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Thompson, Rommey on CS flag



November 29, 2007

Romney, Thompson criticize Confederate flag

Leroy Brooks from Houston, Texas asked the candidates what they thought the Confederate flag represents.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) — Former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney both criticized the Confederate flag during the CNN/YouTube debate on Wednesday.

The flag happens to be hoisted on the Statehouse grounds in the early primary state of South Carolina, where both candidates are leading in polls.

The candidates were asked by YouTube user Leroy Brooks from Houston, Texas if "this flag right here represents the symbol of racism, a symbol of political ideology, a symbol of Southern heritage — or, is it something completely different?"

"I know that everybody who hangs the flag up in their room like that is not racist," said Thompson, who has played up his southern roots while campaigning in South Carolina. "I also know that for a great many Americans it's a symbol of racism."

Thompson added that, "as far as a public place is concerned, I am glad that people have made the decision not to display it as a prominent flag, symbolic of something, at a state capitol."

But the Confederate flag in South Carolina's state capital is in a very public place — located on the Statehouse grounds along Gervais Street in Columbia, next to the Confederate Soldier Monument.

It was moved there from atop the Statehouse dome in 2000 after an explosive national debate between supporters of the flag, who see it as a symbol of southern heritage, and opponents, who regard it as a symbol of slavery. After months of demonstrations, the state legislature moved the flag off the dome as a compromise.

Sen. John McCain, in the midst of his 2000 presidential bid during the flag controversy, did not call for the flag to be removed from the dome, although he later said he regretted his inaction, calling it a "sacrifice of principle for personal ambition." McCain was not asked about the flag during CNN/YouTube debate.

On Nov. 6, Thompson held a campaign event on the Statehouse grounds, just yards from the flag.

Thompson said Wednesday that using the flag in the context of a memorial — as it is used in Columbia — is acceptable.

"As a part of a group of flags or something of that nature, you know, honoring various service people at different times in different parts of the country, I think that's different," he said.

(Thompson's campaign spokesman Todd Harris said after the debate that, "The flag stands right next to the Confederate Memorial on the capitol grounds, honoring, as Fred says, the 'various service people at different times and different parts of the country.'")

The former senator concluded: "As a nation, we don't need to go out of our way to be bringing up things that to certain people in our country that's bad for them."

Romney's criticism was blunter: "… that flag, frankly, is divisive, and it shouldn't be shown."

"Right now, with the kinds of issues we got in this country, I'm not going to get involved with a flag like that," Romney said. "That's not a flag that I recognize so that I would hold up in my room."

"The people of our country have decided not to fly that flag. I think that's the right thing."

Both candidates may have to answer questions about those comments next time they hit the state

Either ignorant or pandering-you decide. Seems we have politicians rather than statesmen.
It's tough to vote for someone who doesn't even understand American history and denigrates the great Americans that died for that flag. That flag has nothing to do with anything racial. At least Mississippi isn't afraid to show their pride by using the battle flag as part of their flag. My son was born in Mississippi and we love to display his state flag to the bigot liberals. Don't give up your heritage.
Sounds like some people need to properly educate themselves on why the South really succeeded. I don't remember reading anything about slavery being involved with the civil war until Lincoln made it an issue years into the war. Wow even then politicians diverted your attention from the real reason a war is fought. Like I say the winners of wars are never tried for war crimes and the winners get to write history the way they want it.
The sad truth is that if a candidate strays to far from being POLITICALLY
CORRECT, his chance of being elected are out the window. This country
is heading down a sad path, and only revolt will turn it around.
The future don't look to good either way, but the individual freedoms
this nation was founded on are eroding away before our very eyes.
We can pray that revolt will be peaceful, but it seldom is.
Political Racism ! At its best yall ! They got no idea what they said the ,dum asses !Thieir writing staff must be on strike like the comedy writers are ! :D
This REALLY disappoints me. I had high hopes that we could expect more from Fred Thompson. It looks like all of them are climbing onto
the PC bandwagon. :cry: