Do they have transcripts of "Law & Order," too?

Fred Thompson says he didn't say the economic outlook was "rosy," and nobody was talking about a recession when he didn't. He did, and they were.


Tim Grieve
January 17, 2008 1:14AM (UTC)

On CNN's "American Morning" Wednesday, reporter Kiran Chetry asked Fred Thompson if he has changed his mind since declaring, at a debate in October, that the U.S. economic outlook was "rosy."

"I hate to start off with a correction," Thompson replied, "but I've never used the term outlook rosy as far as the economy is concerned."

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Chetry told Thompson that he had, in fact, declared both the "short term" and "10-year projections" for the nation's economic prosperity "rosy" during a candidates' debate in Dearborn, Mich., on Oct. 9. But the candidate stuck to his guns. "A 10-year projection is rosy? No, I've been saying that if you look down the road a little bit, it's disastrous. The -- the short term looks OK, in terms of our overall economic well-being. We were not talking about a recession in that discussion that we were having there in Michigan. We were talking about the economy in general."

From the actual debate transcript:

Question: The economy is America's greatest strength. In a recent poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, two-thirds of the American people said that we are either in a recession or headed toward one. Do you agree with that? And, as president, what will you do to ensure [economic] vibrancy in this country?

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Thompson: We're enjoying low inflation. We're enjoying low unemployment. The stock market seems to be doing pretty well. I see no reason to believe we're headed for an economic downturn.

As far as the economic prosperity of the future is concerned, I think it's a different story. I think if you look at the short term, it's rosy. I think if you look at a 10-year projection, it's rosy.

But we are spending money we do not have. We are on a mandatory spending lockdown that is pushing us in a direction that is unsustainable. We're spending the money of future generations, and those yet to be born. That has to do with our mandatory spending problem.

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Everyone knows that we have to address that. And it's the fundamental and foremost challenge, I think, facing our country economically.

Question: Senator, you painted a very nice picture. The Dow and the S&P 500 today at new highs -- tonight -- record numbers. And, yet, two-thirds of the people surveyed said we are either in a recession or headed for one. Why the angst?

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Thompson: Well, I think there are pockets in the economy that, certainly, they're having difficulty. I think they're certainly -- those in Michigan that are having difficulty. I think you always find that in a vibrant, dynamic economy. I think that not enough has been done to tell what some call the "greatest story never told," and that is that we are enjoying a period of growth right now and we should acknowledge what got us there and continue those same policies on into the future.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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