Political Junkie: Fred Thompson's Debut

In this edition of the Political Junkie Ken Rudin, NPR's political editor, discusses Fred Thompson's debut in Tuesday's Republican presidential debate. He also takes a look at the latest Iowa polls, and Michigan's upcoming primary.

Ken Rudin, NPR's political editor; writes the "Political Junkie" column and has a weekly podcast called "It's All Politics"

Sparks Fly at Thompson's Rookie Debate

Listen to our coverage, Ron Paul's moment

Thompson Standard i i

Former Sen. Fred Thompson makes his GOP presidential debate debut in Dearborn, Mich. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Thompson Standard

Former Sen. Fred Thompson makes his GOP presidential debate debut in Dearborn, Mich.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Actor and former Senator Fred Thompson appeared in his first Republican presidential debate Wednesday, in Dearborn, Michigan.

Thompson said he felt right at home, but made only a middling showing, says MSNBC's David Shuster. "He was still a little bit disjointed last night, and I think that's a problem," Shuster argues.

Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney attacked each other taxes and spending. At one point, Romney suggested that lawyers could sort out whether President George Bush would need approval from Congress to take military action against Iran. Ron Paul thundered back, "This idea of going and talking to attorneys totally baffles me. Why don't we just open up the Constitution and read it?"

In other election news, five Democratic contenders took their names off Michigan's primary ballot. That state rescheduled its primary for Jan. 15, before traditional early-goers Iowa and New Hampshire, drawing the ire of the party's national leadership. Candidates Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden and Dennis Kucinich all pulled out of the Michigan contest. Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd stayed in.

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