The tired old man of the race, Fred Thompson showed some fire and spark last night in South Carolina. While everyone else intently tries to give the most intelligent answers to the questions posed, Thompson took a moment to describe the real essence of the current struggle in the Republican primary race:
HUME: Carl Cameron has the next round of questions.
CAMERON: Thanks, Brit.
Good evening, Gentlemen.
As you all well know, no Republicans ever won the presidency without winning the first in the south, South Carolina, primary.
Governor Huckabee, a question for you.
Your adviser, Ed Rollins, recently said that the Reagan Coalition of Economic, Social and National Security Conservatives is gone and you've been quoted as saying that you're not running for another Reagan term.
Tell us, sir, what part of that coalition is gone and what has it been replaced by?....THOMPSON: Can I answer that?
CAMERON: Senator Thompson, a 30-second rebuttal.
THOMPSON: Well, it's not a response. I mean, you asked a minute or a minute-and-a-half question of these gentlemen on the Reagan revolution. Could I address that?
THOMPSON: It's an important issue, because I think it demonstrates what we're about here today. I think that Governor Huckabee's campaign manager said it accurately in terms of what they believe. They believe that it is over.
This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and its future. On the one hand, you have the Reagan revolution. You have the Reagan coalition of limited government and strong national security.
On the other hand, you have the direction that Governor Huckabee would take us in. He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies.
THOMPSON: He believes we have an arrogant foreign policy and the tradition of, blame America first.
He believes that Guantanamo should be closed down and those enemy combatants brought here to the United States to find their way into the court system eventually.
He believes in taxpayer-funded programs for illegals, as he did in Arkansas.
He has the endorsement of the National Education Association, and the NEA said it was because of his opposition to vouchers.
He said he would sign a bill that would ban smoking nationwide. So much for federalism. So much for states' rights. So much for individual rights.
That's not the model of the Reagan coalition, that's the model of the Democratic Party.