Fred Thompson has a lengthy video message to Iowa voters, which lays out in some detail the case for his candidacy:
What struck me about this message is that Sen. Thompson reached out to Democratic voters as well:
You know, when I’m asked which of the current group of Democratic candidates I prefer to run against, I always say it really doesn’t matter… These days all those candidates, all the Democratic leaders, are one and the same. They’re all NEA-MoveOn.org-ACLU-Michael Moore Democrats. They’ve allowed these radicals to take control of their party and dictate their course.
So this election is important not just to enact our conservative principles. This election is important to salvage a once-great political party from the grip of extremism and shake it back to its senses. It’s time to give not just Republicans but independents, and, yes, good Democrats a chance to call a halt to the leftward lurch of the once-proud party of working people.
So in seeking the nomination of my own party, I want to say something a little unusual. I am asking my fellow Republicans to vote for me not only for what I have to say to them, but for what I have to say to the members of the other party—the millions of Democrats who haven’t left the Democratic party so much as their party’s national leadership has left them.
For all the phony populism of the Democratic Party, they’re not the party of working people, no matter how much they protest to the contrary. The Democratic Party in its modern incarnation represents the interests of the secular coastal left. They have to adopt a populist veneer because if they were honest to the American people they would never win election in a country where self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals 2-1. What do they stand for? A United States with a foreign policy that fecklessly thinks that Bashar al-Assad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad can be talked into ending their campaign of terrorism across the globe. A United States in which Osama bin Laden is given the same procedural rights that Tony Soprano would have. A United States of higher taxes, unlimited abortion on demand (at taxpayer expense) and a United States that would follow the failing model of Britain’s NHS or Canada’s socialized healthcare system. Is this really the United States that is envisioned by the mainstream of American society? The Democrats are deluded enough to think that if they can wrap the bitter pill of Fabian socialism in enough sugary rhetoric, the American people will swallow it.
The American people deserve better than that.
Sen. Thompson represents the basic principles of the Republican Party—a strong national defense, respect for the values which create a successful society, and the sort of limited government that our Founders intended. It seems that the primary critique of Sen. Thompson—that he doesn’t campaign hard enough—is a substance-free critique. The reality is that Sen. Thompson’s campaign is the more intellectual strenuous, the one with the best policy positions, and the clearest in its goals and objectives.
What this country needs is not someone who can claim to “feel your pain” while letting this country continue to slide. What we need is a leader, someone who is willing to make the hard decisions that will need to be made in the next few years. The next Administration will almost certainly have to deal with an entitlement crisis that will quickly consume trillions of dollars. Who is best equipped to handle that crisis? A candidate who talks about the problem or a candidate who has a plan on the table that can realistically solve it?
There’s something to be said for style, but it doesn’t substitute for real substance. This country needs solutions, not more empty rhetoric. Sen. Thompson has put those solutions on the table, which is why he deserves the support of Iowa voters this Thursday.