Actor/lobbyist/politician Fred Thompson has been away from politics for a few years, so it probably didn't surprise too many that he came across as confused and uninformed shortly after he kicked off his odd presidential campaign. He was a little rusty, and needed some time to clear the cobwebs, read some white papers, and listen to some policy briefings.
Well, it's been a few weeks. How's the Republicans' Savior doing? Somehow, Thompson seems to be getting more befuddled, not less. (thanks to Timmy for the heads-up)
Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson said today he was certain former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction prior to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a point of contention in the 4.5 years since the war began.
"We can't forget the fact that although at a particular point in time we never found any WMD down there, he clearly had had WMD. He clearly had had the beginnings of a nuclear program," the former Tennessee senator told an audience of about 60 at a Newton cafe. […]
Thompson made the statement while explaining why he felt the war was justified, despite the Bush administration's chief justification for the invasion turning out not to be verifiable.
Look, it's 2007. We've been over this. We've all been over this for years. The WMD debate ended a long time ago, and sensible people know better than to make dumb arguments like this, especially in public.
One might be tempted to argue that Thompson was referring to Iraqi munitions from the 1990s, but that's overly generous, and in this case, wrong. His comments about Iraq "clearly" having WMD were in the context of justifying the 2003 invasion. Iraq clearly didn't have those WMD, as even the Bush administration is willing to acknowledge.
Note to Thompson: play time is over. If you want to be President of the United States, you might want to get a clue before hitting the campaign trail. At this point, you've become a bit of a joke.
I should note that if McCain or Cheney made the same remarks, I'd accuse them of lying. They're certainly in a position to know the truth, so to intentionally mislead people is deceptive and dishonest.
But with Thompson, I don't think he's lying; I think he's ignorant. He probably means what he says, he just doesn't realize how foolish his words make him appear. Thompson isn't a liar; he's dim-witted.
Consider the news from just the past couple of weeks:
* Tennessee, Thompson's alleged home state, is in the midst of a major controversy over executions by way of lethal injection. A federal judge ruled the procedures unconstitutional last week, which was big news in the state. Asked for his opinion on the developments on Friday, Thompson responded, "I hadn't heard that. I didn't know."
* Asked about the Jena Six, Thompson said, "I don't know anything about it."
* Asked about his thoughts on the Terri Schiavo matter, Thompson said, "That's going back in history. I don't remember the details of it."
* Asked about hurricane property insurance while campaigning in Florida, a huge local issue, Thompson said he doesn't "know all the facts surrounding that case."
* Asked about Social Security reform, one of the top issues on his policy agenda, Thompson said he couldn't remember what Bush's position was on Social Security two years ago.
* Asked about oil drilling in the Everglades, while campaigning in Florida, Thompson said he didn't know there was oil under the Everglades and didn't know it was an important local issue.
A couple of weeks ago, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said it's not too late for Fred Thompson to compete for the GOP nomination, but to make up for lost time, the former senator must demonstrate "a command over policy issues." Fleischer added, "He's got to knock the policy questions out of the park."
So much for that idea.
Post Script: I'm reminded, by the way, that Obama was accused of making several foreign policy and national security "gaffes," all of which turned out not to be gaffes at all. Will the media give Thompson's foolish comments about WMD equal treatment?
Let's face it, CFR ordered their bitch [Fred] to enter the Presidential race, not to win, but to combat the Ron Paul Revolution. They must believe Fred's very little popularity will be some sort of advantage... They're wrong. Again.