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 12:30 PM  Thompson says he'd likely tap Powell, Forbes for cabinet

In response to a voter's question at the White Buffalo Restaurant in Albia, Thompson said that if elected he would look to name Steve Forbes as treasury secretary and would "strongly consider" Colin Powell for another stint as secretary of state.

"I want to have a cabinet that wants to get things done," Thompson said.

Thompson also pledged he'd make all federal departments cut their budgets by 3 percent. He said he'd use the money saved to reduce the national debt and build a border fence, among other projects.

If the departments or Congress failed to reduce those budgets, he said he'd veto the spending bills.

Thompson noted how he used his veto pen 1,900 times as governor.

"I'm not reluctant to veto," Thompson said.

The White Buffalo event only drew 10 people, who sat around a rectangular table eating soup while Thompson sat with them and gave a low-key address followed by a question-and-answer session.

Thompson delivered a firm response to a woman who said she heard he supports amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Thompson said he's always been against amnesty and blamed a "hate piece" for spreading the misinformation.

Thompson said the charge stems from a "half statement" he made and was from "somebody who's way behind and is trying to attack me."

A campaign staffer later said the information was spread in a mailer from the Tom Tancredo campaign that hit houses this week.

-- By David Wise


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