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Thumbs up for McCain, Palin

Former US Senator Fred Thompson leads the charge with a call to “step up, stand up and put ‘Country First’ with John McCain," reports V Krishna.

world Updated: Sep 03, 2008 23:14 IST
V Krishna

It’s business as usual again.

On the second day of their national convention, the Republicans shed the restraint brought on by Hurricane Gustav and returned to what such gatherings usually do: rally the ranks and attack the opposition.

Former US Senator Fred Thompson led the charge Tuesday night with a call to “step up, stand up and put ‘Country First’ with John McCain.”

He disputed the Democrats' contention that America was in the doldrums. "We know that we have challenges ... always have, always will," he said. "But we also know that we live in the freest, strongest, most generous and prosperous nation in the history of the world and we are thankful."

Character, courage and service to country were three of Thompson's themes. While being a prisoner of war doesn't qualify anyone to be President, it does reveal character, he said. "It's pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves, 'Who is this man?' and 'Can we trust this man with the Presidency?'"

In a dig at Democratic nominee Barack Obama's message, Thompson said, "We hear a lot of talk about hope. John McCain knows about hope. That's all he had to survive on (while he was a POW)."

McCain the Maverick is not intimidated by what the polls say or by what is politically safe or popular, Thompson said. He cited actions such as McCain's support for the US troop surge in Iraq and his opposition to his hero Ronald Reagan's proposal to put US troops in Beirut.

In contrast, Thompson said, "the Democrats present a history making nominee for president. History making in that he is the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever run for President." Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress would take on the urgent challenges facing the United States "with protectionism, higher taxes and an even bigger bureaucracy."

Thompson described vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin as a breath of fresh air. "She is from a small town, with small town values, but that's not good enough for those folks who are attacking her and her family." The media were chastised for reports about her 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy.

''God only made one John McCain, and he is his own man,'' said Senator Joseph Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee.