Giuliani and Thompson at the Defending the American Dream Summit
Thompson fails to impress while Giuliani scores again
By Ericka Andersen Posted in 2008 — 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.
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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.