ABC News’ Christine Byun Reports: Republican candidate Fred Thompson went down the line of his South Carolina GOP competitors Wednesday and described his differences with them.
"We have some Johnny-come-lately’s now that don’t want to talk about their record and they’re hoping there’s not enough time for anybody to even examine them,” Thompson told a crowd at a campaign stop in Abbeville, South Carolina.
Thompson may have been referring to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who focused his campaign on Michigan before yesterday’s primary, and who has refocused his efforts in the Palmetto State and Nevada in the lead up to Saturday’s votes.
During the event, a man asked Thompson to differentiate himself from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Arizona Senator John McCain.
Thompson described fellow Southerner Huckabee as "very articulate, very witty, but does not like to answer questions about his record." He called the former Governor “weak” on the issue of illegal immigration and again railed against his endorsement from the New Hampshire National Education Association, a teachers’ union.
“Is he proud of that endorsement?” Thompson asked rhetorically.
Of his "personal friend," and former Senate colleague, John McCain, Thompson said he would “never forget” McCain’s service to the country. However, he said he disagreed with McCain on tax cuts and immigration, particularly his support for last year’s failed immigration reform.
“When I saw him join forces with Senator [Ted] Kennedy on that, I knew that he was wrong track and he was, and the American people said so,” Thompson said.
While he was not asked about rival Mitt Romney, in his response, Thompson also threw some more barbs at the former Governor of Massachusetts for “tailoring” his message to Michigan residents.
"He basically promised the federal government would come in and bail out Michigan when he got elected President – very conservative notion, don’t you think?” Thompson asked facetiously.