October 9th, 2007
04:20 PM ET
11 years ago

Former actor marks debate debut with dramatic pause

The first question of Tuesday's debate was directed at Fred Thompson.

(CNN) – It was just a few seconds that may normally have gone unnoticed, but since Tuesday’s presidential debate in Dearborn, Michigan, marked former Sen. Fred Thompson’s first joint appearance with his GOP White House rivals, all eyes and ears were trained on the Tennessee Republican’s every word . . . and in some cases his pauses.

Thompson was asked in the debate’s lead-off question whether he believed the nation was headed towards a recession.

“I think there is no reason to believe that we’re headed into a recession,” he began his response. “We’re enjoying 22 quarters of successive economic growth that started 2001 then further in 2003 with the tax cuts that we put in place. We’re enjoying low inflation. We’re enjoying low unemployment. Stock market seems to be doing pretty well.”

He continued by saying, “I see no reason to believe we're headed for," and then took what a former television and movie actor might call a dramatic pause that lasted for several seconds before completing his thought with “for an economic downturn."

Thompson concluded his inaugural presidential debate question with his analysis of the nation’s economic future and answered a follow-up question on the causes of consumer angst.

The former senator officially announced his candidacy last month just hours after the last Republican debate ended. He received criticism from his rivals for skipping that event.

–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Fred Thompson • Michigan
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. James, Nashville, TN

    I don't think he knows what he is doing.

    October 9, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Frank Honolulu HI

    He's lost. So much for a snappy candidate. Is he really a legitimate candidate?

    October 9, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. IsThisTheFreakinTwilightZone

    Maybe you should stick to your day job, Thompson. Of course, most of the other candidates will lie through their teeth to tell the public that there is no problem with the economy. Things are just fine and dandy!

    Why then is the US dollar in free fall?

    Why is real inflation soaring (not that Core CPI excluding food and energy and using substitutions propaganda)?

    Why are retail sales falling?

    What about the deficit and the immense national debt?

    Of course, the stockmarket is looks great until you compare it to the cost of commodities and suddenly it isn't worth crap.

    October 9, 2007 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. Rodney Dallas TX

    What a flake! He will not win so go back to L&O.

    October 9, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Lisa Ling, Dallas, TX

    Can we say.... ZERO. That's what this guy rates... ZERO.

    October 9, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. Mike. Tigard, Oregon

    It was not for dramatic effect. He had the look of a man just realizing what he'd done. It's one thing to talk and another to come on stage with the other boys... At that point in time, Mr. Thompson simply forgot the word "recession."

    No biggie. But don't tell me it was a "dramatic pause" or imply that it was deliberately done.

    October 9, 2007 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. Joe, Florida

    A dramatic pause, that's cute.

    What does he think he's doing? Doesn't he realize people take that the right way, that is for how stupid it is.

    October 10, 2007 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  8. Jo, Atlanta GA

    This is a face only a mother will love. Boy he looks...u..

    October 10, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Chris, FL

    Ahh, yeah. This probably wasn't the best idea.

    October 10, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Mike Dallas Tx

    I am going to create the Ann Coulter bat. Three swings for a dollar.

    October 12, 2007 08:16 am at 8:16 am |