Fred Thompson arrived in Texas last week for one of his iconic meet-and-greets—put on a cowboy hat, sling some words, dodge a 9/11 Truther, take the next flight home. During the scrum one of the Fair Tax campaigners (the people who want the IRS toppled and replaced with a 23 percent sales tax) asked Thompson "If the House and Senate pass the Fair Tax bill do you feel right now that you would sign it? Here's what he said.
You can't write it off as a presidential candidate making nice with a goofy group because five other candidates have said "yes" to that question and stuck by it: John McCain, Tommy Thompson, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and Mike Huckabee. (Huckabee has proposed a "fair tax" and some loopholes to make the whole system "family friendly" in a shameless bid for the barefoot and pregnant vote.) Frankly, I'm not inclined to write it off because we need some sort of debate about tax policy. Six of the eleven GOP candidates want a national sales tax and a seventh (Ron Paul) wants to abolish the IRS? Why are we wasting debate time asking these guys "what you most dislike about America?" or "what you think of Bill Clinton being back in the White House?"
Oh, and it's yet another Thompson blunder that the campaign could have answered or killed off days ago and is instead leaking into a slow news cycle. You might want to stick with your Rudy Giuliani stock.