Friday, August 17, 2007

Fred Thompson—Too Good to Be True? Thompson Says He Will Shake Things Up In the Health Care Debate

The Washington Post’s David Broder is one of those people I have only the greatest respect for. So his recent column, recounting an interview with soon to be Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson, caught my eye.

Broder described a Fred Thompson that sounds too good to be true:

“When Fred Thompson makes his long-delayed entrance into the Republican presidential race, he will not tiptoe quietly. Instead, he will try to shake up the establishment candidates of both parties by depicting a nation at peril from fiscal and security threats—and prescribing tough cures that he says others shrink from offering.”

He quotes Thompson as saying he, “will take some risks that others are not willing to take, in terms of forcing a dialogue on our entitlement situation, our military situation and what it’s going to cost” to ensure our nation’s future.

“There’s no reason for me to run just to be president,” Broder quoted Thompson as saying. “I don’t desire the emoluments of the office. I don’t want to live a lie and clever my way to the nomination or election.”

Thompson said in the interview that he would have opposed the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, “a 17 trillion add-on to a program that’s going bankrupt.”

Referring to the crisis that is looming over America’s out-of-control entitlement costs, “Nobody in Congress on either side in the presidential race wants to deal with it. So we just rock along and try to maintain the status quo. Republicans say keep the tax cuts; Democrats say keep the entitlements. And we become a less unified country in the process, with a tax code that has become an unholy mess, and all we do is tinker around the edges.”

Referring to national security and the fiscal crisis of an aging society with runaway health care costs, Broder quotes Thompson as saying these challenges, “are worth a portion of a man’s life. If I can’t get elected talking that way, I probably don’t deserve to be elected.”

Is Fred Thompson too good to be true?

Speaking of "clevering" your way along, see my recent post: Good Riddance to Karl Rove--How Part D Left an $8 Trillion Debt and Got Them Nothing
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