Reactions To Fred On His Debate Performance


Jim Geraghty at The Corner on Fred today:

Where the hell has this Fred been for the past few weeks? This guy looks like he
could eat most of the rest of the field for lunch.

Betsy Newmark:

Fred Thompson’s best moment of his campaign so far

Race 4 2008:

Thompson’s performance was everything that his supporters had been expecting from him. In every debate, Thompson has been the one candidate whose performance’s have always checked out, factwise. Today, he finally put it all together. Some say it is too late, and maybe they’re right, but today’s showing determined two things: 1. Fred’s not dead yet 2. The leader some have been holding out for.

Wake Up America:

THIS is the Fred Thompson we elected to the Senate in Tennessee. THIS is Fred
Thompson’s refusal to play politics as usual in a game that we’re all quickly
becoming sick of.

THIS is why THIS Tennessean is still solidly behind

Pardon My English:

Whether he wins or loses, if his refusal prevents such nonsense from happening again, Fred Thompson should be installed in the pantheon of American political heroes

Don Surber:

Standing up to a twit debate moderator was presidential.


No more debates. They are unpresidential. I warned Republicans against that YouTube debate.

Now this one.

These TV jarheads do not care about democracy or even ratings. They have one agenda.

And it is not informing the public.

It is continuing to belittle politicians.

And voters.

Fred got it.

Dean Barnett:

THE WINNER was Fred Thompson. Fred came to play. He also had the obvious
moment of the day when he took on the officious moderator, refusing to go along
with one of those idiotic “raise your hands” questions. Given the hour that the
debate took place, a lot of people will probably see only a highlight package of
the debate. The unquestioned highlight was Fred slapping down the moderator.
Even putting that aside, Fred had his best day of the campaign. He was serious,
thoughtful, and authoritative. It was a wonderful day for him.

Stephen Hayes:

Fred Thompson scored a clean win in this debate. He was funny (joking with Mitt
Romney about taxes and acting); he was stern (rebuking the lame narrator for her
show-of-hands question); he was serious (talking about entitlements); and he was
presidential (this race is about national security). He was, in short,
everything that his earliest supporters hoped he would be when he first decided
to run.

John Hawkins:

Winner: Fred Thompson. Good substance, good personality, and his I won’t
raise my hand for an answer question reminded me of Reagan say “I paid for this
microphone.” Fred definitely won.

Phillip Klein:

Fred Thompson Wins, Hands Down

…Fred Thompson was the only candidate who stood out. He was funny, charming, and peppy. Here was a guy who wasn’t afraid to speak hard truths, and who displayed knowledge of the policy issues–especially on entitlements. But the moment of the debate, the moment that will be talked about should he defy expectations and go on to win the nomination, was when he refused to raise his hand at the behest of the moderator. This demonstrated conviction, showed he was able to stand up for his principles, that he was a man who valued substance, a leader rather than a follower, and somebody who is running a different kind of campaign. In short, today Thompson was everything that conservatives had hoped they’d be getting when he announced his candidacy

Rich Lowry

Fred: Was unflappable, funny, and used his theme of “truth telling” very
effectively. Standing up to the moderator was a memorable moment that will be
talked about a lot. He deflated Romney a bit with his lines about being rich
enough not worry about taxes and his comeback in the exchange with Mitt that
Romney is becoming a good actor. This performance should help in Iowa where he
is focusing now and is in third place according to the RCP average.

And Fred’s take on the way the question was posed:

“I just decided that I wasn’t going to engage in any of this monkey business
that they like to engage us on sometimes — making us look like trained monkeys
reaching for peanut or something … 30 seconds is brief enough and when they try
to reduce your answer to just a hand raise — I ‘aint going to play that game,”
the former Tennessee senator said.

And finally we can now understand why the National Review didn’t pick Fred.  Kathryn Jean Lopez:

I like a lot of what Fred says. But he hasn’t hit a campaign stride and I could be wrong, but I don’t see it happening. And that might be fine. He’s a great American and we won’t be seeing the last of him if he doesn’t become the Republican nominee for president.

So Mitt has the better chance at winning so why not go with the second best guy seems to be what she is saying. 

He looked the most presidential, the most off the cuff (not scripted
like Mitt), the most humorous, and the least crazy (compared to Ron and

Fred has a decent shot, so do not count this man out…


Off topic but still on Fred, this shows us why he would be such a great leader:

Just a couple of weeks after the 1999 shooting massacre at Columbine High School, with emotions still raw and bipartisan calls for tougher action against crime, Sen. Fred Thompson (R) of Tennessee convened a hearing whose title, “Federalism and Crime Control,” sounded like a law class.

In his opening remarks, Senator Thompson pointedly noted his vote a few years earlier against a school gun ban. It should not have become law, he suggested, nor should Washington enact new laws now. “It’s a deeply rooted constitutional principle that the general police power belongs to the states,” he said, before calling a parade of scholarly witnesses to buttress his argument.

It was an odd time for a dispassionate look at federalist theory. Fifteen people had been killed in one of the worst school shootings in US history. Even the National Rifle Association had scaled back its annual meeting.

But in many ways, it was signature Thompson: a defiant faith in his own judgment, an indifference to political fallout, and a near zealotry about the limits of government. A few days after his hearing, he not only opposed a juvenile-justice overhaul backed by his own party but was one of just three senators to vote against funds for a set of antiviolence programs.

“In all of the years I worked for him and all the vote memos and summaries I wrote for him, he never once wanted to know what the [party] leadership wanted him to do,” recalls Bill Outhier, a former Senate aide. “It stemmed from a larger view of his role in the Senate, which was not to do things for political reasons but to do them because he thought they were right.”

Exactly the same reason I respect Bush so much.  He won’t listen to polls and wave like a leaf in the wind.  He leads on his principals and what he believes is right.


Fred is right on here on fixing education….get rid of the NEA:

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Fred is still about a 75-1 shot to win the election
A lot of people say they like him but no money shows up even with these odds

Fred just needs to light a fire in his speeches to light a fire in Repub voters. His take down of the moonbat moderator shows the spark that I know he has. Hay Fred come out swinging the skies the limit.

get rid of the NEA

Now, Fred didn’t call for *getting rid of* the NEA (which would be kind of unrealistic). He just said they were the biggest obstacle. He has a point, but I also think he was trying to avoid commenting on the local vs federal debate (because of his previous support for NCLB).

Fred just needs to light a fire

Actually, it looks like Fred also needs to get a better campaign organization behind him. He (or more properly they) just failed to get on the ballot in Delaware: see here. By itself that’s no disaster, Delaware doesn’t have that many electoral votes. But this was an absolutely trivial petitioning job (500 signatures – some states you need 10,000 or more) and somebody dropped the ball.

Fred has moved up to 60-1 perhaps with his cool debate
Paul also moved up to 40-1 perhaps with his cool blimp

Fred just does whatever he feels like doing. There are people who believe that when the voters finally have to belly up to the bar they will realize that he is the only one in the race that meets the “minimum daily requirements” for a conservative Republican. I doubt he will make a special effort to out-Jesus Huck, although he had hired a Christian activist a few weeks ago. I really don’t know if the 40% or so pubbies who support Huck in Iowa care about anything other than the Christian factor. If Huck wins the nomination, then the Republican party has no reason to exist: the dominant anti-intellectual component coexisting with a rational conservative component may be too much of a compromise for the rational people. In fact an America that will reduce the final choice to Huck and Hillobama may have no reason to exist, there is no natural law that idiots deserve a chance to thrive even in the historically best place on Earth.

I’m against attacking Huck in Iowa especially his theological education, but this is still funny:

In stead of out-Jesusing Huck, Fred evidently decide to out-quip him. Read the last line:

Actually he can walk and chew gum: a new Christian Leader is rising!