November 29th, 2007
05:10 PM ET
15 years ago

Thompson says ad wasn’t negative

Sen. Fred Thompson said ad was a favor to rivals.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) - During the CNN/YouTube debate on Wednesday, former Sen. Fred Thompson made waves by becoming the first Republican candidate to air a negative attack ad in the 2008 race.

Each candidate was asked to produce a 30-second YouTube-style ad to air during the debate, but unlike his opponents’, Thompson’s didn’t feature himself. Instead, it went after Mitt Romney for changing his views on abortion and Mike Huckabee for his tax policy while governor of Arkansas.

Asked why he felt the need to make a negative ad, Thompson replied, “It’s interesting to me that it’s considered to be a negative ad when you play somebody else’s words.” He added, “The point is that time and time again with regards to Mayor Giuliani and Gov. Romney and Gov. Huckabee, their positions today are different than positions that they’ve had throughout their political careers.”

Thompson argued that by drawing a contrast between past and present, he was helping the public come to a decision about the candidates, “I thought that I was doing [the candidates] a favor letting the audience see their own words, not something that I said about them.”

Immediately following the airing of the clip, Romney responded, as he has many times on the campaign trail, that he was wrong on abortion. Since the debate, Huckabee has asserted that the clip of him was taken out of context.

- CNN Nevada Producer Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Brian. Marietta GA

    Iam tired of politcal opponents attacking each other for changing there minds on issues. ALL people change over time and there perception of things as well. I know that my views on many things have changed in just the past year.

    November 29, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  2. Jim in Orlando, FL

    Again, as a lifelong Republican, I have to acknowledge that while Fred is a good man, he is also a Fizzle. Give us a reason to vote FOR YOU Fred, not reason to vote against others. Day late, dollar short.

    November 29, 2007 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  3. Jack P, Detroit, MI

    Typical Thompson, no good ideas of his own so he is attacking others. We don't need more politicians like him, too many already.

    November 29, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  4. chris, Chicago, IL

    This guy was on Law and Order. I'm pretty sure that is a pretty respectable show and that that gives him the right to run a campaign even though he looks like a horse.

    November 30, 2007 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  5. Mark, Murray utah

    Fred's ad was an attack ad. Nobody is fooled if he says it isn't.

    November 30, 2007 04:12 am at 4:12 am |
  6. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    The ad was pathetic and in poor taste and certainly negative, and negative is how the analysts are describing Thompson's campaign.

    November 30, 2007 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  7. Claudette, TX

    Honesty....I love it! The others can't handle the truth OF THEIR OWN WORDS SPOKEN BY THEMSELVES when someone else has the guts to show it to them and the public. They've been doing it to this is just a case of "what's good for the goose.."!! I love it!

    If the truth of what you said comes back to stare you in the face, most people would consider that an attack ad. Well, the truth hurts!

    Guard yourselves! It's only going to get more interesting!

    November 30, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It could be seen as an attack ad easily(it was). I think it became a negative ad when it mentioned that conservatives need to stick to their principles.

    November 30, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Michael, Boise

    No good ideas. Obviously you haven't looked at any of his policy statements. His has more clearly defined statements than any other candidate, republican or democrat, and in the minds of experts on fiscal, national and international polciy the plans are better than anybody elses. It's unfortunate that politics and nothing to do with actual policies these day.

    November 30, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Kim, Midland MI

    NOT ONE of the Republican candidates followed instructions – they all deserve and F. They were asked to create a YouTube style ad, not just post their regular TV ads. I guess I am not at all surprised that they don't get it –

    But in school, at work, heck everywhere, you are expected to FOLLOW the DIRECTIONS. Why couldn't any of these men follow directions and show at least a microgram of understanding of the Internet revolution. These guys probably don't even know how to open their own email.

    November 30, 2007 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    I don't get it… Fred and Mitt are playing the most games before even getting elected. Do we really want people who

    1. don't have experience
    2. fight among themselves while saying we have to "unite"
    3. use personal attacks in place of personal successes

    November 30, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |