The security of the United States will further weaken under a second term of President Barack Obama if he continues the same policies, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview, and said that radical Islamists sense weakness in the White House and are acting on it.
Thompson said that Obama is continuing down a road of appeasement that only emboldens America’s enemies.
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“We’ve had a history for several decades now of trying to demonstrate to the world that when things get tough, we become absent,” he said. “You can go back to the Khobar Towers, the Iranian hostage situation, you can come on down to our embassies in Mogadishu and Tanzania, the U.S.S. Cole, all of those things were done pretty much with impunity. The big change in our policies was after September 11th. The radical Islamists were stunned when we reacted the way we did but now we’re back to Obama.”
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Thompson continued, “The first thing he did in office was go down to Cairo and apologize for the West’s past misdeeds toward Islam and since that time, he’s been determined to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as possible for political reasons, not based on the facts on the ground or the fact that he’d be giving up hard-won gains in both of those places.
"And now, you can look at Syria, you can look at Iran and what they’re doing. It’s all been rhetoric. It’s all been United Nations related. It’s all been international community. It’s all been finally about sanctions, which are inconvenient for the Iranians but have nothing to do with their nuclear weapons program, so why wouldn’t [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad or anyone else in the world, the terrorists in the world, think that they could pretty much do what they want to do with impunity as long as this man is president?”
Thompson serves on the board of Secure America Now, an organization aimed at protecting our nation against terrorist infiltration, attack and capitulation to American enemies. Reacting to Ahmadinejad’s address to the United Nations, he called it “the same old same old.”
“I’m afraid that we have gotten so used to it that it’s lost its sense of outrage with regard to a lot of people. But they are a threat. They’re a threat to the world,” he said.
“They’re a specific threat, an immediate threat to Israel and they’re making no qualms about it right now. You know, they’re flaunting their new drone and really don’t seem to be trying to cover up what they’re doing very well. And we sit back and tell them that this won’t do and they can’t do that while we’re giving every indication that we have become weak with our decision-making and our resolve, across the board, internationally, and we’re very unlikely to do anything to stop them when they finally get to that stage where they are on the verge of creating a bomb.”
Thompson said Obama’s speech to the United Nations was geared more for an American audience than an international one.
“As far as the speech goes, part of it could have been given by George W. Bush or any number of other people,” he said. “Here, on the brink of election, where that’s obviously all the president is thinking about, he gave a speech that was designed more for American ears than the ears of the international community. He laid down some markers and things like that but, of course, he could have done more and he could have done a lot better in pointing out that the United States has been a force for peace in this world and sacrificed greatly for the freedom of others and made no apology for that.”
“But spending time on the so-called film that apparently nobody’s ever seen as a reason, if not an excuse, for the violence all across the Middle East and beyond only gives encouragement to those who use such things,” Thompson said.
Turning to domestic politics, Thompson hit back against the notion that Republican challenger Mitt Romney is trailing in key swing states, saying most polls are skewed toward Democrats.
Responding to Romney being shown as trailing in Florida and Ohio, Thompson said, “We don’t know anymore. These pollsters have made it so that Americans can’t really tell what to believe about.”
“It’s clear that the assumptions that you use going into these polls are extremely important and, from what we can find out, they’re basing their poll results on assumptions as to who’s going to turn out: Democrat, Republican and Independent. And they’re heavily skewed toward the Democrats.
“[Pollster Scott] Rasmussen, on the other hand, has it a dead even race. Gallup, in recent times, he’s had it about a dead even race. And a lot of these other polls are coming from CBS, The New York Times and The Washington Post and they’re trying to put this election away with early voting coming on now, even before the first debate and discouraging the turnout for Romney. So I don’t believe anything I read about polls.”
Thompson, who ran against Romney in the 2008 primary, said turnout is important and that in the end voters are choosing a vision.
“Turnout is going to be extremely important and that’s why it’s probably a dead even race,” he said. “There’s no question that the people who are concerned about the direction of this country are extremely highly motivated. From all indications, a lot of the motivation on Obama’s side which was there last time is not there this time. Now, the power of an incumbent president is not to be minimized. He can do things, like, for example, he has strong projects and force all over the state of Ohio. He announces a new project every couple of days and millions of dollars that the government is going to put into the state and all of that and he can certainly raise the money to support a big turnout, especially with early voting. So, that’s not to be minimized.”
He continued, “But, on the other hand, there are a lot of people who really think that we’re at a turning point in this country and that’s the overall, overarching issue as far as I’m concerned. What kind of country are we going to be? Are we going to be Western Europe? Or are we going to be the United States of America? We can’t continue on the direction that we’re continuing. This is not just a matter of current unemployment numbers as bad as they are, or current economic conditions overall. It’s about the direction of the country and whether or not we can continue to spend ourselves into thinking that prosperity is just right around the corner.”
Thompson said the notion that Romney is failing as a candidate should not be fully believed.
“You have to start out with the assumption that we don’t know how well he is doing,” he said. “He’s probably doing better than the pundits would have you believe or the polls would indicate, number one. But, you know, a candidacy is made up of a lot of different things. It’s made up of decision making, it’s made up of organization, it’s made up of money and the candidate himself and the message and what the people think about all of that.”
“A lot of people say that he ought to be more specific in his policies,” he went on. “I don’t necessarily subscribe to that. The policies he’s been specific about get distorted and used against him and created an outright fabrication such as that he’s the one who taxed the middle class.”
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On the chances of Republicans winning back the Senate, Thompson said it would be “extremely close.”
“There’s one or two turnovers that you can pretty much count on that will go from Democrat to Republican,” he said. “All of these races are pretty close. . . . Just the fact that they are so close with an incumbent president and the power of a national campaign and the coattails that one would think that Obama would have if he’s leading the way they say he is — it’s still a question of not just will we do well, but whether Republicans will actually take over the Senate. And most everybody acknowledges Republicans will, in all likelihood, keep the House. So that bodes pretty well across the board.”
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