Monday, December 24, 2007

Fred Thompson's Q & A with National Journal Online

I found this transcript from MSNBC. Here is the link to listen to the Q & A. Linda Douglass asks Fred Thompson a few questions. Here are some of the questions and Fred's answers.

Ms. Douglass asks him about Huckabee's poll numbers in Iowa along with Thompson's support from numerous Right to Life Organizations.

  • Thompson: ...And you're right, I've gotten the Right to Life endorsement from the national organization and many of the state organizations. I think the latest one was today from the state of Virginia. I think there are a lot of people who respect the governor's background from a personal standpoint. But they are also going to be looking at issues that affect the security of this nation, matters concerning the safety of our people, the fiscal policies, where you stand on taxes, and things of that nature. Is your first solution a government run operation or is it going to be a more market based solution to a problem that comes up? Your thoughts on illegal immigration and what we can do about that, all those things at the end of the day are going to be very important to all voters, regardless of what their personal views are.
  • Douglass: Do you think that Huckabee is actually qualified to be president? I ask you that because your campaign said in a press release that you wondered if a Bachelor's degree from Ouachita University made him the most qualified to fight the War on Terror? What about that?
  • Thompson: Well, what I said in response to a question the other day was that when I read where he says that he always thought that we should lift the embargo on Cuba until the last few weeks, when he said that we should close Guantanamo and bring those enemy combatants here to this country, when he says kind of that if America would be nicer to our enemies that more people would love us and our European friends would get along with us better. When I see him saying all those things, I wonder if he really appreciates the nature of the world we live in, and I wonder if he understands it. And I stand by that statement.
  • Douglass: Do you think he is qualified to be president?
  • Thompson: I'm not going to use that word with regard to anybody in this campaign. People are going to have to make that decision for themselves. There is no magical list that you have to check off in order to be president of the United States. It is up to the American people. But I think it's important that you understand the nature of the world we live in, the challenges we face. We're not a nation facing one major enemy anymore, with one major weapon. We're facing a nation that can qualify as a rogue nation that is primary in the Middle East, in Iran. We're facing North Korea which has also developed a nuclear capability. We're of course facing Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations and they come at us from a variety of ways. And they are fueled by radical Islam which wants to take down Western civilization. And we're going to have to do a lot of things better in terms of our military and rebuilding.
    We're going to have to do a lot of things better in terms of our intelligence capabilities, which I think are lacking. We're in a very confusing state there in some respects. And at home we're going to have to understand that 9/11 was not that long ago, and what intelligence we do get indicates that the terrorists are still trying to get their hands on the most dangerous weapons known to man. So, these are serious issues. These are issues that I've spent many years dealing with as a member of the Intelligence Committee, as Republican manager for the Homeland Security Bill, having traveled and met with foreign leaders all over the world, having served out of government as an advisor to Condoleezza Rice on matters of international security, and I feel like I understand the nature of the world we live in, and I think anybody who aspires to be the next president needs to be able to say that.

The full transcript can be found here.

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