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The OTHER Thompson enters 2008 race

Posted by Stephen on April 2, 2007

With all the talk regarding a possible 08 run for the Republican nomination by Fred Thompson, it is former Health and Human Services secretary and former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson who enters a crowded Republican field.

During his announcement Thompson described himself as the “reliable conservative” in the race and called himself a dark horse for the nomination.

“I am the reliable conservative. My record shows that. All that people have to do is look at my record, and I am one individual that they can count on,” Thompson said, adding “I was a dark horse candidate for governor. I was a dark horse candidate when I ran for the Assembly. I am the underdog, and I don’t mind that.”

Coming out of the gate Thompson is clearly attempting to draw differences between himself and his former boss, President Bush. Thompson shared some of his views with ABC News.

On Iraq Thompson stated that he would have “a completely different Iraq strategy” from the president’s. Thompson said he would “demand” that the Iraqi government vote as to whether it wanted the U.S. to remain in the country. If the answer were yes, “it immediately gives a degree of legitimacy.” If the answer were no, “We would get out, absolutely. It’s a duly elected government.”

He would veto the war spending bills in Congress that have timelines for a U.S. exit from Iraq. “This is an invitation to continue the kind of civil war that’s going on right now. I think it’s the worst mistake,” Thompson said.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has made “terrible mistakes” in the handling of the fired federal prosecutors. “I would not have appointed Mr. Gonzales. I would have appointed somebody that was loyal to me,” Thompson said.

Thompson spent 14 years as governor of Wisconsin, pushing for an overhaul of the state’s welfare laws. He also championed a school choice program for Milwaukee. He is considered a fiscal conservative but he did support the Medicare Prescription Drug which included massive spending for an entitlement that had a controversial beginning, at best.

Thompson enters modestly and is counting on early success in Iowa with hopes of gaining momentum that he can carry to South Carolina where he hopes to be able to connect with southern conservative voters.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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