Presidential Campaign and Candidates

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 6, 2007


Full Transcript of Fred Thompson's Webcast Announcement

McLean, VA - Last night, after appearing on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Fred Thompson launched a webcast in which he announced his candidacy for the U.S. Presidency on his website, www.Fred08.com. Below is the full transcript of the webcast:
 

Fred Thompson Announcement Speech


"My friends, I come to you today to tell you that I intend to run for President. I feel deeply that I am doing it for the right reasons. I love my country and I am concerned about its future. Just within the next few years, some very serious challenges are moving towards us that will present a difficult and dangerous time in the life of our nation. There are grave issues affecting the safety and security of the American people and our economic well being. I'm going to do my level best in this campaign to address these problems. I'm going to give this campaign all that I have to give, and I hope that you will join me.

"My story is an American story - like one of many our country has produced - where a small town kid of modest means and modest goals grows up to realize that he has been a very lucky person. Lucky to have been born in America, lucky to have had the parents I had and lucky to have had a few people in my life who sometimes saw more in me than I saw in myself.

"I have seen my country from a lot of different vantage points. I was a teenage husband and had three wonderful children early. I have worked for minimum wages, for salaries more than I ever thought I would make, and for everything in between. I have had dinners on the factory floor, while working the graveyard shift, and I have dined with world leaders in foreign capitals.

"As a lawyer, I have been a federal prosecutor and a counsel for the Watergate Committee. In private practice a courageous woman and the jury trial that we had against a corrupt state administration resulted in a movie. I was asked to play myself, which started a most unlikely part time film career.

"Then a Senate seat opened up in Tennessee. For me it represented an opportunity for public service, not for a new career as a politician. So I set aside my law practice and the movies, placed term limits on myself, and won two elections by 20 point margins in a state that President Clinton carried twice.

"In 1994 when I first ran, I advocated the same common sense conservative positions that I hold today. They are based upon what I believe to be sound conservative First Principles - reflecting the nature of man and the wisdom of the ages. They are based upon the conviction that our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are not outdated documents that have outlived their usefulness. It is a recognition that our basic rights come from God and not from government. That government should have its power divided, not only at the federal level but between the federal government and the states. Federalism is the belief that not every problem should have a federal solution. Essentially it's about freedom. A government that is big enough to do everything for us is powerful enough to do anything to us.

"These principles lead me to believe in lower taxes, which foster growth and leave more power in the hands of the people. They also respect free markets, private property, and fair competition. They honor the sanctity of life - the great truth every life matters, and no person is beneath the protection of the law. These principles made our country great and we should rededicate ourselves to them, not abandon them.

"Now to my Republican friends, I point out that in 1992 we were down after a Clinton victory. In 1994 our conservative principles led us to a comeback and majority control of the Congress. Now you don't want to have to come back from another Clinton victory. Our country needs us to win next year, and I am ready to lead that effort.

"When I went to the Senate, I wanted to help accomplish certain things that I thought were necessary and achievable. I wanted to balance the budget, cut taxes, reform welfare, require Congress to live under the laws that they had imposed on others and I wanted to begin modernizing of our military. We were able to get those things done. I also took a leadership role in the passage of the homeland security bill, and blocked export control legislation that would have allowed the sale of our sensitive technology to unreliable countries. As Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, I led an investigation and held hearings on the failure and shortcomings of our government. This resulted in a two volume work that I published in 2001, entitled "Government at the Brink" and still available on the Internet. It outlined these deficiencies and made recommendations to cut waste and save billions. Now these problems have only grown worse since that time. I served on the Intelligence Committee and saw close up the importance of improving our intelligence capabilities in our fight against terrorism and got a good sense of other troubles over the horizon.

"In 2002 I announced that I would not run for re-election and I re-entered private life. While my television work on "Law & Order" got more attention, I stayed involved in national security issues including service as Chairman of the International Security Advisory Board at the State Department.

"One of the most rewarding experiences I had was when President Bush asked me to assist now Chief Justice John Roberts through the Senate confirmation process. It is very important that the next President appoint federal judges who interpret the Constitution, not try to make it fit their own personal or political views. I have seen both kinds of judges, and I know the difference.

"A guy can do a lot of things and travel the world but find that the most important things in life occur under his own roof. I married a wonderful lady during my last year in the Senate and the following year we found out that we were going to be parents. I knew from the moment I heard the news that we had been blessed. How true it was. Our little girl, Hayden, who will tell you she is three and three-quarters years old, now has a little brother. His name is Sammy and he is 10 months old. Earlier this year when I thought about whether I should enter this r ace, I kept coming back to 2 questions. First, what kind of country are our children and grandchildren going to grow up in and second, how many people have the opportunity to do something about it?

"That leads me here and why I'm talking to you today. On the next President's watch, our country will be making decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future. We cannot allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation. Today as in past generations, the fate of millions across the world depends on the unity and resolve of the American people.

"The specter of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of our worst enemies continues to grow, and still we have yet to really come to terms with the nature and extent of the threat we are facing from radical Islamic terrorism. These extremists look at this war as a long struggle that has been going on for centuries; they are willing to take as long as necessary to bring the United States and our allies to our knees, while killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, if possible. Iraq and Afghanistan are current fronts in this war and the world watches as our will is tested. Our courage as a people must match that of the brave men and wo men in uniform fighting for us. We must do everything in our power to achieve success and make sure that they and their families' sacrifices are not made in vain. They know that if we abandon our efforts or appear weak and divided, we will pay a heavy price for it in the future. Some of our leaders in Congress need to understand this as well.

"In this broader war with this different kind of enemy, our success cannot always be measured by battlefield victories. Success will depend upon the determination of the American people and that's why we'll win. There is a courage that comes in unity. Now is the time to show that America united can overcome any danger, and America united can complete any mission.

"Before the end of my senate service, in the year after 9/11, I saw the Congress of the United States at its best - alert to danger and focused on duty. We need to recover that clarity and conviction in matters of national security. The threat of catastrophic violence in America is real and the terrorists aren't going away of their own accord. We must deploy every resource including diplomacy, intelligence, and economic power to defend this nation and our national interests. If I am Commander in Chief, this country will never be left to the mercy of terror regimes or terror states.

"We have challenges on the home front as well. Before long we will have spent the Social Security surplus and will see the "baby boomers" begin to retire. On our present course, deficit financing will saddle future generations with enormous taxes, jeopardize our economy and endanger our retirement programs. The Government Accountability Office, the Comptroller of the United States, and conservative and liberal economists alike, tell us that this path is economically unsustainable. Bipartisan leadership must address th is issue as part of a national conversation, remembering that those yet to be born also have a seat at the table. After all, it's their money that we are spending, and it is economic security that's in the balance.

"Other important issues face our country. Our dependence upon foreign oil, especially from trouble spots in the Middle East and elsewhere, endangers our national security as well as our economy. For 50 years nearly every recession has been associated with a spike in oil prices. "What we need is another spike in American creativity and innovation. Over the past several years we have had revolutions in our communications, science, and medical fields. We need to revive that same American know-how for our energy security, along with a willingness to avail ourselves of the energy sources we already have r ight here at home.

"In education, schools continue to fail our children and endanger America's future competitiveness. Increasing amounts of federal funding and government mandates have not resulted in real improvement. The federal government can assist state and localities through grants with fewer strings and less bureaucracy but should not take schools out of the hands of parents and local officials. We should encourage the rights of parents to choose the school and what's best for their child's education.

"Rising health care costs are another major problem. We have the best health care in the world but we are paying more than we should for it. We have a massive bureaucracy in both the private and public health care sectors that controls costs by dictating what services we are allowed to get and when. Someone has to decide what costs are worth the money. It can be the government, the insurance company or it can be you. I think it is best if you, yourself decide what is best for you and your family, with insurance that doesn't have to depend on your employ ment - coverage that you can take with you if you change jobs; insurance that you may purchase from anywhere in the nation for the best value. This would be market driven and would make health insurance affordable for more Americans.

"When we look to Washington, we see a bureaucratized government that is increasingly unable or unwilling to carry out basic governmental functions, including the fundamental responsibility of securing our borders against illegal immigration and enforcing our laws. A nation that can't protect its border will no longer be a sovereign nation. We see a Congress more politicized and divided than ever and disconnected from the American people. Is this the government that some would have play an even greater role in running our lives? We must do better.

"I know that reform is possible in Washington because I have seen it done. I do not accept it as a fact of life beyond our power to change that the federal government must go on expanding more, taxing more, and spending more forever.

"We, the American people, must assert ourselves. In times of stress and peril in this country's history, including world wars, a great depression, assassinations and attacks, other generations have put their differences aside, remembered their common beliefs and overcame great obstacles. And we have come out stronger and wiser for it. Now it's our turn. No one person, including the President, has the ability or wisdom to singlehandedly solve these problems. Nor does one party. But together the American people do. These problems will be dealt with when our leaders come together, as adults, and honestly seek solutions that extend past the next election cycle. That will happen when, and only when, the American people demand it. You can do that at the ballot box and no election is more important than the one for president. It demands a leader who understands this country, our people and what America's priorities ought to be.

"Recently, I talked to a young Marine at Walter Reed Hospital. He had lost both legs in Iraq but was looking to the future. I asked him what he planned to do? He said he wanted to work with a nonprofit organization that was doing a lot to help people. Then he looked at me and said 'I just thought it was time I gave something back.'

"That young man, who has given so much for America and yet still asks to give more, is typical of the men and women of the United States armed forces. Our country has shed more blood for the freedom of other people than all the other countries in the world combined. We are steeped in the tradition of honor and sacrifice for the greater good. We are proud of this heritage. I believe that Americans are once again ready to achieve this greater good: which is nothing less than the security, prosperity, and unity of our country.

"That's the belief that this campaign is based upon. I'd appreciate your support of this cause and any contribution you're able to give. I'll try to make you proud that you did it.

"Thank you and may God bless all of us."

 

Excerpts of Fred Thompson's Announcement Webcast

McLean, VA - Tonight at midnight, Fred Thompson will be launching a webcast in which he announces his candidacy for the U.S. Presidency at his website, www.Fred08.com. Below are excerpts, embargoed until 12:01 am on September 6th:

"My friends, I come to you today to tell you that I intend to run for President. I feel deeply that I am doing it for the right reasons. I love my country and I am concerned about its future. Just within the next few years, some very serious challenges are moving towards us that will present a difficult and dangerous time in the life of our nation. There are grave issues affecting the safety and security of the American people and our economic well being. I'm going to do my level best in this campaign to address these problems. I'm going to give this campaign all that I have to give, and I hope that you will join me.

"My story is an American story - like one of many our country has produced- where a small town kid of modest means and modest goals grows up to realize that he has been a very lucky person. Lucky to have been born in America, lucky to have had the parents I had and lucky to have had a few people in my life who sometimes saw more in me than I saw in myself. I have seen my country from a lot of different vantage points. I was a teenage husband and had three wonderful children early. I have worked for minimum wages, for salaries more than I ever thought I would make, and for everything in between. I have had dinners on the factory floor, while working the graveyard shift, and I have dined with world leaders in foreign capitals."

***

"In 1994 when I first ran, I advocated the same common sense conservative positions that I hold today. They are based upon what I believe to be sound conservative First Principles - reflecting the nature of man and the wisdom of the ages. They are based upon the conviction that our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are not outdated documents that have outlived their usefulness. It is a recognition that our basic rights come from God and not from government. That government should have its power divided, not only at the federal level but between the federal government and the states. Federalism is the belief that not every problem should have a federal solution. Essentially it's about freedom. A government that is big enough to do everything for us is powerful enough to do anything to us."

***

"Now to my Republican friends, I point out that in 1992 we were down after a Clinton victory. In 1994 our conservative principles led us to a comeback and majority control of the Congress. Now you don't want to have to come back from another Clinton victory. Our country needs us to win next year, and I am ready to lead that effort."

***

"The specter of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of our worst enemies continues to grow, and still we have yet to really come to terms with the nature and extent of the threat we are facing from radical Islamic terrorism. These extremists look at this war as a long struggle that has been going on for centuries; they are willing to take as long as necessary to bring the United States and our allies to our knees, while killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people, if possible.


"Iraq and Afghanistan are current fronts in this war and the world watches as our will is tested. Our courage as a people must match that of the brave men and women in uniform fighting for us. We must do everything in our power to achieve success and make sure that they and their families' sacrifices are not made in vain. They know that if we abandon our efforts or appear weak and divided, we will pay a heavy price for it in the future. Some of our leaders in Congress need to understand this as well."

***

"When we look to Washington, we see a bureaucratized government that is increasingly unable or unwilling to carry out basic governmental functions, including the fundamental responsibility of securing our borders against illegal immigration and enforcing our laws. A nation that can't protect its border will no longer be a sovereign nation. We see a Congress more politicized and divided than ever and disconnected from the American people. Is this the government that some would have play an even greater role in running our lives? We must do better.


"I know that reform is possible in Washington because I have seen it done. I do not accept it as a fact of life beyond our power to change that the federal government must go on expanding more, taxing more, and spending more forever.

"We, the American people, must assert ourselves. In times of stress and peril in this country's history, including world wars, a great depression, assassinations and attacks, other generations have put their differences aside, remembered their common beliefs and overcame great obstacles. And we have come out stronger and wiser for it. Now it's our turn. No one person, including the President, has the ability or wisdom to singlehandedly solve these problems. Nor does one party. But together the American people do.

"These problems will be dealt with when our leaders come together, as adults, and honestly seek solutions that extend past the next election cycle. That will happen when, and only when, the American people demand it. You can do that at the ballot box and no election is more important than the one for president. It demands a leader who understands this country, our people and what America's priorities ought to be."

###

 

September 7, 2007

 

Fred Thompson's Des Moines Speech

Thank you.

Wow!

I appreciate you being here.

Thank you, Mack, for that wonderful introduction. As far as Iím concerned it is Mackís world. What do you think?

That video brings back a lot of old memories. All you young fellas out there with that good-looking head of hair it may not always be there. Enjoy it while you can.

This is a wonderful turnout. I canít tell you how much I appreciate it. Weíve got Jeriís parents, Ron and Vicki Keller here from Naperville, IL over here. I want to thank my in-laws for coming, make sure I do this right. And Aunt Diane and Cousin Jesse from Omaha. So we took this opportunity to have a Midwestern family reunion right here.

I want to tell you how special this day is for us. Special for me. Special for my family. This is the first event of the first day of our campaign for the President of the United States. How special does that get?

And it is so appropriate that weíre right here. Because in case some person somewhere in the United States of America doesnít know this it all begins in Iowa, and thatís where we wanted to be today.

My friends, Iím not here today because I have had a lifelong ambition to hold the office of the Presidency. Nor do I think I have all the answers for the problems that face this country. I donít think any person does. But I am a man who loves his country, who is concerned about her future, and knows that in the next years itís going to require strong leadership. Decisions are going to be made on this next Presidentís watch thatís going to determine the course of our country for many years to come. And I am determined that we make the decisions that will leave us a stronger nation, a more prosperous nation, and a more united nation. And thatís why Iím running for the Presidency of the United States.

[APPLAUSE]

This whole process for us started around our kitchen table just a few months ago. Now weíve got a lot of process talk about ďoh, you canít run for President of the United States unless, you know, run for years, unless you raiseóI think some of the pundits saidóraise $100 million this calendar year.Ē No possibility of that. But the more we looked at it the more I thought that something special was going on in this country. The more I looked around my house the more it occurred to me what kind of world these kids are going to grow up in. These kids are my grandkids. What kind of country are they going to have when they get a little older? Then I thought, ďHow often does a man have a chance to do something about that?Ē So we tested the waters just like we said. We went out to make sure what I was feeling was actually there, and I think it is my friends. I think that the American people have opened up a door of opportunity. There have been doors as you can see from my background all along my way because I was so fortunate to have a wonderful family, wonderful parents, and wonderful people who often times saw more in me than I saw in myself all along my way. And those doors occasionally would open up. And occasionally Iíd walk through one because it was a challenge: sometimes a personal one; sometimes for my state; sometimes one for my country.

I feel this is another door to serve the country that I love. So the pre-season is over. Letís get on with it.

[APPLAUSE]

Now folks, there are many serious issues that are facing this country, and itís time for some serious conversation about it. I think the American people are ready for that. I think theyíre ready for frank conversation. I think theyíre ready for forthright conversation, and thatís exactly what weíre going to do. We donít know how to do it any other way. Itís not worth doing any other way unless you can do it that way. And weíre going to make sure that at the end of the day if the good Lord is willing weíll be victorious. But thereís one thing I think we can guarantee and that is at the end of this campaign by doing that we will have done something good for our nation, and our country will be better off for this campaign. And I hope you will help me do that. That is my goal in life.

[APPLAUSE]

As you have seen in this little videoóI thought about just running that video again instead of making a speech to tell you the truth; I kind of like that. But my story is an American story, one thatís happened to many times across this great nation of ours, where a kid of modest means from a little town without a whole lot of resources or even a whole lot of ambition when he was a kid had the opportunity to do some great things for his family and hopefully for the people of Tennessee and the people of this country.

Iíve seen it from a lot of different standpoints. Iíve seen it from the factory floor when I was working the graveyard shift and weíd have lunch there on the change of the shifts and Iíd be ankle-deep in water at the Murray Ohio Bicycle plant where I was running a machine that was so loud I couldnít hear myself yell if I wanted to. And Iíve had the opportunity to dine with foreign leaders in foreign capitals around the world and just about everything in between.

And one of the things I focused on kind of early was what I considered to be the most important thing having to do with my country and my countryís future. And as the years passed by unfortunately it gets more and more important. That is our nationís safety. That is the men, women, and children of this country and where itís going to be a few years from now.

Weíre living in the era of the suitcase bomb. Weíre living in an era of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, where a small amount of material getting into the wrong hands can do destruction that we never thought possible before. And theyíre more likely than ever to fall into the hands of our worse enemy.

Radical Islam has declared war upon us. Some years ago people didnít pay much attention to it. We didnít even recognize the fact that it happened, but we know it now.

They look upon it as something thatís been going on for hundreds of years and as far as theyíre concerned theyíre willing to take it another hundred years as they methodically move forward massacring innocent people. Bringing the Soviet Union to its knees, who they considered the tougher opponent, and now theyíre upon us and all those who would befriend us around the world.

Iraq is a part of that conflict but Iraq is not that conflict. That conflict will be with us unfortunately long after Iraq is in our rear view mirror, and the whole world watches and waits as the determination of the American people is tested.

My friends, if we show weakness and division we will pay a heavy price for it in the future. We must show the determination that we are going to be united as an American people and do whatever is necessary to prevail not only in Iraq but in the worldwide conflict that lies beyond Iraq.

[APPLAUSE]

We have the bravest young people in the world fighting for us, and we have to match their commitment and determination here at home. You talk to them in these hospitals, the ones who have been grievously wounded, their biggest concern is getting back to the folks that they left back and concerned that their wounds are so great that they might not be allowed to do that. Itís magnificent, and every waking moment of a commander-in-chief should be to make sure that people like thatís efforts are and their familyís sacrifices are not made in vain. And I donít intend that to be.

[APPLAUSE]

Meanwhile, back at home the politicians have been quite busy, quite busy spending the next generationís money. Pretty soon we will have spent the Social Security surplus and the Baby Boomers will start retiring just in a few years from now on the next Presidentís watch. And of course it sky-rockets from there, and it will result in astronomically-high deficits, a tax burden on the next generation and generations to come, and a ruination of our economy. Every economist whoís looked at this including our own government officials who are the watchdog agencies such as the Government Accountability Office says that this path is unsustainable. Everybody in Washington knows it.

You know one of the arguments against term limitsóyou know I put term limits on myself when I went to the United States Senate and I still think itís a pretty good idea to tell you the truthóbut one of the arguments against that is look at all the expertise youíd lose if you had term limits. Is it expertise that weíre lacking or is it lack of will to do the right thing? I think it is the latter.

[APPLAUSE]

Yet the politicians kick the can down the road until presumably their own retirementósomebody elseís problem. I wonder if our little kids and our grandchildren and those yet to be born had a seat at the table what theyíd say about it, wonder what theyíd say to us. I wonder what theyíd think about us. My friends, we need to deliver a message to Washington that weíre better than that. And you can start delivering that message by electing a President who will blow the whistle on this lack of responsibility, and Iím the guy who will do that.

[APPLAUSE: ďGO FRED GO!Ē]

Now there are a lot of issues that weíll have a chance to talk about all across Iowa in large groups and small, I hope. No way in one speech to touch on all of them. I think one thing is important to point out though in my estimation. That is there are going to be issues regardless of what we come up with in terms of an issue list that the next President cannot foresee; that we canít foresee. Some we know about will still be with us, but there will be new ones. I think itís very important the people understand a manís principles, what he measures things by, what will be the standards that he applies as issues come before him. As far as Iím concerned I still have the same commonsense conservative beliefs I did when I ran in 1994.


We were able to win that election going from one end of that state to the other; talking about the sanctity of life, talking about lower taxes, talking about less regulation, talking about the market economy, talking about free competition, talking about respect for private property rights in this country, talking about free and fair trade and all those things that make America great, and if I said then if we just stick with that, the American people agree with these things, weíll just stick with that, not only will we be successful, but weíll continue to be prosperous in this country, weíve been a beacon for all those countries out there whoíve applied those same principles theyíve all been successful.

The American people said yes, í94 was successful, and surprised a lot of people remember? Clinton kind of cleaned our clock there for a little, we came back strong and got a mandate, cut taxes, balanced the budget, passed welfare reform, and made Congress live under the same laws as everyone else. [It] was the first thing I did with Chuck Grassley was get that bill passed, under his tutelage, not a bad guy to learn from.

[Applause]

So Iím that same guy, I havenít changed from those principles anywhere along the way. Iím the same guy with the same principles that I had when I went back to Lawrenceburg and started the first republican club when I got out of law school in 1968.

Iím the same guy I was when I came out over the years here campaigning for Republican candidates because I thought it was a good thing for my party and a good thing for my country; and I still think that way. But these positions are based upon certain principles. I call them first principles, I call them the principles that our country was founded upon, many years ago. Theyíre based upon the notion that some things in this changing world just donít change. Itís based upon an appreciation of human nature. Itís based upon the wisdom of the ages. Itís based upon the believe that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States are not outmoded documents that can be cast aside,

[Applause]

We still get our basic rights from God and not from government.

[Applause]

We still have a government where power is divided, not just at the federal level but between federal and state level, federalism is about freedom, itís about individual freedom, itís about political freedom, itís about economic freedom. Itís about an understanding that a government powerful enough to give you everything, can take away from you, anything.

[Applause]

Itís based upon the notion that we want a government that is limited to the powers delegated to it in the Constitution, but a government that is strong enough to protect our people and a government that is competent enough to do the things a government is supposed to be doing, yet more and more we see that is not true. When I was chairman of the Government Affairs Committee in 2001, I put out a report called "Government at the Brink," a two volume report, and I pointed out just how hopelessly messed up the bureaucracy in our federal government was; and how many billions of dollars we were wasting. The fact was that we couldnít get computers to talk to each other, we couldnít get government agencies or the government itself to really pass an audit, couldnít live up to the standards we put on private business at all. An outmoded civil service system, we werenít getting enough people in that we needed with the high tech requirements that the future was going to bring us. We made it virtually impossible to get rid of people who werenít doing their job, on, and on, and on, and on. That was my opinion then and folks I havenít changed my mind a bit. Itís even worse than it was before.

Itís going to require strong leadership to do something about it because now we see itís affecting national security, now we see it as an excuse for not even enforcing our borders against illegal immigration and we canít tolerate that in this country because we know that a country who cannot secure its own borders ultimately will not remain a sovereign nation.

[Applause]

That battle in Congress over that last immigration bill is the latest in several pieces of evidence that demonstrate without a shadow of a doubt that there is a major disconnect between Washington DC and the American people. Because we look to congress we see division, acrimony, disruption, looking to everything to the next election and not the next generation, short sided political opportunism, here and there.

Is this the government that our Democratic friends say should play a larger role in all of our lives? I donít think so. Itís kind of ironic, that the Democrats are moving more and more toward the western European system of higher taxes, more regulation, and larger government, when countries like France and Germany are moving more our way, you know they ought to read the newspapers once in awhile, some good things are happening over there now based upon our traditional principles.

Principles that understand that the rule of law underlies everything else in this country; people can go in and get a fair shot, and a fair hearing in a fair court, based upon the law of the Constitution. Unfortunately the rule of law is violated more by judges themselves more than anyone else.

[Applause]

Thatís why I was so happy to stand by Chief Justice John Robertsí side, heís a great Chief Justice, but he needs some help. We need another one or two.

[Applause]

If Iím elected president of the United States I will appoint judges who will follow the constitution, not shape the constitution to fit their own political or personal notions about how society ought to operate.

[Applause]

Iíve seen both kinds of judges up close, and I know the difference, I donít need anybody to point that out to me.

My friends this is what I believe, and have believed, and will continue to as best for our country. I think itís what you believe. I think thatís what the American people believe. Just as when I first started out in politics. I donít think their opinions about the basics have changed. It might look like our sideís opinion every once and awhile has changed. But the American Peoplesí havenít. Whatever the issues are that we face, whether weíre talking about health care, or education, or energy, all those important things, the application of those first principles, the application of those common sense conservative beliefs will result in a stronger and stronger nation.

Thatís what this is all about, thatís why Iím here today, and thatís why youíre here today. We are citizens of the greatest nation on earth, and that makes us the luckiest people on earth. That carries with it certain obligations, obligations to do everything that we can that it remains the greatest nation on earth and that we leave this place little better than we came into it. Thatís what itís all about.

You know you look back over our history, and it doesnít take you long to realize that our people have shed more blood for other peoplesí liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world.

[Applause]

Frankly Iím a little tired of other peoplesí need to apologize for it. I donít think we have anything to apologize for. We are steeped in the tradition of honor and sacrifice for the greater good.

We are proud of that heritage, I think this time in Americaís history Americans are once again ready to do the things necessary to achieve that greater good. That greater good is nothing less than the security, prosperity and unity of the greatest nation in the world. I think most Americanís still share those ideals and principles, and if we apply them and stay true, it doesnít matter what the pundits say today, we will win next year when it counts.

[Applause]

My friends, our country needs us to win, our country needs us to win; I am ready to lead that fight, let us do it together.

[Applause]

Thank you very much for being here today,

Thank you

Source: Friends Of Fred Thompson

 

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