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              Executive   |   Legislative   |   Judicial
Former Republican Senator (TN):
Fred Thompson on the Issues

Fred Thompson on Abortion

  • Life begins at conception; abortion takes a life. (Nov 2007)
  • Reverse Roe & return abortion to states, to allow SOME bans. (Nov 2007)
  • Let states decide abortion with restrictions as they see fit. (Nov 2007)
  • Heart swayed by sonogram of his unborn child. (Nov 2007)
  • No human Life Amendment; let states decide individually. (Nov 2007)
  • Life begins at conception, but allow early abortions. (Nov 2007)
  • Opposes partial birth ban; but no parental notification. (Nov 2007)
  • Lobbied for Planned Parenthood,but always voted against them. (Oct 2007)
  • Appoint only strict constructionist judges. (Sep 2007)
  • 1991: Consulted for pro-abortion group, as part of law firm. (Jul 2007)
  • Doesn�t recall 1994 survey ok�ing abortion; doesn�t ok it. (Jun 2007)
  • Roe usurped 200 years of law; return decision to states. (Jun 2007)
  • Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad science. (Jun 2007)
  • Appoint strict constructionist judges. (Jun 2007)
  • Has never been pro-choice despite 1994 news reports. (Jun 2007)
  • Judges should not make new social policy for the country. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on banning partial birth abortions. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted YES on banning human cloning. (Feb 1998)

Fred Thompson on Budget & Economy

  • Address recession with tax cuts & reducing interest rates. (Jan 2008)
  • Stimulus package OK, but watch out for pork. (Jan 2008)
  • Consider stimulus package targeted to low-income people. (Jan 2008)
  • $9 trillion debt affects our national security. (Dec 2007)
  • Deficit spending ok for military, infrastructure, and R&D. (Dec 2007)
  • We�re spending next generation�s money with no restraint. (Dec 2007)
  • Mandatory future spending lockdown is unsustainable. (Oct 2007)
  • No reason to believe we�re headed for recession. (Oct 2007)
  • Weak dollar damages us internationally. (Oct 2007)
  • FactCheck: Correct that US has enjoyed 22 quarters of growth. (Oct 2007)
  • Trillions in debt will cause fiscal tsunami in a few years. (Sep 2007)
  • Market-based budgetary reform: avoid pending fiscal crisis. (Sep 2007)
  • Voted YES on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts. (Apr 2000)
  • Voted NO on 1998 GOP budget. (May 1997)
  • Voted YES on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment. (Mar 1997)

Fred Thompson on Civil Rights

  • Dislikes gay marriage, but states allowed to do it. (Nov 2007)
  • Be tolerant of gays, but no special categories or rights. (Mar 2007)
  • No gay marriage; leave civil unions to the states. (Mar 2007)
  • No end in sight to problems with Indian Trust Funds. (Jun 2001)
  • Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002)
  • Voted NO on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
  • Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted NO on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women. (Mar 1998)
  • Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. (Oct 1997)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996)
  • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)
  • Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995)
  • Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (Jul 1995)

Fred Thompson on Corporations

  • Do better than world�s second-highest corporate tax penalty. (Oct 2007)
  • Don�t intervene with automakers unless drastic circumstances. (Oct 2007)
  • FactCheck: Yes, US corporate taxes are 2nd highest in world. (Oct 2007)
  • Commerce clause does not mean Feds can regulate everything. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted YES on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy. (Jul 2001)

Fred Thompson on Crime

  • 3,500 distinct crimes means over-federalization of law. (Sep 2007)
  • Death penalty DOES deter murders. (Jun 2007)
  • Impose truth in sentencing for violent crime. (Nov 1994)
  • Voted NO on $1.15 billion per year to continue the COPS program. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on limiting death penalty appeals. (Apr 1996)
  • Voted YES on limiting product liability punitive damage awards. (Mar 1996)
  • Voted YES on restricting class-action lawsuits. (Dec 1995)
  • Voted YES on repealing federal speed limits. (Jun 1995)

Fred Thompson on Drugs

  • DEA has no meaningful performance goals on illegal drugs. (Jun 2001)
  • Voted YES on increasing penalties for drug offenses. (Nov 1999)
  • Voted YES on spending international development funds on drug control. (Jul 1996)

Fred Thompson on Education

  • The NEA opposes school choice; we must stop them. (Dec 2007)
  • Use bully pulpit to support vouchers & homeschooling. (Dec 2007)
  • Voted for No Child Left Behind, but critics were right. (Oct 2007)
  • Allow states to experiment with vouchers & charter schools. (Oct 2007)
  • Promote voucher programs & charter schools. (Sep 2007)
  • Encourage rights of parents to choose school. (Sep 2007)
  • Best reforms are not federal but local, like charters. (Sep 2007)
  • Voted NO on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
  • Voted NO on funding student testing instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
  • Voted NO on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted YES on Educational Savings Accounts. (Mar 2000)
  • Voted YES on allowing more flexibility in federal school rules. (Mar 1999)
  • Voted YES on education savings accounts. (Jun 1998)
  • Voted YES on school vouchers in DC. (Sep 1997)
  • Voted YES on $75M for abstinence education. (Jul 1996)

Fred Thompson on Energy & Oil

  • Get ethanol market up, then let free market take over. (Oct 2007)
  • Invest in alternative fuels; with R&D to reduce CO2. (Sep 2007)
  • Oil dependency associated with every recession in 50 years. (Sep 2007)
  • Solar system is warming, not earth. (Apr 2007)
  • Voted YES on drilling ANWR on national security grounds. (Apr 2002)
  • Voted YES on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months. (Mar 2002)
  • Voted YES on preserving budget for ANWR oil drilling. (Apr 2000)
  • Voted NO on ending discussion of CAFE fuel efficiency standards. (Sep 1999)
  • Voted YES on defunding renewable and solar energy. (Jun 1999)
  • Voted YES on approving a nuclear waste repository. (Apr 1997)

Fred Thompson on Environment

  • Voted YES on confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior. (Jan 2001)
  • Voted YES on more funding for forest roads and fish habitat. (Sep 1999)
  • Voted YES on transportation demo projects. (Mar 1998)
  • Voted YES on reducing funds for road-building in National Forests. (Sep 1997)

Fred Thompson on Families & Children

  • Promote culture of life & strengthen families. (Sep 2007)
  • Voted YES on killing restrictions on violent videos to minors. (May 1999)

Fred Thompson on Foreign Policy

  • Pakistan: support Musharraf, with funding, for short-run. (Dec 2007)
  • Castro is a uniquely brutal tyrant; keep the embargo. (Dec 2007)
  • Play hardball with Musharraf, but don�t cut off US aid. (Nov 2007)
  • Relationship with Canada important for economy & security. (Oct 2007)
  • Meet threats before threats become tragedies. (Jun 2007)
  • Diplomacy works better when we�re prepared to use force. (Jun 2007)
  • Zimbabwe chairing Development Cmte shows UN needs watching. (Jun 2007)
  • If everybody in Iran had a computer, it�d be a free country. (Jun 2007)
  • Israel shows restraint in limited response to Gaza attacks. (May 2007)
  • Keep Guantanamo open; keep embargo on Cuba. (Jan 2006)
  • Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (May 2002)
  • Voted NO on killing a bill for trade sanctions if China sells weapons. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on cap foreign aid at only $12.7 billion. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted YES on limiting the President's power to impose economic sanctions. (Jul 1998)
  • Voted NO on limiting NATO expansion to only Poland, Hungary & Czech. (Apr 1998)
  • Voted NO on $17.9 billion to IMF. (Mar 1998)
  • Voted YES on Strengthening of the trade embargo against Cuba. (Mar 1996)

Fred Thompson on Free Trade

  • Free and fair trade is the backbone of our economy. (Dec 2007)
  • Focus on protecting infrastructure for national security. (Oct 2007)
  • More trade helps South America and Africa. (Aug 2007)
  • Don�t raise specter of protectionism on globalization. (Jun 2007)
  • Market does more for freedom & prosperity than planners. (Jun 2007)
  • Protectionist trade policies are defensive & defeatist. (May 2007)
  • Markets do more for freedom than any central planner. (May 2007)
  • Protectionist trade policies are defensive & defeatist. (May 2007)
  • Voted YES on extending free trade to Andean nations. (May 2002)
  • Voted YES on granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam. (Oct 2001)
  • Voted NO on removing common goods from national security export rules. (Sep 2001)
  • Voted YES on permanent normal trade relations with China. (Sep 2000)
  • Voted YES on expanding trade to the third world. (May 2000)
  • Voted YES on renewing 'fast track' presidential trade authority. (Nov 1997)
  • Voted YES on imposing trade sanctions on Japan for closed market. (May 1995)

Fred Thompson on Government Reform

  • Focus on the budget, social policy, and bipartisanship. (Dec 2007)
  • Tort reform ok for liability lawsuits; leave rest to states. (Oct 2007)
  • FactCheck: supported some tort reforms; opposed others. (Oct 2007)
  • 2001: Published 2-volume report, �Government at the Brink�. (Sep 2007)
  • Assisted getting John Roberts through Senate confirmation. (Sep 2007)
  • Political expediency ignored limited federalist government. (Sep 2007)
  • Strong states work a lot better than central planning. (Sep 2007)
  • Federalization deprives us of experimentation in states. (Aug 2007)
  • 1973:Revealed White House taping system in Watergate hearing. (Jun 2007)
  • More hard money donations ok; but do away with soft money. (Jun 2007)
  • Passionate supporter of states rights. (Jun 2007)
  • Term limits counter professionalization of politics. (May 2007)
  • Reasonable limitations on soft money. (Mar 2007)
  • Scooter Libby trial was a miscarriage of justice. (Mar 2007)
  • Ludicrous waste & fraud: you wonder if anyone is even trying. (Jun 2001)
  • Boston�s Big Dig #1 on Top Ten Worst Mismanagement. (Jun 2001)
  • Federal civil service system is broken. (Jun 2001)
  • Government invests billions on systems that don�t work. (Jun 2001)
  • Voted YES on banning "soft money" contributions and restricting issue ads. (Mar 2002)
  • Voted YES on require photo ID (not just signature) for voter registration. (Feb 2002)
  • Voted YES on banning campaign donations from unions & corporations. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted YES on funding for National Endowment for the Arts. (Aug 1999)
  • Voted YES on favoring 1997 McCain-Feingold overhaul of campaign finance. (Oct 1997)
  • Voted YES on Approving the presidential line-item veto. (Mar 1996)
  • Voted NO on banning more types of Congressional gifts. (Jul 1995)

Fred Thompson on Gun Control

  • NYC doesn�t have same values as America on gun control. (Nov 2007)
  • Allow colleges to make their own rules about guns on campus. (Nov 2007)
  • Strongly supports the Second Amendment. (Sep 2007)
  • Allowing concealed carry could have limited VA Tech massacre. (Apr 2007)
  • Having handguns in your home is a Constitutional right. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted NO on background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
  • Voted NO on more penalties for gun & drug violations. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on loosening license & background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks. (Jul 1998)

Fred Thompson on Health Care

  • I like mandates; mandates work. (Jan 2008)
  • Make insurance portable so employment untied from health. (Dec 2007)
  • Lower cost by more efficient markets, not bigger government. (Dec 2007)
  • Less benefits for high-income Medicare beneficiaries. (Oct 2007)
  • One-size-fits-all programs are inefficient & inadequate. (Sep 2007)
  • Competition, free-market solutions & personal responsibility. (Sep 2007)
  • Your own decisions are better than massive bureaucracy. (Sep 2007)
  • We have world�s best medical system but it�s too expensive. (Aug 2007)
  • Americans better served than nationalized Canadian system. (Jun 2007)
  • A good number of the people choose not to be insured. (Jan 2006)
  • We�ve got the best health care in the world. (Jan 2006)
  • Medicare drug payment methods are fundamentally flawed. (Jun 2001)
  • Medicare loses $11B per year to errors and fraud. (Jun 2001)
  • Voted NO on allowing reimportation of Rx drugs from Canada. (Jul 2002)
  • Voted NO on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages. (Jun 2001)
  • Voted YES on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Apr 2001)
  • Voted NO on including prescription drugs under Medicare. (Jun 2000)
  • Voted YES on limiting self-employment health deduction. (Jul 1999)
  • Voted NO on increasing tobacco restrictions. (Jun 1998)
  • Voted YES on Medicare means-testing. (Jun 1997)
  • Voted NO on blocking medical savings acounts. (Apr 1996)

Fred Thompson on Homeland Security

  • Intelligence and parts of our military were neglected. (Dec 2007)
  • Waterboarding ok if national security were at stake. (Nov 2007)
  • Supports pre-emption policy to prevent nuclear proliferation. (Nov 2007)
  • We face a global war declared on us by Islamic fascism. (Oct 2007)
  • Spend more than current 4% of budget on military. (Oct 2007)
  • Iraq & Afghanistan are central front of global war on terror. (Sep 2007)
  • Build larger, more capable, and more modern military. (Sep 2007)
  • Supports missile defense system & enhanced intelligence. (Sep 2007)
  • Congress was at its best in year after 9/11: alert & focused. (Sep 2007)
  • Al Qaeda intends to put a mushroom cloud over a US city. (Aug 2007)
  • Enemies do not doubt our strength, but our determination. (Jun 2007)
  • Western world is in international struggle with jihadists. (Jun 2007)
  • The day after Iraq: They have 100-year plan; we need one too. (Jun 2007)
  • Europe mothballs its fleet, when all should build military. (Apr 2007)
  • Habeas corpus does not apply at Guantanamo; so keep it open. (Jan 2006)
  • Pre-emptive war has got to be an option. (Jan 2006)
  • Oppose windfall profits tax on oil companies. (Jan 2006)
  • FEMA faces systemic and long-standing management problems. (Jun 2001)
  • DoD cannot account for where spending goes. (Jun 2001)
  • Voted NO on adopting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted YES on allowing another round of military base closures. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on cutting nuclear weapons below START levels. (May 1999)
  • Voted YES on deploying National Missile Defense ASAP. (Mar 1999)
  • Voted YES on military pay raise of 4.8%. (Feb 1999)
  • Voted NO on prohibiting same-sex basic training. (Jun 1998)
  • Voted YES on favoring 36 vetoed military projects. (Oct 1997)
  • Voted NO on banning chemical weapons. (Apr 1997)
  • Voted YES on considering deploying NMD, and amending ABM Treaty. (Jun 1996)
  • Voted YES on 1996 Defense Appropriations. (Sep 1995)

Fred Thompson on Immigration

  • Special status for illegals disrespects legal immigrants. (Dec 2007)
  • Focus on chain migration, not anchor babies. (Dec 2007)
  • Pledges to veto any immigration bill that involves amnesty. (Nov 2007)
  • Voted for law to abolish sanctuary cities. (Oct 2007)
  • Secure our borders and end �sanctuary cities�. (Sep 2007)
  • Protecting our border is part of being a sovereign nation. (Sep 2007)
  • Eliminate welfare incentives for illegal immigrants. (Sep 2007)
  • Immigration reform failed because feds lost credibility. (Sep 2007)
  • Immigration in large part has to do with national security. (Aug 2007)
  • Opposes amnesty in any form. (Jun 2007)
  • Nation loses sovereignty if it cannot secure its own borders. (Apr 2007)
  • Can�t round up 12M illegals, so focus on preventing next 12M. (Mar 2007)
  • Voted YES on allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work. (Jul 1998)
  • Voted YES on visas for skilled workers. (May 1998)
  • Voted YES on limit welfare for immigrants. (Jun 1997)

Fred Thompson on Jobs

  • In a dynamic economy, some jobs lost and some gained. (Oct 2007)
  • Don�t use union dues for political purposes. (Oct 2007)
  • USDA problems: info security and Forest Service finances. (Jun 2001)
  • Voted YES on repealing Clinton's ergonomic rules on repetitive stress. (Mar 2001)
  • Voted YES on killing an increase in the minimum wage. (Nov 1999)
  • Voted YES on allowing workers to choose between overtime & comp-time. (May 1997)
  • Voted YES on replacing farm price supports. (Feb 1996)

Fred Thompson on Principles & Values

  • Need a president who feels no need to apologize for America. (Sep 2008)
  • Obama is the most liberal and inexperienced nominee ever. (Sep 2008)
  • Worked for law firm that worked in Libya; but not personally. (Jan 2008)
  • Not consumed by politics; running for future of kids & US. (Dec 2007)
  • Declined to answer Boston Globe questions on Executive Power. (Dec 2007)
  • 100% free & clear of cancer; will release all health records. (Nov 2007)
  • Giuliani sides with Hillary on abortion, guns. & immigration. (Oct 2007)
  • Consistent since reading �Conscience of a Conservative�. (Oct 2007)
  • Free markets, free people, free enterprise. (Oct 2007)
  • Absent from Values Voter Presidential Debate. (Sep 2007)
  • What kind of country for our kids? And can I affect it? (Sep 2007)
  • Same sound conservative First Principles in 1994 as today. (Sep 2007)
  • Announces candidacy for president on Jay Leno show. (Sep 2007)
  • Voters don�t pay attention to elections this early. (Sep 2007)
  • Enjoys campaigning despite reputation of being lazy. (Sep 2007)
  • Made movie about his role in case of corrupt governor. (Jun 2007)
  • I want to do some things that only a president can do. (Jun 2007)
  • Split decision on Clinton; some offenses not impeachable. (Jun 2007)
  • Never lusted for presidency but the man has to fit the times. (Jun 2007)
  • Reveals he suffers from cancer, but it won�t affect campaign. (Jun 2007)
  • Religious affiliation: Protestant. (Nov 2000)

Fred Thompson on Social Security

  • Allow individual retirement accounts with government match. (Jan 2008)
  • FactCheck: Slower growth of benefits for future retirees. (Jan 2008)
  • Reform entitlements now so our grandkids don�t have to. (Dec 2007)
  • Revamp Social Security to pay $2.5T for new tax plan. (Nov 2007)
  • Allow 2% into a private personal account, with 2% match. (Nov 2007)
  • Present mandatory spending cycle is unsustainable. (Oct 2007)
  • Benefits ok in short-term, but we�re eating our seed corn. (Oct 2007)
  • Index benefits to inflation instead of indexing to wages. (Oct 2007)
  • FactCheck: Yes, inflation-index pushes imbalance years away. (Oct 2007)
  • Deficit financing is unsustainable; it�s the future�s money. (Sep 2007)
  • Obligations will sap revenues; can�t pass that to kids. (Aug 2007)
  • Social Security & Medicare are generational wealth transfers. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted YES on Social Security Lockbox & limiting national debt. (Apr 1999)
  • Voted YES on allowing Roth IRAs for retirees. (May 1998)
  • Voted YES on allowing personal retirement accounts. (Apr 1998)
  • Voted YES on deducting Social Security payments on income taxes. (May 1996)

Fred Thompson on Tax Reform

  • Tax cuts raise revenues; so much for the experts. (Jan 2008)
  • Preserve the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. (Dec 2007)
  • Two options: file as you do now, or flatter two-rate plan. (Nov 2007)
  • Index the AMT for now; repeal it eventually. (Nov 2007)
  • FactCheck: Top 40% do pay 99% of income tax, but not FICA. (Oct 2007)
  • Phase out the AMT; lower taxes grow the economy. (Oct 2007)
  • Tax code is broken: dissolve the IRS as we know it. (Sep 2007)
  • Tax code hopelessly out of date & makes us less competitive. (Jun 2007)
  • Progressive tax redistributes wealth without helping economy. (Jun 2007)
  • Taxes burden production; keep rates as low as possible. (May 2007)
  • Tax cuts stimulate the economy. (Apr 2007)
  • Voted NO on reducing marriage penalty instead of cutting top tax rates. (May 2001)
  • Voted NO on increasing tax deductions for college tuition. (May 2001)
  • Voted YES on eliminating the 'marriage penalty'. (Jul 2000)
  • Voted YES on across-the-board spending cut. (Oct 1999)
  • Voted YES on requiring super-majority for raising taxes. (Apr 1998)
  • Member of the Congressional Flat Tax Caucus. (Nov 2007)

Fred Thompson on War & Peace

  • Stay the course and take opportunity to succeed. (Nov 2007)
  • Osama bin Laden is more symbolism than anything else. (Nov 2007)
  • Pledges to do everything possible to prevent Iranian nukes. (Nov 2007)
  • Stabilizing Iraq, and not leaving, is the right policy. (Oct 2007)
  • Iraq certainly had WMDs in the past & would have nukes now. (Oct 2007)
  • Ask Congress, even if not required, to attack Iran�s nukes. (Oct 2007)
  • FactCheck: Said Saddam had WMDs, but not at 2003 invasion. (Oct 2007)
  • Success cannot always be measured by battlefield victories. (Sep 2007)
  • World becomes more dangerous if we leave Iraq. (Aug 2007)
  • All wars are full of mistakes; trust General Petraeus. (Jun 2007)
  • Pre-emptive attack on Iran if close to nuclear weapon. (Jun 2007)
  • Iraq is a war between civilization and evil. (Jun 2007)
  • If we had not gone to Iraq, Saddam would be developing nukes. (Jun 2007)
  • I would do essentially what the president�s doing in Iraq. (Jun 2007)
  • Take any chance to not get run out of Iraq. (Jun 2007)
  • Internationalizing war effort will not win the war. (Jun 2007)
  • President must decide on war based on unclear evidence. (Jun 2007)
  • Prophets of doom are wrong--we can�t cut-and-run. (Jun 2007)
  • Goal of Iraqi enemies is to demoralize us. (Jun 2007)
  • Serious & painful international sanctions on nuclear Iran. (Jun 2007)
  • If world doesn�t stop Iran nukes, Israel will. (May 2007)
  • If Saddam were still around today, things would be worse. (Mar 2007)
  • We�re on the way to prevailing in Iraq for a safer US. (Jan 2006)

    Voting Record

  • Voting for the war then against funding is just poll-based. (Jun 2007)
  • Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq. (Oct 2002)
  • Voted YES on allowing all necessary force in Kosovo. (May 1999)
  • Voted NO on authorizing air strikes in Kosovo. (Mar 1999)
  • Voted YES on ending the Bosnian arms embargo. (Jul 1995)
  • Condemns anti-Muslim bigotry in name of anti-terrorism. (Oct 2001)
  • Move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. (Nov 1995)

Fred Thompson on Welfare & Poverty

  • 1990s welfare reform worked because it empowered states. (Sep 2007)
  • Voted YES on welfare block grants. (Aug 1996)
  • Voted NO on eliminating block grants for food stamps. (Jul 1996)
  • Voted YES on allowing state welfare waivers. (Jul 1996)
  • Voted YES on welfare overhaul. (Sep 1995)
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