Greetings from Tennessee!
This morning, I read Fred Thompson’s campaign manager Bill Lacy emphasizing Fred’s conservative values:
“What matters to the voters is where the candidate has come down on these issues in the past.” Lacy said Fred’s association with the Republican revolution of 1994, the year he was elected to his first term in the Senate, is going to remind conservatives that Thompson’s been with them for a long time.
In his speech yesterday, Fred hammered this question: “Who’s the genuine conservative in the race?”
We’ve talked about this before, but I don’t think this is the right way to go about winning votes — gently slamming candidates like Gov. Romney who used to have different positions… especially since Fred himself was pro-choice all the way back from the time of that “Republican Revolution” to which his campaign manager was referring. Speaking of abortion, he said:
“The ultimate decision must be made by the woman. Government should treat its citizens as adults capable of making moral decisions on their own.”
Contrast this with his statement yesterday about being a true conservative, “This is what I believe and have believed and will continue to believe.”
I should say that Thompson is now pro-life and has a history of voting so. (Gov. Romney has a solid pro-life history of governing as well.) But this “I’m a true conservative and I have been since the early days” is a bit disingenuous — especially considering his work as a lobbyist for a family planning group to lobby for a more lenient abortion rule.
As an aside, I’m kind of excited about the Lawrenceburg, Tennessee event and may try to go and report from the scene. I live minutes away from his hometown, and it’ll be interesting to see how the excitement catches (or wanes) around here. So far, not much “on the ground” news, although I’ve personally seen four “Fred ’08″ bumper stickers… in the past few months.
I was at the gym, on the elliptical yesterday trying to hear Fred’s speech — so I missed some of it. So I was surprised to read this quote from the AP:
“I have the same conservative views I had in 1994,” he asserted again. He drew spurts of applause when he added: “I believe the Second Amendment means what it says … I believe in right to life … I believe in lower taxes … I believe in less government regulation … I believe in free markets.”
Is that even a true statement? Does he really believe what he believed back then about the right to life?