On Tuesday of this week, I got together with Fred Thompson's campaign manager, Bill Lacy, for a phone interview. What follows is the transcript of our conversation, which has been edited for grammar, clarity, and brevity.
Fred has been accused, fairly or unfairly, of being lazy. With that in mind, how does the level of activity in Fred's campaign match up to that of his opponents? In other words, is he working as hard as Mitt, Rudy, McCain and Company?
I think that characterization of Fred is probably one of the single most unfair things I have seen in my career in politics. Fred is a very hard worker. He is a very measured and thoughtful guy. He is not prone to run out and make decisions or do things without thinking about them, but he works very hard...
In let's say, raw appearances. Is he making as many appearances in front of groups per day as say Mitt or Rudy? Is he hitting as many states as say McCain or Huckabee?
To be honest with you, I have not measured that, per se. Most everything I have seen indicates that we are definitely competitive....There was a piece done...a couple of weeks ago...where they took a two week schedule and compared everybody and...
Fred came in 2nd on that one?
That's exactly right.
I know which one you're talking about (Link here)
...There are periods of time when we are focusing on fund raising or preparing for debates and we're not going to be quite as visible as the other guys. If you're Governor Romney, you don't have to do fund raisers if you don't want to and the same goes, I think, for the mayor to a certain extent.
Fred was raising money at a clip far higher than that of any of his rivals at the end of the third quarter. Is that still continuing? Do you expect Fred to raise more money than any of the other Republican candidates in the 4th quarter?
No, I don't expect that we'll raise more than any of the other candidates. I think that we will be competitive. I think that Governor Romney has pretty much set a pattern of waiting until the end and contributing to his campaign whatever amount he needs to have raised the most that quarter.
But, to be honest with you, John, and I am pretty consistent, you can find quotes to this effect out there, I honestly do not believe that money is going to be determinate in this campaign. I think if you look at the current status of the race, with Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney and where they stand nationally, that's the most clear indication....
Read the rest at the link.
Fred is working just as hard, no harder than the rest of them. On top of doing just as many appearances as the rest of them, he has come out with specific policies on several important issues. I think the regular people are starting to pay attention now, so things are going to start changing fast.
Win, Fred, Win