Tommy Thompson at ITR/ICA event

The hall is sparsely populated.  Apparently it’s a nice summer day outside.

Each candidate has been given 20 minutes to speak and then if they don’t answer all the questions the sponsoring organizations want them to have covered, they’ll be grilled by a couple of people from the sponsoring organizations (Iowans for Tax Relief, Iowa Christian Allianace) for an additional 10 minutes.  Iowans for Tax Relief founder Dave Stanley is talking about all the rules right now.  (There are a fair amount of rules for a group of Republicans who normally rail against red tape.)

"I lower taxes.  I don’t increase ’em."  That’s how former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson began. He’s kind of yelling, so it’s hard to understand all of his words with the huge echo.   

"I believe a marriage should be between a husband and a wife," TT said. The crowd applauded.

Next up:  immigration reform.  Thompson began by talking about secure borders.  "We will have that barrier completed within the first 100 days I am president," Thompson promised the crowd.

"I believe very much in that Fair Tax,: Thompson said.

After covering the key issues the sponsoring groups asked the candidates to cover, Thompson launched into his biography.  It includes an anecdote about buying underwear and toiletries for himself at Wal-Mart.

Thompson then detailed his plan for Iraq, shifted into the changes he’d make in "foreign diplomacy."  He briefly touched on health care reform.

"Nobody has spent more time in Iowa going around and meeting the people….I am the…Republican true fiscal conservative," Thompson said.

He talked about being married "to the same woman" for 38 years, then talked about being pro-life.  His pro-life declaration was applauded by the crowd.

He talked about building up the National Guard….got some applause.  Thompson outlined his plan for bringing down the federal deficit. 

He closed by joking about Iowa versus Wisconsin football rivalry. 

"As my mother said, never leave without giving the Irish prayer…may God hold you in the palm of his hand.  God love you and God love the United States of America."

Iowans for Tax Relief’s Stanley asked a couple of specific questions about taxes.  Steve Sheffler of the Iowa Christian Alliance asked a stem cell question.

Thompson began by saying he’d helped write President Bush’s proposal. "I’m absolutely opposed to the destruction of human embryos," Thompson replied, to applause.

Stanley returned to the Fair Tax.  In his answer, Thompson said it’s time to take a dull ax to the federal tax code "like Steve Forbes said."  Actually, that’s rival Sam Brownback’s line and Brownback wants to take the code back behind the barn to do the deed.  Steve Forbes wanted to drive a stake through the heart of the tax code. 

Final question was about immigration:  first you’ve got to build the barrier, Thompson said, but then he said you have to have what he referred to as a "non-tamper-proof ID card."

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.