Fred Thompson: Bio, Five Little Known Facts & His Political Beliefs

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Fred Thompson entered the 2008 Presidental race today via webcast on his site I’m With Fred. To better understand one of the leading Republican candidates in ’08 I’ve included a quick bio, 5 Little-Known Fred Facts, an overview of his political stances and a photo gallery.

See it all after the jump!…

I. Bio

Frederick Dalton “Fred” Thompson (born August 19, 1942) is an American politician, lawyer, lobbyist, and character actor. He represented Tennessee as a Republican in the U.S. Senate from 1994 through 2003.

Thompson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, specializing in national security and intelligence. He resides in McLean, Virginia near Washington, D.C.

As an actor, Thompson has performed in film and on television. He has frequently portrayed governmental figures. In the final months of his U.S. Senate term in 2002, Thompson joined the cast of the long-running NBC television series Law & Order, playing New York City District Attorney Arthur Branch.

On May 30, 2007, Fred Thompson asked to be released from his television duties, potentially in preparation for a presidential bid. Then on June 1, 2007 he formed a presidential exploratory committee regarding his possible 2008 campaign for President. On August 30 his aides revealed that he will enter the presidential race on September 6th.

II. Five Fred Facts

1. In highschool worked at the local post office and worked nights at a bicycle assembly plant
2. Was the first family member to go to college. Graduating from University of Memphis where he earned a double-major in philosophy and political science in 1964.
3. Served as co-chief counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of the Watergate scandal, (1973–1974).
4. His question “What did the President know, and when did he know it?” led to the downfall of Richard Nixon.
5. Thompson met Republican consultant Jeri Kehn on July 4, 1996, they were married shortly after.. she is 35 years his junior and a hottie.

III. His Views

a. As a Federialist
Thompson has said that federalism was his “lodestar” in the Senate, providing “a basis for a proper analysis of most issues: ‘Is this something government should be doing? If so, at what level of government?'” Thompson views federalism as both a matter of good sense, as well as a feature of the federal Constitution:

“Our government, under our Constitution, was established upon the principles of Federalism — that the federal government would have limited enumerated powers and the rest would be left to the states. It not only prevented tyranny, it just made good sense. States become laboratories for democracy and experiment with different kinds of laws. One state might try one welfare reform approach, for example. Another state might try another approach. One would work and the other would not. The federal welfare reform law resulted from just this process. Federalism also allows for the diversity that exists among the country’s people. Citizens of our various states have different views as to how traditional state responsibilities should be handled. This way, states compete with each other to attract people and businesses — and that is a good thing.”

b. His Views
Thompson asserted that tax cuts mean growth: “Because of lower rates, money is being invested in our economy instead of being sheltered from the taxman. Greater investment has created overall economic strength. Job growth is robust, overcoming trouble in the housing sector; and the personal incomes of Americans at every income level are higher than they’ve ever been.”

Thompson supports free trade and globalization.

Thompson supported a partial privatization plan for Social Security during the 1990s

Thompson describes himself as pro-life, and says the legality of abortion in the United States should be determined at the state level.

Thompson has addressed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues:

  • Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.
  • Voted YES on the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
  • Voted NO on a federal bill that would have prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • Does not support amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, preferring to allow individual states to decide the matter for themselves.

Thompson believes that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right, rather than a power granted to government-controlled militias

Thompson believes that U.S. borders should be secured before considering comprehensive immigration reform:

“The government could start by securing our nation’s borders. A sovereign nation that can’t do that is not a sovereign nation. This is secondarily an immigration issue. It’s primarily a national security issue. We were told twenty years ago if we produced a comprehensive solution, we’d solve the illegal immigration problem. Twelve million illegals later, we’re being told that same thing again.”

Thompson believes that terrorists started a war against Western civilization and that this war will not end until the terrorists are defeated:

“The Western world is in an international struggle with jihadists who see this struggle as part of a conflict that has gone on for centuries, and who won’t give up until Western countries are brought to their knees. … I believe that the forces of civilization must work together with common purpose to defeat the terrorists who for their own twisted purposes have murdered thousands, and who are trying to acquire technology to murder millions more.”

He prefers diplomacy but believes that diplomacy must be backed up by a willingness to use force when necessary. “Today our enemies do not doubt our military strength. They do question our determination.”

IV. Photo Gallery

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