by the Constitution and the law and not make it up as they went along. All that time, I compiled a 100 percent pro-life voting record.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Free markets, free people, free enterprise

If we stick to our basic principles, we will win next November. But we’ve got to remember our first principles--the fact that what the founding fathers told us a long, long time ago, that our basic rights come from God, not from government; that we have a system of divided government, both state and local and state and federal level.

We believe in free markets. We believe in free people. We believe in free enterprise. And Americans who work hard and play by the rules have a decent chance of living the American Dream, just like I have and so many others have.

That’s the things that we have to keep in mind. Let’s don’t get diverted onto some single individual, whoever their nominee is. They’re going to lead us down the road to a comfortable mediocrity. And that’s not the United States of America I grew up in.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Absent from Values Voter Presidential Debate

Q: You opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment, but recently you stated that you would support a marriage amendment that would prevent judges from imposing same-sex marriage, so long as it would not prohibit state legislatures from adopting same-sex marriage. This reasoning is like saying that you favor a constitutional amendment that prohibits judges from imposing slavery, so long as the state legislatures were free to do so.

SEN. THOMPSON: [absent from podium]

MODERATOR: Silence. Next question

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

What kind of country for our kids? And can I affect it?

When I thought about whether I should enter this race, I kept coming back to 2 questions. First, what kind of country are our children and grandchildren going to grow up in and second, how many people have the opportunity to do something about it?

On the next President’s watch, our country will be making decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future. We cannot allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation.

Source: Candidacy announcement speech Sep 6, 2007

Same sound conservative First Principles in 1994 as today

In 1994 when I first ran, I advocated the same common sense conservative positions that I hold today. They are based upon what I believe to be sound conservative First Principles--reflecting the nature of man & the wisdom of the ages. They are based upon the conviction that our Declaration of Independence & our Constitution are not outdated documents that have outlived their usefulness. It is a recognition that our basic rights come from God & not from government. That government should have its power divided, not only at the federal level but between the federal government and the states. Federalism is the belief that not every problem should have a federal solution. A government that is big enough to do everything for us is powerful enough to do anything to us.

These principles lead me to believe in lower taxes, which foster growth and leave more power in the hands of the people. They also respect free markets, private property, and fair competition. They honor the sanctity of life.

Source: Candidacy announcement speech Sep 6, 2007

Announces candidacy for president on Jay Leno show

Q: You said in June that you were testing the water. You’ve been in the water for a while now. Are you starting to get a little wrinkly?

A: These wrinkles don’t come from the water.

Q: What’s the temperature? Is it tepid? What does the water tell you

A: Nice and warm.

Q: Nice and warm?

A: It hasn’t been that long really. We’ve done it a few months, where a lot of people have been working on it since they were in the choir in high school. So we’re where we need to be right now, and that’s one of the things I wanted to talk to you about. I’m running for President of the United States.

Q: Wow. Well, that’s very exciting. Now, it took a long time to decide this.

A: Not really. We mentioned it the first time in March. We started around the kitchen table in late March thinking about what kind of world and what kind of country our kids were going to grow up in and how many people have a chance to do something about it. And I decided that it was time for me to step up. So I did.

Source: Candidacy Announcement on Jay Leno show Sep 5, 2007

Voters don’t pay attention to elections this early

Q: It took a long time for you to decide to run.

A: A lot of people have been running for some time. Everybody kind of changed the rules. Usually you don’t announce until after Labor Day. Everyone said that you couldn’t run this year without raising a $100 million and starting much earlier. I don’t believe that. I wasn’t in the room when they made the rules; so I had to kind of follow my own lead.

Q: A lot of the pundits say, “Oh, well, you waited too long.”

A: I don’t think people are going to say, you know, “That guy would make a very good President, but he just didn’t get in soon enough.” Communications being what they are nowadays, if you can’t get your message out in a few months, you’re probably not ever going to get it out. Most people don’t start paying attention to these elections until they get a little closer. They treat politicians kind of like the dentist--they don’t have anything to do with them until they have to, until the election is near.

Source: Candidacy Announcement on Jay Leno show Sep 5, 2007

Enjoys campaigning despite reputation of being lazy

Q: You’re on the cover of “Newsweek.” It says “Lazy Like a Fox.” Do you like to campaign, or is it one of those necessary evils?

A: No, I like the part where you get out with the people. That’s kind of been my history. The red pick-up truck and all was more than just symbolism. First of all, it got me away from the staff. They couldn’t ride along in the truck. It also got me out with the people.

Q: You took a truck and drove around?

A: Took my truck and one guy. We’d go from town to town and I’d get in the bed of the truck and make a speech, and we’d move on. And we went from 20 points down against a popular incumbent congressman to 20 points ahead on election night. So I must like campaigning enough to get the job done. The same thing is true with regard to what we’re facing now. Of course, the stakes are much more important when you’re running for President, and I take it that way. I’m going to do my dead-level best to make sure that the people get an opportunity to make the decision.

Source: Candidacy Announcement on Jay Leno show Sep 5, 2007

Made movie about his role in case of corrupt governor

Q: We all know you as the “Law & Order” guy, but tell us where you’re from.

A: Grew up in a little town, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. I went to law school, became a lawyer, practiced law there. Became a prosecutor at the age of 27, US Attorney’s Office. I went to Washington, was Watergate counsel. Came back, took the case of a gal who blew the whistle on a corrupt governor. We sued him. He went to jail, and we made a movie.

Q: And this is how you got into politics?

A: That’s how I got into movies.

Source: Interview on Jay Leno show Jun 13, 2007

I want to do some things that only a president can do

Q: There’s a lot of press here tonight. Any announcements you want to make?

A: Well, not any real big ones, but we have just formed a Testing-the-Waters Committee that allows us to start raising a little money.

Q: You’re in second place now. That’s pretty good water-testing.

A: Let’s say they’re warm.

Q: Now, why do you have to be so coy about it?

A: It takes a long time when you haven’t been running for president since high school. Some people decided that you had to run for a couple of years. These campaigns are entirely too long. And that you had to raise $100 million this year. Well, half a year is gone. I haven’t had my first fundraiser yet, and I’m in the middle of the pack. So, you know, I don’t think the common rules necessarily hold this year.

Q: Would you like the job of president of the US?

A: I’ve never praised the job of president, but I want to do some things that only a president can do. So the answer is yes.

Source: Interview on Jay Leno show Jun 13, 2007

Split decision on Clinton; some offenses not impeachable

Q: You split your decision on Clinton impeachment. You voted to convict on the obstruction, but not the perjury. You still stand by that?

A: Absolutely. I consider my role to be a judge, and I had to be dispassionate toward the individual. I went back to the founding fathers & what they thought constituted impeachable offenses and was quite surprised, in some respects, that some misbehavior did not constitute impeachable behavior in their views. So I followed that, and that caused me to split my vote.

Source: Fox News “Hannity & Colmes” interview Jun 6, 2007

Never lusted for presidency but the man has to fit the times

Q: You said you had never desired the office of president. It’s not something you ever thought you wanted for yourself.

A: Yes, that’s right, but that more and more I wish that I had the opportunity to do the things that only a president can do.

A: You said once that, you know, voters may not want someone who has lusted for the job since they were student body president. Do you see that in some of the other candidates?

A: Well, I don’t want to talk about other candidates; I’m really thinking about running for the presidency and not against them. Most people think that every senator sees the president every morning when he combs his hair. I never did. I never thought that the price was worth paying. At the time, we were living in good times. I think the times are different. I think the challenges are different. I think I’m different as a person. And, you know, the times have to fit the man; the man has to fit the times. And that’s what we’re looking at right now.

Source: Fox News “Hannity & Colmes” interview Jun 6, 2007

Reveals he suffers from cancer, but it won’t affect campaign

On April 11 2007, Thompson went on national TV & talked frankly about his indolent lymphoma. The cancer is in remission & it is treatable. The cancer, he said, is “a good kind if you can ever call something like that a good kind.” Fred was diagnosed 2 years ago after a routine physical: “I have had no illness from it, or even any symptoms. My life expectancy should not be affected. I am in remission, and it is very treatable with drugs if treatment is needed in the future--and with no debilitating side effects.“ He also made very clear he wouldn’t let the idea of cancer slow him down a bit, nor stop his consideration of a race for President.

Thompson’s sudden disclosure of his medical condition was seen by many political experts a clear indication that he was not simply flirting with a presidential race. As with all candidates, Thompson’s cancer will ultimately just be one aspect of ”who he is“ by the time voters cast their ballots. By Election Day, it is likely to matter very little.

Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.175-177 Jun 3, 2007

Religious affiliation: Protestant.

Thompson : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

What’s an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH10 on Nov 7, 2000

Other candidates on Principles & Values: Fred Thompson on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010