Gazette Online: Thompson stresses common-sense solutions in I.C. stop
By Lee Hermiston
After witnessing his home state's basketball team beat the Hawkeyes at Carver Hawkeye Arena, former Wisconsin Gov. and Republican presidential hopeful Tommy Thompson talked about using a common-sense approach to solve many of the nation's problems, including the war in Iraq.
"First off, I would have the Iraq government vote whether or not they want the U.S. in Iraq," Thompson said in a Sunday afternoon appearance at the Wig and Pen restaurant in Iowa City.
Thompson, a four-term Republican governor of Wisconsin and former Secretary of Health and Human Services, said his plan for Iraq also includes setting up separate confederations for the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds and dividing the money gained from Iraq's oil preserves between the government, the confederations and individuals.
Thompson said he would apply the common-sense approach to health care and welfare reform as well, changing the system to a wellness system.
Currently, he said, of the $2 trillion dollars spent on health care, only 7 percent is used to keep individuals healthy.
"Isn't that a little stupid?" Thompson asked the crowd.
Thompson, a native of Elroy, Wis., and graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, said he believes Iowans, like their Big 10 counterparts in Wisconsin, should back his approach.
"I look at things just like you do," he said. "We see things, we come up with a common-sense solution."
Thompson said he knows 2008 will be a difficult election for Republicans, but believes he can garner the necessary support to get elected.
"You gotta run the old-fashioned way," he said. "I'm going to work to earn your support."
Otto Kraus, a 63-year-old Iowa City resident, said he thought Thompson had a good message but will have to work hard if he hopes to best the likes of Democratic hopefuls Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
"It's a big, uphill battle, without a doubt," Kraus said.