Fred Thompson "Doesn't Know The Details" Of Bush's Social Security Plan, But He's For It

Steve Benen: Thompson officially enters the race and immediately starts acting like an idiot.
This post, written by Steve Benen, originally appeared on The Carpetbagger Report

One of the principal knocks on actor/lobbyist/senator Fred Thompson's presidential aspirations is that he's kind of lazy and unwilling to go beyond the pleasantries and soundbites. He's an all-hat, no-cattle candidate who doesn't even take his own policy priorities seriously.

After one day as a candidate, Thompson is already reinforcing the conventional wisdom.
Fred Thompson says a top challenge for the next president is fixing Social Security. Asked how his ideas for overhauling the system differ from those of George W. Bush, the actor and former Tennessee senator says: "I don't even remember the details of his plan."
Got that? Social Security policy is one of the reasons he's running for president, Thompson says, so it's presumably an issue he knows quite a bit about. Asked about Bush's policy proposal -- from just two years ago -- Thompson is surprisingly clueless.

It's not as if some reporter caught him off-guard with a gotcha question -- he brought Social Security up.
Thompson will have to demonstrate that he has "a command over policy issues," said Ari Fleischer, Bush's former White House spokesman. "He's got to knock the policy questions out of the park," as well as show executive skill in managing his campaign.
So much for that idea. Best of all, as Ezra noted, "And Fred, you may not remember whether you support Social Security privatization, but the internets do. The answer is yes."

It looks like Fred Thompson's campaign is off to a great start, doesn't it?
Steve Benen is a freelance writer/researcher and creator of The Carpetbagger Report. In addition, he is the lead editor of's Blog Report, and has been a contributor to Talking Points Memo, Washington Monthly, Crooks & Liars, The American Prospect, and the Guardian.