In last night’s debate, Fred Thompson woke up and decided take out his post-slumber grumpiness on Mike Huckabee early in the debate.

He said of Mike Huckabee (the question was related to Reagan Republican coalition):

He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies. He believes we have an arrogant foreign policy … he believes that Guantanamo should be closed down … he believed in taxpayer-funded programs for illegals, as he did in Arkansas. He has the endorsement of the National Education Association, and the NEA said it was because of his opposition to vouchers.

Huckabee responded by pointing out that if Reagan running for president today he would be labeled as a liberal by Club for Growth.  Reagan raised taxes as Governor of California.  He shared that he cut spending by 11% in discretionary areas (there were parts of the Arkansas budget that are constitutionally mandated), taxes were cut in Arkansas for the first time in 160 years.  He governed well, and that was affirmed by his being re-elected twice.

He only had 30 seconds to respond during the debate (after a 90 second attack by Thompson) he responded further after the debate with Hannity and Colmes.  You can also read responses to other attacks here.

Huckabee shared his thoughts on how to return to a strong coalition and strong GOP:

Make sure that people understand that when we lower taxes, when we cut spending, when we have a strong national defense, when we stick to our principles on the sanctity of human life and the primacy of traditional marriage. And we also unapologetically hold to the idea that the Second Amendment is just as precious as the First Amendment.

Thompson said that he helped change Washington as a senator by working on welfare reform and helped generate balanced budgets.  In, my opinion, one of Huckabee’s best moments came in his argument that as Governor he implemented the laws created in Washington.

It’s easy to be in Congress and pass a bill that maybe will change some mandates to the states, but those of us who had to govern at the state level were forced with something that members of Congress didn’t have to do. They actually had to make it work.

Responding to the New Hampshire NEA – the National NEA did not endorse Mike Huckabee as Thompson seems to suggest.  If there reason for endorsing him is a belief that he is against school vouchers, they would be mistaken.

Here is a response to this claim made elsewhere by Joe Carter, then director of research for the Huckabee Campaign.

Here’s the governor’s position on vouchers:

Governor Mike Huckabee is a supporter of school vouchers, and has always been a supporter of school vouchers; he supported them as far back as his first run for public office, as a U.S. Senate candidate, in 1992.

The quote referenced by the Club for Growth was about the governor’s concern with the way some of the funding for school vouchers is carried out, and that he doubted school vouchers would be offered anytime soon in his state of Arkansas, not his opposition to vouchers; this conversation, on his monthly radio show, came after the latest bill proposing school vouchers had failed in the Arkansas state legislature.

In fact, the same article referenced by the Club for Growth goes on to say:

“Huckabee ultimately supports parental choice for how to educate children.
Huckabee called the school vouchers issue a ‘valid policy discussion’ he hopes to discuss more in the future.”

On November 7, 2007 while discussing school vouchers at an education forum, Governor Huckabee said he did support school vouchers.

“Huckabee fielded questions from a panel and audience of students, faculty, reporters and business leaders for the bulk of the afternoon forum. The questions touched on teacher testing, No Child Left Behind, college debt, teacher pay and school vouchers, among others.

He favors:

Giving parents a choice of education for their children through school vouchers, (“No. 1 school problem: Boredom, Huckabee says” by Jared Strong, The Des Moines Register, 11-7-07).

Mike Huckabee is for school choice – public, private, charter, and home education.  He also received the endorsement of the Home School Legal Defense Association PAC, something that Thompson can’t claim.

Fred Thompson should learn that those living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.  Consider:

He opposes the Human Life Amendment which is part of the GOP party platform.

He opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Then there is also his questionable lobbying activities. 

He was charged with lobbying for a pro-abortion group, he defended himself saying that there is a difference between a lawyer and his client.

“Don’t confuse the lawyer with the client,” Thompson said. “It has nothing to do with one’s political views. Lawyering is a profession but it’s also a business.”

“I’m not representing an issue,” he added. “I’m representing a client who has an issue.”

Thompson drew an analogy to defense attorneys who represent criminals because they deserve their day in court, even though they strenuously disagree with their actions.

“I’ve represented people accused of crimes,” Thompson said. “These are people who deserved representation.”

Source: Life News

Does that sound like a principled conservative?  I’m not in favor of abortion, but I’m perfectly ok with taking their money and representing them.  I don’t know.  Sounds kind of liberal to me.  I wonder if Reagan would approve?

Update: Over at Nuke’s News & Views – one post on Thompson’s real record on gun control, and another
post on his flip flopping on Immigration.

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