Thompson’s controversial lobbyist past.

Former senator Fred Thompson today defended his work as a Washington lobbyist, telling the AP, “Nobody yet has pointed out any of my clients that didn’t deserve representation.” But the AP reports:

Thompson, who likes to cast himself as a political outsider, earned more than $1 million lobbying the federal government for more than 20 years. He lobbied for a savings-and-loan deregulation bill that helped hasten the industry’s collapse and a failed nuclear energy project that cost taxpayers more than a billion dollars.

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He also was a lobbyist for deposed Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was widely criticized for endorsing “necklacing,” the gruesome practice of execution where gasoline-soaked tires are thrown over a person’s neck and set ablaze. In September 1991, Aristide said: “The buring tire, what a beautiful tool! … It smells good. And wherever you go, you want to smell it.”