The excerpt below is from Fred Thompson's prepared remarks for a speech to the Lincoln Club Annual Dinner delivered in Orange County, California, Friday, May 4, 2007:
"So we meet again, and I'm honored, because I know we're here for the same reasons: Love of our country and concern for our future.
A lot of Americans have these concerns tonight. They are concerned about the way things are going in our country right now. Some fear we may be in the first stages of decline. We've heard this malaise talk before.
Of course Iraq is a large part of it. Not only is it tough going, but the effort is besieged on all sides. From those playing the most crass kind of politics with it at home to criticism from around the world.
Even at home, as we enjoy the benefits from one of the best economies we've ever had, people seem uncertain; they raise concerns about global competition or a growing economic disparity among our citizens.
These are challenges. But how we react to them is more important than the challenges themselves. Some want us, to the extent possible, to withdraw from the world that presents us with so many problems, in the hope they will go away. Some would push us towards protectionist trade policies. Others see a solution in raising taxes and redistributing the income among our citizens.
Wrong on all counts. These are defensive, defeatist policies that have consistently been proven wrong. They are not what America is all about."