Giuliani and Thompson at the Defending the American Dream Summit

Thompson fails to impress while Giuliani scores again

By Ericka Andersen Posted in Comments (36) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

I just returned from the Defending the American Dream Summit put on by Americans for Prosperity. Fred Thompson was the golden boy everyone was waiting for. Since he’s MIA for many events, including every debate so far, I thought maybe he wasn’t going to show when two and half hours passed with no sign of him from where I was sitting. But he was the last speaker during the three hour forum and man – kind of a disappointment. I came with my preconceived notions, I’ll admit, but even without them, it would have been a miss.


He said “uh” about five too many times and made a couple of jokes but I got more passion from the no-namer who spoke an hour before him to be honest. Fred was just a simple and slow-talking as everyone has said. Of the word “prosperity”, he quoted John Wayne’s phrase, “I like the sound of the word.” And the most inspiring thing he uttered during the speech was this: “A government that’s powerful enough to give you everything is powerful enough to take everything away from you.”

True but he said it like it’s been said before. And it has -- but for a guy who wants to be President, he should inject a little personality – spike it with conviction. But he didn’t. He said a lot of simple, truthful things but it makes you wonder how he might tackle the difficult partisan issues – especially dealing with a Democratic Congress if that is the case. He also said we should “Keep doin’ the things that work and quit doin’ the things that don’t work in this economy.” Fair enough but there’s more to it than that and Thompson rarely elaborates on specific issues and how he would handle them.

Rudy Giuliani, on the other hand, did a great job in his speech, which opened the morning conference. He managed to keep 9/11 out of it and focus completely on his economic successes as Mayor, essentially saying, “freedom works.” He said he would be able to “take on Washington and change the culture of spending.” He also called out Hillary Clinton a couple of times – as if narrowing the contest already between the two of them. He mentioned her recent “baby bond” proposals, noting if every child received the $5,000 bond she wants, it will cost $20 billion a year. Also, he reminded the crowd this would include the children of illegal immigrants and those people that don’t need the money. (“Imagine if the Gates’ had twins! – You’d be sending them $10,000!)

“Bad, socialist ideas never die…they just get resurrected,” he said. “In a Giuliani administration the days of anonymous earmarks are over.”

He smiled, he rallied; he was funny and engaging. Giuliani said all the right things, campaigning as someone serious about winning and running the country should. “Our people plan our economy with individual choices,” he said, noting also that the Republican Party must be “rooted in fiscal discipline.”

Of the candidates with a real chance at the Republican nomination, Giuliani definitely took the cake. Mitt Romney will be there tonight for a dinner but lately – in debates or speeches – Giluiani is hard to top.

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Giuliani and Thompson at the Defending the American Dream Summit 36 Comments (0 topical, 36 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

...reception was cold, completely unfunny and not worth the effort!

or not!!!

I suppose it depends on the viewer...

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Senior writer for The Hinzsight Report

I don't really know what Ericka is talking about. Still, some more specific policy proposals from Fred would be nice. Nay, necessary.

A flat income tax and making the nation's social security, health care, and education systems more free market instead of more bureaucratic would certainly excite me. :-)

I'm glad to see him raise the judges issues, too. I think that it's a winner and I feel that Thompson would be the most likely to nominate justices in the mold of Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito such as Allison Eid, Margaret Ryan, R. Ted Cruz, Miguel Estrada, Jim Chen, Michael McConnell, Neil Gorsuch, William Pryor, Gregory Coleman, Paul Clement, Peter Keisler and perhaps even Jennifer Elrod (who was confirmed to the 5th Circuit by voice vote today.)

Fred seems to be on the right side of most of the issues you mentioned he does need to continue to voice his positions every time out though.

You should post a blog about Jennifer Elrod that's good news!

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Senior writer for The Hinzsight Report

He did pull it together at the end. Not that bad, I hope he was not reading this speech :)

Molon Labe!

is much better than the first, and it is certainly more specific.

The response from the audience is very telling.

You decide...


“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

“When you have tax cuts, the revenue is not lost. The taxpayer knows where it is. It’s in his pocket.” – Fred Thompson


“Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so.” – Ronald Reagan

I saw this on the C-Span site .... If they would have started taping this video a little bit earlier and ended a little bit later, you would have seen a very enthusiastic welcome -- and a standing ovation at the end of the speech.

I thought it was pretty solid myself -- though he's given better ones ...

The most comforting thing about the GOP primary is that the leading contenders both seem to be solid Republicans on the economic front. It's very comforting, indeed.

I wouldn't mind seeing Giuliani slap down Mike Huckabee's economic populism the way he smacked down Ron Paul on 9/11.

I wonder what exactly Giuliani thinks he could do as President to end anonymous earmarks? What power does he think he should be able to wield over internal Congressional practices?

And does he think the Congress in turn should get to have the same power over the secrecy Presidents tend to demand for their advisors and the advice they give?

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1. Veto, Veto, Veto any bill that contains earmarks
2. I believe that the OMB suggested that the president can simply ignore earmarks because somehow they're not binding law.

If Rudy is serious about getting rid of earmarks then he needs to repent on the line item veto issue.

If it weren't for Rudy Giuliani the American public would be BILLIONS of dollars less in debt. Rudy needs to be challenged on this issue because it really is the best solution to reign in earmarks and thanks to him we no longer have it.

implement the line item veto was unconstitutional and not within the strict intent of the founding fathers.

As written, congress writes law, the president signs it or vetoes it, he doesn't get to "cross stuff out", until there is a "cross stuff out" amendment to the constitution the president has his two options.

Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas got it right on this one.

What Bush has proposed is constitutional as far as I can tell, it just adds another step by having congress give an up or down vote on the individual items singled out by the president instead of having bills being an all or nothing deal. A great way to deal with all the shameful spending is to force people to be on record for the pork and waste.

Can you imagine a President Hillary having at it with defense bill? No thanks.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

1. The "uhs" were certainly distracting at the beginning of the speech. As he got into the speech, after the first 3 or 4 minutes, I didn't hear another "uh," or not enough that it became distracting. Getting the "uhs" out of a speechmaker is not a difficult task as far as coaching goes - we'll see if anyone in Fred's team works to get it corrected.

2. I thought it was a fine speech. It got stronger as he went along, and had several quotables. Maybe the reception was different actually *in* the room... in which case maybe Thompson suffers from a reverse Howard Dean syndrome? If that's true, there are worse problems to have in today's political environment.

3. It will be very interesting to see whether the next month makes Fred better or worse on the national stump.

This kind of liberty is, indeed, but another name for justice; ascertained by wise laws, and secured by well-constructed institutions.

-Edmund Burke

Well, the content was good, even if the presentation was very sloppy. Like somebody upstream said, he's in for some good coaching.

Erika, I guess people hear what they want to hear to some degree. I was already a FredHead, so his message resonates with me. His down-home folksy thing doesn't speak to everybody (my guess is most people on the coasts). But the message is dead balls-on what America needs.

And every 7-minute speech he makes needs to be packed with details about everybody's pet issue, or he's too vague?

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

I just wish he wasn't so glib about abortion, gun control and that I could trust him to engage in appointing justices without agendas.

OTOH, I can see how Fred's easy, sincere drawl could grate on NE liberal types in the same way Rudy's NY whine grates on everyone else in the Country.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

My memory on this is fuzzy - BUT -some time ago, when Rudy was in the beginning stages of his terms as mayor, Virginia balked at taking some of NYC's trash off their hands. Rudy basically said that Virginia should feel obligated to do so because New York provided so much cultural opportunity to the great unwashed.

Southerners are not much for liking New Yorkers, and people in VA, particularly SW VA, still chafe at this episode. Rudy will need to address it and hope they all put it behind them - seriously.

He wasn't repeating mantras from a formulaic script. He stood there and talked to his audience.

It is not how politics has been done (since Reagan, at times), and who knows if Thompson can pull it off. For his major speeches, of course, he'll have to actually give addresses.

The problem with Rudy or Romney giving those semi-informal talks is that they're likely to say stuff which gets them in trouble. With McCain, he'd probably try a joke and tick of this or that special interest group.

do you have a candidate that you support, and if so, who is that candidate? Are you hearing what you want to hear? Are you trying to be objective, or subjectively biased?

A blog is a blog, just don't write a blog as reporting...admit it is opinion.

These negative jabs at Fred Thompson are so transparent that its getting ridiculous to even read them anymore. Here's a clue guys - this speech wasn't the state of the union address...and there wasn't a need for Thompson, or anyone else, to excite the small crowd that attended.

From the very first speech Fred Thompson gave in California earlier this year, media gurus and supporters of other candidates have been dismissing Fred Thompson's speeches. Yet, Fred Thompson continues to rise in the polls - and has raised over 9 million dollars in less the a month as an official candidate. Obviously, Fred's speeches are connecting with someone, heh ?

Let me predict what will happen next Tuesday at Fred's first debate with the other candidates. Fred Thompson will announce the end of world violence, the end of poverty, and discover the cure for the common cold. Yet, his opponents will ask what took him so long ?

I'm not an agent, I just write books

Just like our candidates get it both ways (Romney for being too slick, Thompson for not being slick enough), RedState is complained about for being too pro-Fred AND too anti-Fred.


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I suspect your soul will improve profoundly during your tenure here!

You know, set low expectations, and they'll never know what hit them when you do turn it on.

I'm at work so I can't stream the link above yet and don't know how it actually went. But he writes a good piece, and I suspect he'll deliver good pieces when he needs to.

it seems like there's a pile on because Ericka didn't like Fred's speech and remains uninspired by him. Give her a break, guys. He just hasn't hit the right chord with her. Slow talking, slow moving ain't for everyone. It could be more where Ericka's from rather than having a favorite... especially when you think about deep Southern in terms of Jimmy Carter, *grin*.

Now, before you jump on my case, too, I'm a Fredhead and unrepetent about it... but that doesn't mean I can't see where Ericka might have a different opinion.

and I was under the distinct impression a front-pager is more representative of the editors as a whole than is a blog by an editor. This one may indeed be representative of the gang in the RS breakroom.

And as pile-ons go, this is a pretty minor dust-up. Nobody's ancestry got called into question, no chairs or lamps were thrown. Becker didn't call anybody an idiot or an a$$hat.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

because, as we recently learned, there is a HUGE difference between a front page story and a diary. :-)

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

It's war -- so when can we start shooting back at the enemy Democrats?

I only assume that if it's posted by the "The Directors" account.

I'm the sort of person that dies a little inside every time I watch or read a Fred Thompson speech. However, I would gladly vote for him over every single Democrat in the field, and at least a few Republicans. (Giuliani and Tancredo, and definitely Gilmore and T. Thompson before they dropped out.) But that's because of his voting record, and not his ability to speak.

Pure opinion pieces I think get more scrutiny with regards to whether they go on the front page or not. This wasn't a pure opinion piece, it's a direct impression of a candidate's speech, which makes it reporting, albeit subjective reporting-- which I have no problem with at all because it's very clear that it's subjective reporting (as opposed to the MSM which is constantly trying to pass off subjective as objective).

(Formerly known as bee) / Internet member since 1987
Member of the Surreality-Based Community

"Just like our candidates get it both ways (Romney for being too slick, Thompson for not being slick enough), RedState is complained about for being too pro-Fred AND too anti-Fred."

Any site that has more than one person giving input is going to have the same problem... I think it's nice to be able to look at different viewpoints before the comments start picking everything apart.

Is Erika on Rudy's payroll.

Good speech.

Sounded darn good to me! Only negative I saw on the video was that he had to cough a lot; maybe some throat irritation. Was this the same Thompson speech that got such an incredibly bad review from the lead reviewer? Good grief. Reducing the corporate tax rate to 28% isn't specific enough? Raising military spending in the future isn't specific enough? Continuing the tax cuts to spur future growth? That speech was chock full of proposals -- good ones too.

Funny, seems like everything is happening that we were told. Fred is still fairly new to the race... I think the substance is actually dramatically better than he is given credit for. I am a huge supporter- let's get that out there- and the "uhs" drive me nuts. He does catch a groove throughout his speeches, see the speech from Michigan last week. I like the upstream point about "talking to his audience" as opposed to over them, through them, or talking so much that nobody knows what the heck he says. He will not pander. Maybe he doesn't take a stance on certain issues, but on security, judge appointments, taxes, federalism... can he be beat on his positions? Sorry folks, conservatives have but one choice and that is Fred. Scared as I am of a Hilary win, a Rudy win means we never have a conservative in office again.

Did you notice in the 2nd video linked above where Fred talked about speaking what he really believed?

"Not a sense of brashness but a sense of freedom to speak what you believe to be the truth"

Talk about refreshing! No wonder so many are confused by his speeches. People aren't use to a politician giving a speech anymore that is what they really believe. The American people are going to be able to tell the difference. That's the one thing I keep hearing people say about him, that they believe him.

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