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Fred Thompson ... at Whose Service?

As The Post reports today, advisers to Republican presidential-candidate-in-waiting Fred Thompson say a formal announcement of the former Tennessee senator's presidential plans will probably come in the next two weeks. Meantime, there's a growing whispering campaign against the former senator on YouTube.

Last week, Chris Cillizza highlighted a YouTube clip disputing Thompson's conservative credentials on the topic of abortion.

Now comes a new YouTube effort designed to cast the former senator as the ultimate Washington insider.

After showing clips of a recent appearance on Fox News during which Thompson says, "I came from the outside," the video flashes a banner that reads, "20 years as a lobbyist" and suggesting he may still have ties to those he represented. It concludes, "A president at THEIR service?"

In today's Post article, Thompson rejected the idea he's running as an outsider.

"I have never used the word 'outsider,'" Thompson said in response to a reporter's question. "It's a delineation that doesn't mean anything. You don't have to be from Alaska or Hawaii to see faults with your government. I've been talking about things wrong with Washington when I was a part of it, before I was a part of it and since I was a part of it."

What do you think? Is Thompson an insider? Or an outsider? Does it matter? And should he campaign as either type? Check out the video below, and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

-- Ed O'Keefe and Sarah Lovenheim

By washingtonpost.com Editors |  July 2, 2007; 11:45 AM ET Fred Thompson
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Comments

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What IS it with the Republican base's blatant obsession with this man??

Posted by: Voice of Reason | July 2, 2007 1:19 PM

He is a worthless career politican that is going nowhere, just like his GOP co-runners. People are fed-up with their neo-conservative attitudes... but they are clueless... and only listen to their well paid advisers to keep hanging in their... It's rather funny.

Posted by: Undecided | July 3, 2007 1:18 PM

What the heck is a neo-con attitude.

I do like Fred Thompson. It think he is frank and honest, and would be a good President. I've read what he has written and he sounds like a good, common sense, non-political type of candidate.

http://www.ToughFred.com

Posted by: ToughFred | July 3, 2007 3:39 PM

Undecided.....you are a fool. You have no idea what the man stands for or you would not make such ignorant remarks. You sound like a true commi-liberal.

Posted by: bodm | July 3, 2007 5:21 PM

Fred has a bonafide health care plan, a plan for troop reduction in Iraq, an economic plan base on cutting waste and taxes, an environmental plan, and is not a hypocrite like Giuliani who saw the World Trade Center fall on his watch! Giuliani is weak on terrorism and is a democrat in disguise. Romney and McCain stand for nothing. Hillary will say anything to get elected and no doctor will work for her absurd health care plan. Heart surgeons like to make money! Hillary is a moron.

Posted by: RealTalk | July 4, 2007 3:59 PM

It doesn't matter in the least whether he is either and insider or an outsider.

Posted by: brybi | July 5, 2007 12:20 PM

The appeal of Fred is that he seems to be "called" to this service, as opposed to a person who has spent their life dreaming of being president and calculated every utterance and career move to that end. I cannot wait until he devastates Hillary or B.O. in a debate.

Posted by: spongerot | July 5, 2007 12:42 PM

The appeal of Fred is that he seems to be "called" to this service, as opposed to a person who has spent their life dreaming of being president and has calculated every utterance and career move to that end. I cannot wait until he devastates Hillary or B.O. in a debate.

Posted by: spongerot | July 5, 2007 12:42 PM

I agree with brybi, realtalk, and spongerot.

Not only am I happy that a real conservative who I have respect for has emerged, but he is actually somebody who at this point I would be proud to place my vote for.

I believe every candidate needs to be very careful about making promises about what they are going to do about Iraq, unless we just all want to agree their speaking out of turn just for the heck of it...

GOD BLESS AMERICA! I LOVE THE USA!

Posted by: T-SIRM | July 5, 2007 3:33 PM

byrbi--If it doesn't matter whether he is in insider or an outsider, why does he deny it. It makes a diference don't keep fooling yourself. Luckily the Independents know this.
RealTalk--What do you know that everyone else doesn't know. Everyone is waiting for him to say where he stands--but he has kept his mouth shut. The lastest is he lobbied for abortion rights. He seems to be a typical repuglican, just out for the money and to say what his base wants to hear. Moron--He couldn't hold a thimble full of water when it comes to brains against Hillary Clinton. You wouldn't understand that because you are of his ilk! As the old saying goes--if brains were dynamite, you wouldn't have enough to blow your nose!!!!!!!
As for Thompson--
It's funny how selective memory hits Repuglican politicians. It's even funnier when a bunch of repuglican voters; who know nothing about Thompson are ready, willing, and able to sell The USA down the river for their polluted intelligence. Our founding fathers are turning over in their graves. They set this country up to be run and for people to vote who had a modicum of intelligence. Or, at least do their homework on who they should vote for. Why do people think big business is moving over seas. They can get cheaper workers for a better cost, and not put up with the dummies who are now occupying the Good old USA. Thank God the Independents will decide this election--the repuglicans are going to have the same results they had in 06'

Posted by: Richard | July 7, 2007 10:48 AM

byrbi--If it doesn't matter whether he is in insider or an outsider, why does he deny it. It makes a diference don't keep fooling yourself. Luckily the Independents know this.
RealTalk--What do you know that everyone else doesn't know. Everyone is waiting for him to say where he stands--but he has kept his mouth shut. The lastest is he lobbied for abortion rights. He seems to be a typical repuglican, just out for the money and to say what his base wants to hear. Moron--He couldn't hold a thimble full of water when it comes to brains against Hillary Clinton. You wouldn't understand that because you are of his ilk! As the old saying goes--if brains were dynamite, you wouldn't have enough to blow your nose!!!!!!!
As for Thompson--
It's funny how selective memory hits Repuglican politicians. It's even funnier when a bunch of repuglican voters; who know nothing about Thompson are ready, willing, and able to sell The USA down the river for their polluted intelligence. Our founding fathers are turning over in their graves. They set this country up to be run and for people to vote who had a modicum of intelligence. Or, at least do their homework on who they should vote for. Why do people think big business is moving over seas. They can get cheaper workers for a better cost, and not put up with the dummies who are now occupying the Good old USA. Thank God the Independents will decide this election--the repuglicans are going to have the same results they had in 06'

Posted by: Richard | July 7, 2007 10:48 AM

It is amusing to note the critics of this man. Who hasn't made comments or decisions we regret. However, he is a REAL breath of fresh air. That is why the liberals are already in full attack mode.

Posted by: newbury | July 8, 2007 10:05 AM

Mr. Thompson would be a great president. Doesn't matter if he's labeled insider or outsider...like anyone running doesn't have some connections to the "inside"...Fred's got a real plan, unlike Hillary who's plan is to use Bill's name or Obama playing the race card or John Edwards playing the hair card....

Posted by: itsok | July 8, 2007 8:50 PM

What has he done to be qualified to run for President?? I would love to hear of some successes, in politics. He seems like a bunch of lazy, hot air to me. And honest--don't believe that for a minute!!!!!!!!

Posted by: john | July 10, 2007 12:10 AM

From www.imwithfred.com

During his time in the Senate, Thompson focused on three key areas: lowering our taxes, strengthening national security, and what the American-Statesman called "the unglamorous work of trying to expose waste" and to change the federal government. All have taken on even greater importance today than they had back then. In each of these areas, Thompson accomplished a great deal.

Reforms

**As Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Thompson enacted a law that required federal agencies to calculate and report the cost of regulations on taxpayers and businesses.

**Press reports stated: "He put heat on federal agencies by holding hearings on mismanagement and by asking them to tote up the improper payments they made each year." That added up to about $20 billion in taxpayer dollars. His efforts saved taxpayers more than $2 billion in 2005-06 along at the the Department of Health and Human Services.

**He published a two volume report, "Government on the Brink," detailing the waste, fraud, and abuse of federal agencies as well as the management challenges facing the incoming Bush Administration. Paul Light, a New York University professor and leading expert on government, said, "I consider him to be one of the most dedicated overseers of the executive branch of the last 25 years."

**Twenty-five years after he'd gained national prominence as hard-charging counsel on the Watergate committee, Thompson again stepped into the investigation spotlight. In 1997, as chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, he opened an investigation into attempts by the Chinese government to influence America policies and elections through, among other means, financing election campaigns. The investigation identified at least six Democrat donors and fundraisers, with ties to the Clinton Administration, who had laundered or aided in the laundering and distribution of foreign money into Democrat political party coffers. The investigation also exposed two Democrat Party donors with "a long-term relationship with a Chinese intelligence agency," according to the Senate committee's report.

Taxes

In his eight years, Thompson, who served on the Finance Committee, supported and worked to enact three major tax-cut bills, reducing the federal tax burden on all of us.

National Security

As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Thompson focused on the threat of nuclear proliferation and technology transfers that could damage American industrial and national security.

**While a vocal supporter of free trade, Thompson has also fought to link free trade to our national security interests. For example, when voting to grant full-trading status to China, Senator Thompson fought unsuccessfully to include an amendment in the bill that would have required the president to impose sanctions against China if it violated nuclear-nonproliferation agreements.

**Thompson also served on the Intelligence Committee at a time when it examined the failings in intelligence and analysis leading into the September 11th terrorist attacks, as well as the reforms needed to better prepare for future threats.

Posted by: spongerot | July 10, 2007 11:31 AM

Fred Thompson is what this country needs. We need a leader that can stand up to the American people and convincingly prove his point. I voted for Bush twice but my gut wrenches every time he steps to the podium.

Fred reminds me of how Reagan would deal with the media and how when he speaks you don't get the feeling its scripted by some egg headed speech writer.

The bottom line is that he has proven that he IS NOT a career Washington D.C politician and that's exactly what we need to win the war in Iraq, win the global war on terror, fix our border, and finally put the democrats back in their cave with the rest of their defeatist pals who would rather openly surrender to the enemy scheming to adopt a government on par with something Lenin would have proposed.

Posted by: Ernie | July 12, 2007 11:58 PM

Not an insider. No insiders that I have seen make the decision Thompson did not to run for re-election when they have the popular following he does in Tennessee. Lobbying is a legitimate endeavor that has gotten a bad reputation because of those who have conducted themselves in a criminal way like Abramoff. He a true conservative with solid Federalists beliefs and a voting record that demonstrates that. He is the best the GOP can put forward to redeem the mess they have made the last six years.

Posted by: Bob | July 30, 2007 9:58 AM

I sugest that most of us are not qulified to give hard comment on
Fred. I have heard information from both sides and will continue to liston. I hope people will take time and pains to gather as much information as they can on all the candidateds that spark their intrest.Fred has sparked mine. I like what I hear from the conservetime side, and I also like what why the libs say they don't like him. Their comments meam as much to me as those who agree with how I feel.

Posted by: Gene Barney | August 15, 2007 11:42 AM

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