THE once-sputtering Fred Thompson (R-TV) Presidential campaign, buoyed by recent polls showing him pulling even nationally with Joe Biden, unveiled a new tactic in Sunday night's debate (co-sponsored by long-time business associates FOX News and the State of Florida): emphasizing Thompson's superior ability to remain out of touch with the vast majority of Americans.
On a night that saw open sniping break out among all the "leading" Republican candidates, Thompson fired first. “Mayor Giuliani believes in federal funding for abortion,” he said. “He believes in sanctuary cities. He’s for gun control. He supported Mario Cuomo, a liberal Democrat, against a Republican who was running for governor, then opposed the governor’s tax cuts when he was there.”
After pausing in vain for the applause to die down, Thompson continued. "And, sure, most Americans support those things, and they're looking for someone who can rise above the stultifyingly stupid partisan politics of the sort which insists I'm a viable candidate. But those are not the values of the people who conduct elections in Florida. They aren't the values of the sort of people your great state permits to vote. And they aren't the values of the dozens of decent, hard-working Americans who think Chris Wallace is a newsman. And I have to ask those people: 'Which of us do you imagine is better able to sleep through all of that for four years, waking only long enough to veto any legislation you tell me to?' "
Asked for a response, Giuliani fired back. “You know, Fred has his problems, too,” he said, going on to criticize Mr. Thompson, a lawyer, as “the single biggest obstacle to tort reform in the United States Senate,” suggesting that Giuliani mistakenly believes that Senators must be physically lifted out of their chairs in order to end a filibuster, a practice which was actually discarded in 1892 when it appeared WIlliam Howard Taft might mount a Senatorial campaign.
Duncan Hunter, the California assemblyman whose 52nd District is becoming more secure daily as all the America haters have their houses burned down, took the high road by sniping at former Democrat John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was President of the United States in a previous century, for not getting rid of Fidel Castro. "If I'd have been President, he'd have been out of there," Hunter declared. "I'd have contracted Mafia hitmen and sent him some poisoned cigars. I'm sure one of those would have worked." This momentarily shocked the rest of the candidates and the invitation-only crowd, all of whom thought Hunter dropped out five weeks ago.
The evening also included some actual criticism of actual contemporary Democrats as yet unkilled by right-wing death squads, as well as a touching standing ovation accorded to Senator John McCain for his admission that he'd missed Woodstock. This being the Republican party the reception was unsullied by any recognition of the irony of McCain being saluted for his patriotic service by a stateside audience which considers him a flaming liberal.