Thompson, the Morning After

By Lindsey Ellerson

Jan 11, 2008 1:46pm

ABC News’ Christine Byun Reports: After a night of offensive swings at former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee during Thursday’s Republican debate in South Carolina, GOP candidate Fred Thompson started his day with a replay of his criticisms of the fellow Southerner.

"The truth has to be told and that is, we’re making a decision in the Republican party," Thompson told reporters in Georgetown, S.C. "Are we going to adhere to the principles of the Reagan Coalition of limited government and strong security and national defense, or are we going to go into a more liberal mode?"

The former Tennessee Senator said he’s on "one side of the divide, and the Governor is on the other."

As Thompson toured the town of Georgetown, he was enveloped by several well-wishers who cooed over his performance at last night’s debate.
At a diner in Surfside, when asked why he chose to go after Huckabee at Thursday night’s debate, the former Senator said he was defending the "heart and soul of the Republican party." He slammed "populist rhetoric," saying it led to "bigger government" and went against the grain of the GOP’s ideals.

"I mean, I can ‘out’ poorboy any of them. I grew up in more modest circumstances than any of them on that stage," said Thompson, who was raised in a small Tennessee town. "But I grew up in a free country where I knew if I behaved myself, I had a chance at the American dream."

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