Republican presidential candidate Tommy Thompson says reports suggesting Britian’s new prime minister may order British troops out of Iraq by the end of the year are troubling.
"I am not being critical of Gordon Brown…but I really think we have to have a steadfast policy in Iraq," Thompson said during a telephone interview with Radio Iowa. "And I think my plan is still the best one out there."
Thompson, the former governor of Wisconsin, advocates a weak central government and 18 strong states in Iraq, with oil revenues being split in thirds — one third for the central government, one third for the states and one third to be distributed equally to every Iraqi citizen.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown said this morning that Britain has "duties to discharge and responsibilities to keep" in Iraq. He did not outline a time for British troops’ withdrawal. Britain has about 5500 soldiers in southern Iraq and they’re expected to hand over control of the Basra area within months rather than years.
"Mr. Brown is…inheriting a legacy from Tony Blair that I think was outstanding," Thompson said. "…Gordon Brown is in some degrees like Obama wants to show their difference so badly that maybe they’re just making decisions to show their difference without really thinking them through."
Thompson is referring to the war of words between Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton over when and how to open discussions with rogue world leaders in places like North Korea and Iran.
"(Obama’s) so eager to make a statement that’s different from Hillary," Thompson said. "…As far as I’m concerned, I’m a patriot first and an American and we’re going to do things differently and we’re going to make sure that America stands up and gets treated correctly."
Thompson is campaigning non-stop in Iowa and by early August he will have visited each of Iowa’s 99 counties.