Not with an uppercut but a good straight jab. It would have been more effective if he’d gone after him individually instead of lumping him in with Huck but the race being what it is in South Carolina, he doesn’t have much choice. Any attack on one benefits the other so he’s forced to attack both.

Accusing Maverick of having betrayed the Reagan vision, though? Maybe it is an uppercut after all.

Update: It’ll be fun watching this escalate over the next four days. From Glenn Beck:

How do you explain with conservatives going out to vote, how are they supporting John McCain? What is this — where is this coming from?

SENATOR THOMPSON: I think the basis of it is national security, national defense. John was right, I think, with regard to Iraq and he stood tough during tough times and I think he turned out to be right. And I was the same place the whole time and have been. We agree on that. But John is wrong on some other important things and he was wrong when he voted against the Bush tax cuts.

GLENN: But wait a minute. I mean —

SENATOR THOMPSON: He says he’s changed his mind about that now and, you know, sobeit. But, you know, I was there during part of that time and I voted the other way. I believed the other way then, I believe the other way now. He’s certainly wrong with regard to the immigration bill that they tried to get the American people sign off on last year and they gave a resounding no and now everybody’s getting tough on the border. But on taxes and immigration, especially, you know, I think he’s wrong. But so is Huckabee as far as that’s concerned.

GLENN: But he’s also wrong with McCain/Lieberman where he wants to sign treaties for global warming. He wants to give away sovereignty on global warming. This guy is not a conservative.

SENATOR THOMPSON: No, I think he’s in the wrong direction on that, too. I think that that’s absolutely true. But, you know, he’s like everybody else. You know, he has his strong suits and his weak suits. But I think that the direction that he and Huckabee and others really, I think Giuliani and where Romney has been in the past all are going in a so-called moderate direction, which is going to lead to, you know, so-called big government conservativism or bigger government conservativism anyway.