Conservative Viewpoints

"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan

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Fred Thompson calls for continued Iraqi presence

Posted by Stephen on May 7, 2007

Sounding more like a presidential candidate every day, former Senator Fred Thompson (R-Tn.) urged a continued military presence in Iraq as a barrier to even further destabilization in the Middle East.

“I don’t think it’s any question that if we leave Iraq before there is some semblance of stability brought about in that nation … that the world is going to be a more dangerous place,” Thompson said, adding that “as long as those brave people on the front lines who are making our sacrifices for us … say that they have a chance, we need to give them that opportunity to make that work there.”

Thompson, speaking before about 450 people at the annual Lincoln Club of Orange County dinner, warned that failure to stabilize Iraq would lead to more troubles in the future.

“Under the worst set of circumstance there, we’re going to leave a new haven for terrorism; we’re going to leave an area of the world that becomes more and more nuclear,” he said. “Those Sunni nations surrounding Iraq will respond to what Iran is doing … and the whole place will be nuclearized, and that will be bad for us.”

National security and Iraq were not the only issues he came to discuss. Thompson is staking out solid conservative ground for himself, saying that “government is too important to leave up to the government,” and called for a smaller and more decentralized federal government, lower taxes and secured national borders.

Taking on the ‘third rail’ of politics in the U.S., he added that looming financial crises in the Social Security and Medicare programs were key domestic problems that had not been resolved because Congress lacked the will to do so. Thompson suggested that the solution to the forecast shortfall in Social Security and Medicare might rest in cutting benefits.

Not one to pull punches, the potential GOP candidate made it clear that tough choices will have to be and strong leaders would have to take up these difficult challenges. That would require electing national leaders willing to take such difficult issues directly to voters, he said.

Thompson hinted strongly that he would support reductions in benefits from such programs to help keep them solvent.

“I think if a credible case is made to the American people, that Mom and Dad and Grand mom and Grand dad will be more than happy to make the adjustment necessary to protect their kids and their grandkids,” Thompson said.

Fred Thompson continues to speak out as he explores the possibility of running for the GOP nomination. In the mean time, Thompson finishes third among possible candidates for the nomination even though he has not officially announced his candidacy. Currently former NY City mayor Rudy Giuliani captures 25% of the polled voters on the latest CNN/Gallop poll while Arizona Senator John McCain stands at 24%. Thompson comes in at third with 13%, and ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who lands at 10%.

An announcement to run for office could lift Thompson to the head of a crowded field. Traditional conservatives are struggling to get behind the current field. Thompson provides a conservative voice on social issues and the economy. However, he realizes that today the issue of security in the US is of epic importance to the electorate.

Thompson took this time at the Lincoln Club to establish his positions on Iraq and national security as well as an economic agenda. This is not a one trick pony, but a well established voice of reason in the midst of a political world gone mad.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.


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