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December 13, 2007
Fred Explains his "Rebellion"
The only genuine moment from yesterday's debate was when moderator Washburn asked "for a show of hands" from the candidates on who believed global warming was "a serious threat" and caused by man.
Before any of the candidates played along with this schoolboy nonsense, Fred interrupted:
MR. THOMPSON: Well, do you want to give me a minute to answer that?
MS. WASHBURN: No, I don’t. I –
MR. THOMPSON: Well, then I’m not going to answer it. (Laughter, applause.)
MS. WASHBURN: Okay.
MR. HUCKABEE (?): How about 30 seconds?
MS. WASHBURN: No, I — you know, I want –
MR. THOMPSON: You want a show of hands, and I’m giving it to you.
Completely flustered, Washburn went on over the laughter and applause of the crowd.
Thompson explained why he rebelled against the moderator:
"I just decided that I wasn't going to engage in any of this monkey business that they like to engage us on sometimes -- making us look like trained monkeys reaching for peanut or something ... 30 seconds is brief enough and when they try to reduce your answer to just a hand raise -- I 'aint going to play that game," the former Tennessee senator said."Monkeybusiness" indeed. It was sophomoric and stupid. Some are comparing the incident to Ronald Reagan's famous moment in the New Hampshire debate of 1980 when the moderator tried to cut off his microphone only to have an angry Gipper grab the mike and shout "I'm paying for this microphone!" The impact on that campaign was electric and it propelled Reagan to a decisive win in New Hampshire.
I don't think that this incident will have quite the impact of the Reagan rebellion back then. But it just might light a fire under the Thompson campaign and give it momentum going into these final weeks of campaigning before the Caucuses on January 3.