December 27th, 2007
01:57 PM ET
7 years ago

Thompson on Pakistan: 'This is a war we're engaged in'

Watch Obama react to Bhutto's death

Watch Thompson react to Bhutto's death.

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson has weighed in on the death of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

“This is a war that we’re engaged in. It’s an international conflict,” said Thompson. “It’s a global conflict. Al Qaeda wants to bring Western civilization to its knees.”

Thompson also told reporters Thursday that he thinks “terrorism has never left the agenda” of the 2008 presidential race. “This is no time for on-the-job training,” added the former Tennessee senator, emphasizing the need for experience – a recurring theme in both the GOP and Democratic primary races.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. max burns

    Another actor speaks out. Sorry Fred, the sound bite doesn't work this
    time any better than when Ron took the stage, and he actually had more
    experience than you. Laid back Fred is dead on arrival.

    December 28, 2007 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  2. bobr

    I like Rudy. He's a tough, decisive, no-nonsense guy. However, I lived in NY in the pre 9/11 days. He was alternately confrontational and dismissive towards anyone that disagreed with him or was on the other side of the bargaining table. His battles with the head of the teachers union are legendary. For most of his 2 terms he was an extremely polarizing figure.

    Granted, that approach was, to some degree, necessary in NYC at that time and will always be, to a lesser degree, necessary in NYC, but I don't see that approach playing well on the national or international stage. So, it makes me wonder whether he's capable of changing his approach.

    December 28, 2007 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  3. sal lincoln nebraska

    Who let Thompson out of his cage??? Does anyone whos running for president know whats actually going on in Pakistan????? Where are they coming up with these ideas....Furthermore PEOPLE READ YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET LOOK UP SOMETHING AND STOP SPREADING AROUND LIES YOUR THE ONLY VICTIM HERE

    December 28, 2007 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  4. Independent in IA

    'Ol Thumbsucks right about one's no time for on the job training. Definately not time for some ham whose only real experience in Washington was sucking up to other lobbyists and lining his pockets with all their 'gifts' while he was a know-nothing, do-nothing Senator.

    December 28, 2007 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  5. Travis Sugarland, Texas

    8 years under Reagan were the best of times. Fred, the only conservative in the race, is what America needs. He is honest, competent, and understands what is at stake.

    One candidate wants to talk to the enemy. Another candidate feels that Mrs. Belichek is probably qualified to coach in the N.F.L., she is married to the Patriot coach. Huckabee deserves a stint on SNL.

    Fred for President!!!!!

    December 28, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Wow, I thought that Fred had left the race. I guess when he finally quits the race, he can go back to Law and Order should the writer's strike be over. I don't know what Fred can do now; like any of the other candidate could do anything more now either.

    It is ashame that Bhutto was murdered, but it was stated, by many people including her, that there was great danger in doing this. It showed her patriotism to her country.

    December 28, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Derrel

    Hello again.

    First, I want to thank Ann for her kind comments. They are very much appreciated.

    Next, I would like to address Katie's comments.

    Hi Katie, first thank you for supporting the troops as I do. Support from home is very important for our young men and women who are so far from home, regardless of our philosophical or political differences.

    As for the rest of your post, I'm afraid I have to respectfully disagree with you. While the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam war were fought for many reasons, the main thrust was to combat the spread of Communism which was, and is, a threat to our freedom by its own stated goals.

    Then there was the Gulf War. The Gulf war was fought to defend our allies against naked agression by a foreign enemy which directly affected our potential energy sources which are crucial to our way of life. There it is point blank, I won't candy coat it. Many will dance around the subject but the truth of the matter is that this country cannot currently function without the oil supplies from that region of the world. So, in essensce protecting that oil is, in effect, fighting for our freedom and way of life. To a lesser extent, an argument could be made that the war was fought due to treaty obligations to our allies in the region and that our country cannot stand alone and would quickly fall if it were to be abandoned by our allies, as we surely would be, if we failed to honor our treaty obligations.

    The current war is a global war on terror, most notably against radical islamic facism. The two current fronts on that war are Afganistan and Iraq. Al-Qaeda still has active groups in both countries and must be fought were they are, in my opinion, before they travel here...again.

    As for your third point, I believe that since the surge seems to be working in Iraq that our focus and resources will indeed shift more to Afganistan in the near future. However, I do not want to leave a mistaken impression, such as we are not supporting that conflict now. The truth of the matter is that the international community is providing much more help in Afganistan than they are in Iraq and that has, I believe, determined where our main resources have been focused to date.

    In all, thank you Katie for your well-spoken response, Though I do not agree with you, I value your opinion.

    To all the Thompson nay-sayers, please visit, read his "white papers" on his positions and principles, and make up your own mind. Also, with the exception of McCain (who has about the same experience) Thompson DOES have more foreign policy experience than the rest of the candidates and I believe that is experience that we will sorely need in the future. Even if we disagree, I respect your right to your own opinion, I just wish you would post with more constructive language, less cynacism, and less anger.

    To a. muhammad from Atlanta, you are mistaken sir. Al-qaeda has claimed responsibility for the assassination of Bhutto, just as Fred predicted they would. And, Al-Qaeda is definately what I would consider an "Islamic Terrorist" group. You also expressed your desire for us to "see the other side." Well said sir. However, you never presented the "other side" in your post. I encourage you do post your position and welcome the opportunity to respond to it in the future.

    To everyone friend and foe, have a great day!!!


    December 28, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Dennis

    The last thing America needs right now is to add more fuel to the fire! It's time to stop being the police of the world and take care of our OWN people Mr. Thompson!

    December 28, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Derrel

    Somehow, my last comment included a comma on the link to so the link will not work. Sorry about that. To everyone, I highly encourage you to do your own research on all the candidates before you cast a vote this election season. Dont believe everything the media has to say. Most of it seems to be "spun" or made up on the spot for entertainment or shock value. I have a very sad feeling that our next President will have to lead us through some VERY trying times. For me, after literally hundreds of hours of research, the choice is clear. Fred Thompson.


    December 28, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. Derrel

    Hi Dennis,

    Just a guess, but I think you are a Ron Paul supporter. I too, think Mr. Paul has several great ideas.

    Unfortunately, isolationism isn't one of them in my opinion.

    The sad reality is that we are living in a world where the radical islamic fascists seek to end our way of life and put us all under muslim rule. Simply retreating to our own shores will not save us from this threat. Quite the contrary, actually. If we do not engage the enemy where he is now, then he will engage us upon our own shores, within our own cities, with numbers, resources, and weapons unthinkable right now. If we let the enemy recruit, arm, and equip themselves without any hinderance, we are doomed.

    What America really needs are vigilance, fortitude, and unity.


    December 28, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
1 2