Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fred Thompson Calls Out McCain On Taxes & Immigration

Allah at Hot Air seems to think this is a declaration of war against the Maverick, calling it at first a "good straight jab" and later an "uppercut." I'm not convinced it was any more than a love tap. This seems particularly evident in the Glenn Beck interview where Thompson effectively points to the main policy differences between his platform and McCain's - namely immigration and his track record on the Bush tax cuts - but he does so under the cover of a general criticism of the other nominees and he tempers his attacks with statements like "he has his strong suits and his weak suits." I'd like to see him make the point a little more aggressively and I think he will have to within the next four days if he's serious about winning South Carolina. His win will depend on the extent to which he convinces voters to abandon Huckabee and McCain. Just attacking Huckabee isn't enough. I'm hoping that Mav will respond to Thompson's comments and that this will escalate into a real fire fight. At any rate, the good news here is this is the first real indication that Thompson is willing to engage McCain with some degree of aggression. But the big question remains: does he want the nomination enough to take McCain head on?

Here he is on Fox:

And again with Glenn Beck:

How do you explain with conservatives going out to vote, how are they supporting John McCain? What is this — where is this coming from?

SENATOR THOMPSON: I think the basis of it is national security, national defense. John was right, I think, with regard to Iraq and he stood tough during tough times and I think he turned out to be right. And I was the same place the whole time and have been. We agree on that. But John is wrong on some other important things and he was wrong when he voted against the Bush tax cuts.


SENATOR THOMPSON: He says he’s changed his mind about that now and, you know, sobeit. But, you know, I was there during part of that time and I voted the other way. I believed the other way then, I believe the other way now. He’s certainly wrong with regard to the immigration bill that they tried to get the American people sign off on last year and they gave a resounding no and now everybody’s getting tough on the border. But on taxes and immigration, especially, you know, I think he’s wrong. But so is Huckabee as far as that’s concerned.

GLENN: But he’s also wrong with McCain/Lieberman where he wants to sign treaties for global warming. He wants to give away sovereignty on global warming. This guy is not a conservative.

SENATOR THOMPSON: No, I think he’s in the wrong direction on that, too. I think that that’s absolutely true. But, you know, he’s like everybody else. You know, he has his strong suits and his weak suits. But I think that the direction that he and Huckabee and others really, I think Giuliani and where Romney has been in the past all are going in a so-called moderate direction, which is going to lead to, you know, so-called big government conservativism or bigger government conservativism anyway.

Emphasis mine.

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