From Mark Levin's interview with Fred Thompson (Listen here):
Mark Levin: What’s annoying me Senator, and I’m going to be perfectly honest about you… I’ve talked to most of the candidates off the air..excuse me, on the air -you’ve got a firm grasp of policy, you have a firm grasp of the Constitution, which is what matters to me - which should undergird all policy. I mean I’ve talked to you, and you talk –very easily about the commerce clause, about federalism, about the Second amendment and the right to bear arms, about abortion.. you talk about this stuff easily, freely, you’re easily accessible, and yet I keep hearing the same damn thing - ya know he’s lazy, he’s not out there, look at New Hampshire… Ah.. I think they’re scared of you. To be honest with you, because I think you are the most consistently conservative candidate.
Across the board, Thompson is clearly the most consistently conservative candidate. Investor's Business Daily:
Former Sen. Fred Thompson...has managed to gain the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee (a key stamp of approval from social conservatives) while at the same time espousing the boldest of economic solutions on both Social Security and tax reform.
Thompson would solve Social Security's insolvency by giving Americans voluntary control of their own personal retirement accounts. He'd keep the Bush tax cuts, and he announced last weekend that he'd let taxpayers choose between the present, complex tax code and a simplified system with only two rates: 10% and 25%.
The movie star politician also proposes a Reaganesque rebuilding of our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
The Republicans running for the 2008 presidential nomination are often accused of being unconvincing actors in repeatedly invoking the name of Ronald Reagan. Funny how the one real actor among them seems to understand what Reaganism is.
In the interview with Mark Levin, Thompson talked about his tax plan. I was relieved to hear him say his plan was a "move toward a greatly simplified tax plan and major tax reform which this country desperately needs". I took that to mean his plan was a first step toward real tax reform. As a fan of the Fair Tax I would like to see the current tax code abolished, along with the IRS, but maybe that's unrealistic. Thompson's plan could be a step in that direction, however. We still need to get much more support from our representatives in Congress to make the Fair Tax a viable option. Right now Mike Huckabee is the only one of the top-tier presidential candidates who has endorsed the Fair Tax but as a social and fiscal conservative I could not support Huckabee on just that issue alone. John Hawkins:
...the downside of Huckabee is that he's essentially George Bush with charisma when it comes to domestic issues. He is not a small government guy or a fiscal conservative, he doesn't seem to be a movement conservative, and he's not someone who can be trusted to be tough on illegal immigration.
How Huckabee is moving up in some polls is a mystery. He's a funny guy and certainly better than any Democrat running...but is he the best candidate? His record as Governor of Arkansas would suggest the answer is no.
I read a comment yesterday suggesting two big issues for conservatives would be illegal immigration and gun control. I agree these are central issues for conservatives. How can it be then, that the current front-runner for the Republican nomination is a man, who as Mayor of New York acted clearly in opposition to the views of most conservatives (and the Constitution I might add)? For crying out loud, he sued two dozen gun manufacturers and distributors. America's Mayor is also at odds with conservatives regarding gay marriage and abortion, including partial-birth abortion. In 1999, Giuliani had this to say:
“I’m pro-choice. I’m pro-gay rights,” Giuliani said. He was then asked whether he supports a ban on what critics call partial-birth abortions. “No, I have not supported that, and I don’t see my position on that changing,” he responded.
He should define "gay rights", by the way. I've checked the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, and as far as I can tell gays are not excluded.
As for the most important issue, Thompson know what it is:
National security will be the biggest issue facing the United States during the next president's term, said Republican Fred Thompson, who is campaigning to be the one in the White House then.
Thompson said the Soviet Union used to be the biggest threat to America. Now, it's al-Qaida and other groups, including ''rogue nations in various stages of nuclear capability,'' he said.
''Iraq and Afghanistan are the current front in a much bigger global conflict that we're engaged in,'' Thompson said during a news conference before a $100-per-plate Mississippi Republican party fundraising dinner.
An actor and former U.S. senator from Tennessee who served on the Intelligence Committee, Thompson said dealing with national security will require a commitment and a constant dialogue between the president and the American people.
Fred Thompson is a serious and impressive candidate. Conservatives should not right him off too soon.