Tommy Thompson
Former Governor of Wisconsin; Former Secretary, Health and Human Services
01:51

America's Place in the World

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A new diplomacy.

Tommy Thompson

From 1987 to 2001, Tommy Thompson served as the 42nd Governor of Wisconsin, having been elected to an unprecedented four terms. Thompson's initiatives during his 13 years as governor of Wisconsin included his Wisconsin Works welfare reform program and school choice program, which allowed low-income Milwaukee families to send children to the private or public school of their choice at taxpayer expense. He also created the BadgerCare program, designed to provide health coverage to those families whose employers don't provide health insurance but make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. Through the federal waiver program, Thompson helped replicate this program in several states when he was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services by President George W. H. Bush in 2001, a position he would hold for four years. Thompson began his career in public service in 1966 as a representative in Wisconsin's state Assembly. He was elected assistant Assembly minority leader in 1973 and Assembly minority leader in 1981. Thompson has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Anti-Defamation League's Distinguished Public Service Award. In 1997, he received Governing Magazine's Public Official of the Year Award, and the Horatio Alger Award in 1998. Thompson has also served as chairman of the National Governors' Association, the Education Commission of the States and the Midwestern Governors' Conference. Thompson also served in the Wisconsin National Guard and the Army Reserve. Currently, he is an independent senior advisor of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and a partner at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
Transcript

Topic: Confronting those that hate the U.S.

Tommy Thompson: And the second one, you know, we have to tear down this . . . this really animosity that the jihadists’ movement has against America. There’s people who hate America. And I have found that the best way to treat this severe hatred is build up a counter-force. And that’s through women and children and using medical diplomacy. I’ve traveled all over the world and I’ve been blessed by it. And I’ve had the opportunity in being Secretary of Health to see that there’s one common denominator: Whether you’re a Shiite, Sunni, Kurd, Hamaas, Hezbollah, Jewish member . . . everything revolves around how you’re gonna provide good health – good security, but good health for the family. And this is with women and children. And if you’re really able to tap into that, you’re gonna be able to start a movement across the world that’s gonna be basing themselves on good health conditions and good health for their family. And that’s what I wanna do through global medical diplomacy. And I’ve got a plan laid out, and really to develop that. And I think that is the kind of ideas and positive things that we have to do in this country to show the world that, you know, that we’re not this terrible country that’s trying to invade and be able to in any way change their way of life. We gotta show them that this is America; that we’re good, we’re positive, we’re strong, and we wanna protect you. And we wanna do what is right.

Recorded on: 7/6/07

 

 


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