Wednesday, June 13, 2007

who do you chose

you part of the Republican party and you need to vote for a candidate that fits your ideology. Who do you pick??

If your a STAUNCH Constitutionalist then Ron Paul is the man
If your wishy washy in your ideology then the field is open
If your STAUNCH "conservative" then you should vote Fred Thompson RIGHT?? read on

See also:

Rivals try to deflate F. Thompson campaign
By: Kenneth P. Vogel
June 13, 2007 07:08 AM EST

Fred Thompson has had a relatively easy ride as he has flirted with a
bid for the Republican presidential nomination. His strategists have
found traction promoting him as the heir to Ronald Reagan -- and a
conservative alternative to the top tier of the GOP field.

But the ride is starting to get a bit bumpy.

Opponents and their researchers have begun working -- mostly behind the
scenes -- to highlight perceived soft spots in his conservative bona fides.

And Thompson will have to neutralize questions on the campaign trail and
in the media about his centrist votes in the Senate, his stances on
litmus test conservative issues including abortion and -- perhaps most
significantly -- his work as a lawyer and lobbyist.

Thompson's biggest challenge will likely be cementing his image as a
conservative country lawyer fixin' to shake up Washington -- before his
opponents brand him as an influence peddler and trial lawyer.

Here are the roles into which opponents will likely try to cast Thompson
and the ways in which he may seek to inoculate himself:

Tricky clientele

-- Lobbyist: Thompson made nearly $1.3 million over about two decades of
lobbying both before and after his eight-year Senate stint, according to
government documents and media accounts from his successful run for the
Senate in 1994.

Though Thompson won in a landslide, that was in a watershed Republican
year and before the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal helped Democrats
effectively wield the culture-of-corruption theme against Republicans.

Some of Thompson's clients could prove tricky to explain, from a British
reinsurance company facing billions of dollars in asbestos claims to
deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

If Thompson formally enters the race next month, as his aides have
signaled, his campaign will likely try to minimize his lobbying.

Thompson spokesman Mark Corallo called the list "incredibly old news and
incredibly stale news" and stressed that lobbying was but a small part
of Thompson's legal practice.

"He had a law practice for over 30 years and he had about half a dozen
lobbying clients," Corallo said.

Trial lawyers are bogeymen?

-- Trial lawyer: Before Thompson won his Senate seat, published reports
said his private law practice handled personal injury cases and defended
people accused of white-collar crimes. And in the Senate, he opposed
some legislation intended to rein in escalating jury verdicts and
attorneys' fees.

Trial lawyers are bogeymen for some conservative groups, which consider
them Exhibit A for a legal system that rewards greed over industriousness.

But Thompson appears likely to tout the public service aspects of his
legal career, including stints as an assistant U.S. attorney and
Watergate congressional counsel, as well as a case in which he uncovered
a payoff scheme that landed a Tennessee governor in prison.

"This is a guy who was an incredibly accomplished attorney," Corallo said.

As for the Senate record, Corallo pointed out that Thompson supported
some tort reform measures.

He voted against others because he felt they infringed on states'
rights, Corallo said, asserting, "He was consistent in voting against
measures that provided the federal government powers that the federal
government shouldn't have. ... People understand that."

Backed McCain-Feingold

-- Campaign finance reformer: Thompson was among the leading Republican
backers of the sweeping package of campaign finance reforms commonly
known as McCain-Feingold.

Since it passed into law in 2002, conservative activists have derided it
as an infringement on their free speech and have held a grudge against
its GOP sponsor, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whose presidential campaign
has struggled to win over conservatives.

Expect conservative groups and rivals to emphasize Thompson's support
for the bill, even calling it "McCain-Feingold-Thompson."

In recent months, Thompson has worked to give himself cover on the
issue, asserting that the law didn't work as intended and suggesting the
fairly drastic step of removing contribution limits entirely.

"The conservatives who have spoken with Fred have been satisfied with
his position as it stands," Corallo said, though he added campaign
finance should not "be at the top of the priority list when you're
talking about challenges America is facing."

Centrist or conservative?

-- Centrist senator: Though the influential American Conservative Union
scored Thompson's Senate career voting record at 86 percent, some of the
votes on which he strayed from the GOP fold could prove problematic for
ardent partisans.

For instance, he backed a 1998 bill that would have established a
temporary farm worker program and a 1996 bill to increase the minimum
wage. And he voted against one of the two impeachment charges brought
against President Clinton in 1999.

Thompson will defend each vote individually, Corallo said, but will
argue he approached all decisions from a conservative, federalist position.

As for immigration, Thompson has come out strongly against the pending
overhaul legislation, which McCain is spearheading.

On impeachment, Corallo said Thompson carefully studied the evidence
before splitting his votes, "and he stands by it."


-- Abortion-rights supporter: Every time Thompson got the chance in the
Senate, he voted with those who oppose abortion rights. But the social
conservatives for whom abortion is a litmus test scrutinize every bit of
a politician's record -- and Thompson's provides some fodder for
opponents to question the depth of his opposition to abortion rights.

On candidate surveys in 1994 and 1996, he answered that he favored
abortion always being legal in the first trimester of pregnancy and
opposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution "protecting the sanctity
of human life."

According to the Nashville Tennessean, Thompson included a handwritten
clarification with the latter response, reading, "I do not believe
abortion should be criminalized. This battle will be won in the hearts
and souls of the American people."

After Thompson again intimated, during a Fox News appearance this month,
that he'd oppose criminalizing abortion, conservative columnist Robert
Novak wrote that Thompson "came close to alarming his pro-life

Thompson will point to support from leading anti-abortion groups to
neutralize this line of attack. He was endorsed by National Right to
Life in both of his Senate campaigns and has a 100 percent voting record
from the group, Corallo pointed out, asserting: "That's what counts. How
did he act?"

David Mark contributed to this report.

No comments: