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Thompson: Work Came Before China Panel

Fred Thompson has held many jobs, including a stint on "Law and Order." (AP).

By John Solomon
Part of GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson's pitch has been his record of government experience, which includes chairing Senate hearings in the 1990s into whether agents of China sought to influence U.S. elections. His interest in national security issues involving China landed him a spot in 2005 on the congressionally-created U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which studies China's relationship with the United States. It turns out Thompson showed up for just six of the 19 hearings the commission held during his two-year term.

Questioned by Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace about his attendance record, Thompson said he was too busy acting on NBC's "Law and Order" television show and hosting a nationally-syndicated radio show to attend all of the commission's events.

"This was a voluntary commission to serve on. They were primarily interested in my ideas more than me sitting through hearings that might be domestic or foreign. My emphasis, my concern, was the Chinese military build-up," Thompson explained. "Some of these economic-related issues I was not as concerned with. And I was working two full-time jobs. This was a non-paying position, a voluntary position, and I was working a couple of other jobs to earn my livelihood."

His service on the commission wasn't the only question Thompson fielded Sunday about his commitment. Thompson, whose White House bid has been noted for its late start and the candidate's own low-key style of campaigning, was questioned about comments he made earlier in the weekend in Iowa that "I'm not particularly interested in running for president."

Thompson said he was encouraged to run by others and agreed it was the right thing to do. "I like to say that I'm only consumed by very, very few things and politics is not one of them," Thompson told a town hall meeting in Burlington, Iowa. "The welfare of my country and my kids and grandkids are one of them."

On Sunday, Thompson said those comments were "just another case of me being just as open and candid as I can possibly be when average citizens ask me questions in a public forum."

"I've said that I don't like every aspect of the way that people have to campaign nowadays in terms of process taking precedence over substance. But I'm in the middle of a 50-town tour in the state of Iowa, working day and night. I think that pretty much speaks for itself," Thompson told Wallace in an effort to reassure voters of his commitment.

By Post Editor  |  December 30, 2007; 12:52 PM ET
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This is simply another example of the insanity of the right wing Christian movement. These people are well on their way to destroying our country.

I seriously doubt that these people can put another lunatic in the white house. If they succeed, our democracy is finished.

Posted by: ctmont | December 31, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Like many conservatives, I looked forward to Fred Thompson joining the race, carrying the Reagan mantle. Thompson's initial stumbles were attributed to rust and late entrance. However, he has shown no improvement in the debates and talk shows. The guy is ill-informed, ill-prepared and to top it off, lazy. He talks in generalities and rambles. There is no evidence of deep thoughts about the issues.
I would tell him to go back to acting, but he is a terrible actor on Law & Order as well.

Posted by: nguyentuan64 | December 30, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that the national media continues to try to marginalize Fred Thompson in everyway? Give the guy a chance. He just might surprise you with his wisdom and performance as our next President.

Posted by: ofwmissions | December 30, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Fred Thompson is far too boring. Every speech he gives he just rambles on and on. I never know what he is trying to say. I would rather watch paint dry on a wall than listen to 90 year old Fred Thompson. Sorry Fred, the presidency is not your cup of tea.

On the other hand, Mike Huckabee performed brillently on "Meet the Press" today.

Mike Huckabee's ability to communicate is superior over all the other candidates by far. You get the sense from his calm, caring and convincing responses that he is the next great communicator like Ronald Reagan.

Mike Huckabee is a role model for society. No one would ever believe that someone who used to work at J.C. Penny store cleaning windows and the floor in his teenage years could become the next President of the United States.

Mike Huckabee and his family has worked so hard to get to this level. When he was running for Governor in Arkansas his family worked so hard, they spent their entire savings down to the last dime and lived in a two room apartment for $40 a month.

Mike Huckabee's dedication to serve the people goes unmatched by any other candidate. He could have gone in another career making much more and living much better, but he saw the ultimate need to help those in need rather than focusing on his needs.

This man is a really great role model for society. He is working so hard to earn the respect of the voters. His down home charm, his likeability, his honesty, his integrity, his humbleness and his trustworthiness is what is really needed to lead this great country of ours.

The American voters can not and will not be purchased like a item on ebay. They are looking for a candidate with integrity. Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson want to buy the presidency with their gobs of personal money. Mike Huckabee wants to earn their vote the good old fashion way.

Posted by: vote4mikehuckabee | December 30, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

If Thompson believes that he'll get the nomination, we have now entered the theatre of he absurd.

Thompson has very thin credentials, is obviously lazy -- even about his own campaign -- and is saddled with Jeri Kehn, a trophy wife who clearly has no sense on how to behave as a political wife. In other words, she looks like a Hooter Waitress trying to dress down. Sorry, Thompson, but that tartish wife of yours will be a liability. Send her to finishing school (hint to Giuliani: send la Judi as well).

Posted by: Gatsby1 | December 30, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

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