Phil, I think there is a reason why Fred has not had or scheduled a full open press conference or a “Ask Fred” type townhall. Actually there are two reasons. First, he doesn’t yet have specific answers to standard questions(what is your tax plan? what’s your biggest accomplishment in the Congress?). Second, he has had his share of flubs already when talking without a script (e.g. Cuban immigrants are a security threat, OBL deserves due process, previous confusion generated about his marriage amendment position from his John King interview, his encounter with Laura Ingraham on the McCain Feingold issue ad ban). Could he get better? Of course and he’ll have to but right now that’s not his forte and that’s why he’s wise –for a little while — to avoid situations where he will appear out of his depth. As for him being a more effective foil for Romney, I think the more challengers in the race seeking to face off against Rudy the worse for all of them. Not only Thompson but also Huckabee will be a frequent thorn in Romney’s side. The fun will come because both Romney and his staff have gotten a lot of practice in defending themselves and a less than quick tongued opponent will be at a disadvantage.
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