ABC News' Christine Byun Reports: The day after former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's Michigan victory, Republican candidate Fred Thompson called promises made to Michigan voters regarding their economic plight "misleading."
"Everybody was flocking up there to Michigan and promising, in effect … the federal government was going to come in there and bail the entire state out. Now, they said it with a straight face and apparently it worked for some of them. That's no way to get elected president on things you could not - and should not – deliver," Thompson told a crowd in Laurens, South Carolina Wednesday.
Thompson has been campaigning in South Carolina for the past ten days, and did not campaign in Michigan leading up to yesterday's primaries. The former Tennessee senator has railed against what he calls "populist rhetoric that he said does not follow the Republican Party line.
"It's not about employer versus employee or rich versus poor -- That's Democratic talk. I hope our people can avoid going down that road. What we’re talking about is freedom, fairness, and a marketplace that allows for innovation," Thompson said.
Thompson, who has shunned the popular campaign trail message of "change," told the crowd that the country has to rely on "good, sound fiscal policies." He proposed lowering the corporate tax rate to entice companies to keep their businesses and jobs in the U.S.
Thompson later told reporters that he believes retooling campaign messages will not be effective in what is becoming a state-by-state contest between the GOP candidates.
"I think it's important to not just tailor your message to a particular audience, you know, because you're going to have a lot of audiences when you're running for president," Thompson said.
Thompson also said the nomination "is pretty much up in the air," and admitted that he must do "pretty doggone well" in the upcoming South Carolina primary in order to remain in the race.