On the trail

The Associated PressNovember 14, 2007 

Thompson wants more military funds

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson called for a million-member military ground force and more funding to equip and care for service members and veterans in a speech Tuesday at a military college in this early presidential primary state.

The former Tennessee senator and actor also told a crowd at The Citadel that he wants more modern battle equipment on the ground, in the air and on the water to help revitalize the nation's security.

"With 20th century equipment in a 21st century war, our material support for our troops has not matched the demands we have placed on them," Thompson said to applause from hundreds of cadets, staff and visitors at the school's basketball arena. "We've been asking too few troops to do too much for too long."

"Some would say this plan is too much and too big," Thompson said. "I don't believe that's the case, not at all."

In South Carolina, Thompson is in a close three-way race with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Obama jabs Clinton on trade deals

DUBUQUE, Iowa -- Hillary Rodham Clinton's doubts about big foreign trade deals came only in the heat of the presidential campaign, Democratic rival Barack Obama said Tuesday, addressing labor leaders who strongly oppose many of the agreements.

He focused in particular on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which many U.S. unions contend has sent American jobs outside the nation's borders and held down U.S. wages.

"So, when a candidate rails against NAFTA today, it's fair to ask her where she was with NAFTA 20 years ago," Obama said. "You don't just suddenly wake up and say NAFTA is a terrible thing when you were for it before."

Obama made his case at a regional convention of the United Auto Workers just a day after Clinton used the same forum to call for a "time out" on new trade deals while their impact on American jobs is assessed.

In her speech, Clinton said she would be cautious on new trade agreements but that she carries the baggage of her husband's presidency during which NAFTA was approved.

"Politicians often say they are pro-labor at election time, no matter what they've said or done before," Obama said.

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