The Skeleton in Fred Thompson’s Closet

by Mike on April 30, 2007

in Election 2008,Politics

They look a little less pathetic by default after last week’s circus, but the Republican field for 2008 is nothing to brag about. Rudy Giuliani, the presmptive frontrunner, is a pro-choice social liberal from New York City. John McCain, the candidate with the best organization, has a habit of playing Steve Urkel to the MSM’s Laura Winslow. Mitt Romney, the candidate doing the best job of articulating a conservative vision for America, was not doing so as little as four years ago. With each viable candidate waving a red flag, it’s no wonder Republican voters have been looking for someone else.

Sensing this frustration, Fred Thompson sent up a trial balloon a few months ago to great fanfare. Thompson is an unapologetic conservative with camera presence and has the gravitas that no Democrat can come close to matching. However, no candidate is perfect and Thompson’s skeleton was revealed a couple of weeks ago.

In a 1994 debate, Fred Thompson answered a question about abortion which could reasonably be interpreted as pro-choice. However, many Thompson supporters describe Thompson’s answer as supporting a federalist system under which the issue of abortion does not belong in the courts, effectively a pro-life position. Although the former interpretation is reasonable, I tend to think the latter interpretation is correct.

I say that because Thompson has a solidly pro-life voting record. According to the National Right to Life Committee, the only black mark on Thomspson’s pro life record was his support for “campaign finance reform.” Although his 1994 statement should be addressed and is cause for concern, Thompson governed as a pro-life Senator for eight years. Eight years of supporting the unborn is stronger evidence than an awkwardly-worded eight second answer from twelve years ago.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan April 30, 2007 at 2:57 pm

So I watched the video and Fred seemed like he was articulating a reasonable right-of-center position. He doesn’t like the feds getting involved with abortion, which is precisely what Roe guarantees. Hence, he could be viewed as anti-Roe in this clip, and he also came out pro-parental notification, of which I also am a supporter. Yet, he doesn’t come out strongly against abortion and says that the government shouldn’t interfere with the woman’s right to an abortion, yet he sets his premise up with the caviat that the states should deal with it. As a moderate pro-life conservative I’m assuaged by his comments.


Noonan May 1, 2007 at 9:09 am

That video did give me pause, but I appreciate your interpretation of where he stands. I’m also heartened by the National Right to Life voting record. I still think he has some work to address it though. A strong articulate statement from this fellow on what he meant and where he stands now would obviate the need to read tea leaves that has left many frustrated with the other leaders in the GOP field. An appearance at the March for Life next January would go a long way too.


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