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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fred Thompson: I don't feel any need to apologize for the United States of America

Last night I linked to NRO-The Campaign Spot which posted the transcript of Fred Thompson on his Jay Leno appearance where he announced he was officially running for the Presidency and I also linked to where you can watch his 15 minute video talking about the issues.

I came away with a few impressions of Fred and I am going to show you what they are and why.

First and foremost, this excerpt I am listing below says quite a bit about the man.

JAY LENO: I just wonder what we do to get a ‑‑ I grew up ‑‑ when I was a kid, John F. Kennedy was President. It was the Peace Corps, and we would send American college students to these countries, and they would love us. I think we made friendships that were good for 25, 30 years because Americans had befriended these countries. And it seems like we are not well‑liked around the world. Maybe I'm naive and maybe because I'm in show business, but it seems like I would want people to like us as a country because they think we're a ‑‑ I know we're a good country, but I wonder what we have to do to get these allies, these other countries to maybe ‑‑ what are we doing wrong?

FRED THOMPSON: Well, part of that comes with being the strongest, most powerful, most prosperous country in the history of the world. I think that goes with the territory. We're more unpopular than we need to be. That's for sure, but our people have shed more blood for the liberty and freedom of other peoples in this country than all the other countries put together. (Applause.) And I don't feel any need to apologize for the United States of America.

First off, Jay Leno is by no means a "conservative" and neither is his audience, that applause was genuine and loud and goes to show that people, everyday people, are still proud to be Americans and they like the fact that Fred Thompson has no qualms about being proud to be an America and loving his country. (I watched the show after having read the transcript and that was one of the things I was listening for)

Now, go back into your memory banks and do a few searches to all the latest speeches by all the presidential candidates.

Name me one, on either side of the aisle that makes it clear that America does not need to be apologized for.

Name me one that doesn't claim to love America in the same breath as they criticize everything America is and does.

Name me one that shows true pride in America and being an American without following it up with a "but" at the end.

Tell me, are YOU proud to be an American? Can you answer that without a "but" on the end of that sentence? (Click the link, read it, then come answer that question IF you can without a "but" at the end.)

Fred Thompson did.

JAY LENO: I wasn't suggesting that ‑‑

FRED THOMPSON: I know you weren't. We make mistakes. I think we can do some things better. I think part of what we've got to do with regard to the global terrorist problem I talked about is for all the forces of civilization, all of our friends and people who love freedom need to understand that this is a battle against freedom and tyranny worldwide, that the good guys need to be on one side. To the extent that we can do better in reaching out and convincing people, sharing intelligence and sharing military operations and so forth and equipment and know‑how and technology, we certainly need to do that. We have shown how difficult it is to shoulder these burdens or the greatest share of these burdens by ourselves, and we need to do that. But we need to keep it in perspective. We're probably never going to be loved by everyone as long as we're that way. Look, on the other hand, at a place like France. We've gotten more criticism probably from French leaders and French people or press than anybody else; yet they elected a person that came over here, shook President Bush's hand before the election, went back, and said, "We want to be friends with the United States," and they elected him. (Applause.) So we may have misjudged ‑‑ we may have taken some of that rhetoric coming from the leaders of that country from what the real people think. So it's not a totally clear picture.

Another great example of the rhetoric coming from politicians doesn't always echo what their supporters think. Quite often it just echoes what the loudest of those supporters think, not the majority.

Hat Tip to Hot Air, we have the video of Fred on Leno, watch it and notice one additional thing. The lack of desperation.

(6:19 second video, well worth the time)

He doesn't have the "air" of desperation that the other candidates, from both sides of the aisle have.

I have heard it said that after he officially joined the race, people would wait and see if he "sticks his foot in his mouth" as other candidates have done.... I disagree with the premise there.

A man that is not driven by polls, that does not change his mind because "popular opinion" has changed, doesn't care if what he says it liked, or appreciated, he calls them like he sees them and political correctness can be damned.

A man that says what he means and stands by it, might get criticized by those that do not like him or feel threatened by him, but you cannot stick your foot in your mouth if you stick to the truth and not what the polls tell you to say and do.

Yet another huge difference between him and the other presidential candidates.

News stories about his announcement come from NYT, Wapo, Washington Times, and Fox.

[Update] Hat Tip to Fred Heads USA for the email. (GAWD that name, "Fredheads", kills me every time.)

HURON - Fred Thompson won the first-ever South Dakota Republican Party Presidential Straw Poll at the South Dakota State Fair Aug. 30 through Sept. 3, 2007.

Just a point of interest.

More reaction to Fred Thompson.