September 3rd, 2008
10:20 AM ET
14 years ago

Thompson skewers Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Fred Thompson said Barack Obama is unprepared to be president."]

ST PAUL (CNN) - Barack Obama is wholly untested and unprepared to be president, former Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said Tuesday - the most pointed criticisms yet of the Democratic presidential nominee delivered at the scaled-back GOP convention.

"Democrats present a history making nominee for president," Thompson told the cheering crowd. "History making in that he is the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever run for president.

"Apparently they believe that he would match up well with the history making, Democrat controlled Congress," he continued in the prime-time speech. "History making because it's the least accomplished and most unpopular Congress in our nation's history."

Thompson, who abandoned his own presidential bid after poor showings in the first round of primaries early this year, also criticized the Illinois senator for comments at a recent faith forum during which he declined to say when he believed human life began.

"We need a president who doesn't think that the protection of the unborn or a newly born baby is above his pay grade," Thompson said in what was a clear reference to Obama's comments at a forum sponsored by Rick Warren last month.

Thompson faced criticism during his own presidential run when a YouTube clip of a 1994 Senate debate showed Thompson declaring, "The ultimate decision on abortion should be left with the woman and not the government."

It was also revealed Thompson once lobbied for an abortion-rights group.

soundoff (382 Responses)
  1. jack

    talk about the most unexperiamced VP you guys choose not Obama he has a judgment and experiance is Biden so its a perfect ticket toooooooooo meeeeeeeeeee. Mccain and Palin what is wrong with you guys

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  2. Diana

    I have really enjoyed watching both the democratic and republican conventions. I was truly saddened tonight by the biased attacks that were made by the moderators on TV. I would really like to be able to form my own opinions, but it is extremely difficult when the media can not allow Americans to do this. I did not notice this type of pettiness with the democratic convention. Sadly I am going to choose a different network to watch the remainder of this convention.

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  3. Annie R.

    Seriously, the irrelevant Fred (gonna save the day) Thompson? He didn't even get a nod from his party, and he's attacking the Democratic presidential nominee. What is happening to the Republican Party? President Eisenhower would be ashamed to see this spectacle.

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  4. JT Force

    Why don't you comment on Mr. Thompson pointing out the media bias against Sarah Palin. I would love to see the media go after Obama for all of his shady dealings with an unrepentant terrorist as hard as they go after Sarah Palin's teenage daughter.

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  5. brenda

    I really think that Fred Thompson is a great actor. He sure showed it tonight. I can't keep watching though. I am getting sick.....

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  6. LT for Obama

    Oops, I meant of his own candidate's inadequacies.

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  7. dingle

    The average age at this convention has to be around 68!

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  8. Sorin

    I don't know if I would take an actor turned senator turned actor's words seriously. He couldn't seriously win a state during the primaries. why all of the sudden what he says is so important.

    I am an independent. I heard Obama's speech, and he said tax cuts for middle to low income families and small business. How Thompson twists his words to get the crowd going. Most top 5% wouldn't know see significant tax increase but those increase would have significant impact for the low income.

    I am sick and tired of all the word twisting, and personal attacks I am seeing from the right and to some extent from the left. Can we get back to the politics where most of the americans can benefit from who ever becomes the president, and not just the few who knows someone in or around the white house. Even third world countries have a better election process. We the people need to stand up for our rights and ask the candidates to run on a platform of honesty and relevance and none of the drama.

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  9. gene

    First off... all these repubs making the "above the paygrade comments" are just showing the world that they have no power of comprehention. When someone asks a philisophical question like "when does life begin?"... Obama's answer just meant that only God truly knows. Now.. if the repubs feel that they are godly enough to know the answer to a question which is purely speculative... that's fine. But this mis-interpretation just shows the level of intelligence of the republican party.

    And... in mention of the democratically controlled congress.. it's only a tiny advantage for the democrats, and Bush holding the power to veto... which is means that a little over half just isn't enough... and Bush has used that power to Veto quite a few times lately.

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  10. Happy Smiley

    CNN moderator – regardless of whether you continue to block my comments, my vote will count 100%. Let's see you keep this one.

    MAIN TAKE-AWAY FROM RNC: George Bush's speech tonight was truly representative of what the country's focus will be if John McCain is elected president. Our leadership will 'miss the point' for the next 4 years.

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. S. Boatman

    If Only You Could Have Delivered A Speech Like That When You Were Running For President . . . But You Were A Part Of History . . . A History In Which Your Campaign Was So Lame Your Horse Never Got Out Of The Gate!

    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  12. AA

    This keeps getting funnier.
    Fred Thompson?

    C'mon seriously. Some of you are actually going to vote for Republicans?

    Listen, I have respect for those that deserve it (Thompson is not one of them), but there is a big difference between having respect and choosing people to make decisions on the direction of the country.

    Let me remind you 10 trillion times at what voting for these people did
    to the country.


    September 2, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  13. Duop from Colorado

    Thompson's speech was like an action-movie.

    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  14. Ivette

    I have been watching the Republican convention, and the more time that goes by the more offended I become. I am a woman, my father was a Korean War veteran, and I worked for the Department of Defense, including the Navy SEALS, for many years - I was there during the Panama invasion in 1989! However, the Republicans have taken it upon themselves to market service members and fallen heroes as exclusively their own! The way they have portrayed "Service" for the nation during this convention, especially Senator Thompson, blatantly and falsely implies that only Republicans are patriotic and that service members are only Republicans. Shame on the Republican marketing team! The only right thing they have accomplished with this marketing strategy is to alienate those of us who have served our country and have not felt represented by this Republican administration to begin with!!!! Why don't they talk about the real issues??? "It's the economy, stupid!"

    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  15. Democrat

    Good rhetoric, nice sound byte but sadly still not focusing on the key issue which divide the voters in this country – the economy!

    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. nadeem

    Can't play the experience card with Palin on the ticket.

    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  17. Wayne

    The tribute to John McCain was great and the jabs at Obama were well placed but the question still remains, what will John McCain do to fix the mess the country is in? Just telling me he is a candidate with great character doesn't make me want to vote for him any more. I already know he's a man that risked his life for his country.

    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  18. suv2001

    I honestly do not believe this was a great speech. His delivery was slow and he showed his age. I thought he would have been harder on Obama.

    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  19. Tish,NC

    Who Cares!! Besides no one really voted for him in the primaries! He's an actor!! I saw him do the same thing on an Episode of Law & Order!! These old guys are funny!!!LOL!!


    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  20. j in w

    with all that detail about mccain's POW experience (i never knew he was a POW before this, by the way), he was wise to skip ahead afterward; going into such gritty detail about his first wife wouldn't have done much for his illustration of john mccain's "character"

    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  21. mark

    I noticed Mr. Thomspons forgot to mention how the debt increased to record levels with the republicans controlling the executive and legislative branches. I guess he forgot that part.

    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  22. Bobby from MS

    WHO CARES!!! HE WAS 100% CORRECT!!!!!!!


    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  23. Zeb Minas

    Isn't it interesting that Fred Thompson so forcefully criticized Obama for his statement on protection for the unborn, when he declared in 1994 during a Senate debate that he is pro-choice.

    September 2, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  24. An American voter

    ibity ibity , that's all folks.

    September 2, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  25. Jack Crystal

    he himself said "The ultimate decision on abortion should be left with the woman and not the government." Whats wrong with republicans? Are they all idiots or they think people are idiots?

    September 2, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
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