I just sat down with presidential candidate Fred Thompson, for an interview that will air tonight on Kudlow & Company. The former Tennessee senator was in good form.
He attacked Warren Buffet’s tax-hike proposal on the rich as totally wrong, and Buffett himself as nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Democratic party.
He agreed with Dick Armey that the GOP will lose if it departs from the first principles of limited government and lower tax rates.
He called the farm bill “disgraceful” and would veto it if he were president.
He said Hillary Clinton and the other Democratic candidates are wrong on taxes. He noted that the top 5 percent pay 60 percent of all tax collections now; that the tax code is progressive enough; that there’s plenty of economic mobility in the country; that for those who have fallen behind, the problem is poor education, not tax rates; and that America is the freest, most prosperous, most powerful nation in the history of the world.
Thompson is a staunch free trader. He stood firmly behind his Social Security reform plan that would slow down future benefits and provide for private savings accounts.
On inflation, he said he’s not worried about today’s reported 3.5 percent increase in the consumer price index for October. Nor is he overly concerned about the weak dollar. Ben Bernanke is doing a good job, he said, though he refused to say if he’d reappoint the Fed chair.
On politics, the former Senator made it clear that he will continue to attack former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s support of federal funding for abortion, gun control, and sanctuary cities.
He said you might as well say what you believe is right; that life is too short for the aggravation of not telling the truth.
It was a lively interview, and Fred Thompson is not afraid to mix it up. I went at him. He came right back at me. It was great fun. He’s a serious and impressive man. Much stronger than when I interviewed him back in June.
On deep background, his campaign strategists tell me they are pouring tons of money into Iowa advertising. They see a strong opportunity for a Thompson surge in Iowa that would undermine Romney and inflict damage on Giuliani. Walking off the set, Thompson told me this election will be about peace and prosperity. And he intends to fight hard.