LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The main event during Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate in Michigan is Fred Thompson’s debate debut.
The former Republican senator and “Law & Order” star’s plan is to assert himself as the “common sense, consistent conservative” and harken back, as he does on the campaign trail, to his place in the Class of 1994 that led the Republicans to their historic capture of the House and the Senate.
Look for rivals, though, to question the credibility of Thompson’s effort to place himself in the shadow of Ronald Reagan during the debate, which is sponsored by CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, the Michigan Republican Party, and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Already, rivals have suggested he was more of a centrist in the Senate — in their view someone who put concerns about balancing the budget ahead of any zeal for trusting tax cuts to eventually lead to more government revenues.
And several vague statements Thompson made as he explored the race could come into play.
Thompson, for example, has said he believes all options should be considered when the government looks at major problems. He is on record as saying he believes it would be wrong to absolutely rule out a gas tax increase as part of any major energy package, or a tax increase of some sort as part of major reforms designed to shore up Social Security.