Pro-life Group Endorses Thompson

The National Right to Life Committee is endorsing Fred Thompson for president. That’s a good group, but I remain confused. He opposes a constitutional amendment barring abortion and he has even done consulting, earlier in his career, for a pro-abortion organization. His Senate record was pro-life, though, but it seems to me that his pro-life credentials are no better than anyone else’s in the race. Why endorse anyone under those circumstances? Why not hold everyone’s feet to the fire, then back someone when the field has narrowed?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • inexile

    David Brooks has a very interesting review of John McCain in today’s New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/opinion/13brooks.html?ref=todayspaper
    I haven’t kept up with things the way that I should. Can anyone tell me where McCain stands on abortion and life?

  • inexile

    David Brooks has a very interesting review of John McCain in today’s New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/opinion/13brooks.html?ref=todayspaper
    I haven’t kept up with things the way that I should. Can anyone tell me where McCain stands on abortion and life?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    He is pro-life. I read somewhere that McCain has the best anti-abortion credentials of them all. The only weakness is that he is wobbly on stem cell research.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    He is pro-life. I read somewhere that McCain has the best anti-abortion credentials of them all. The only weakness is that he is wobbly on stem cell research.

  • organshoes

    I do not understand all this early positioning.
    Maybe each group is trying to exercise power, or just seeing if it still has any.
    Principle seems to be less important this election than position.
    It’s weird–not just the positions they take, but that it’s all happening so early.

  • organshoes

    I do not understand all this early positioning.
    Maybe each group is trying to exercise power, or just seeing if it still has any.
    Principle seems to be less important this election than position.
    It’s weird–not just the positions they take, but that it’s all happening so early.

  • Joe

    In my opinion this is a mistake. I think they wanted to make an anti-Rudy statement but by picking Fred so early they run a real risk that they may not play any role at all in the selection of a candidate. Fred is not polling well in Iowa or New Hampshire. South Carolina looks like it may be make or break for Fred and if it goes badly National Right to Life will be left without a candidate or with the embarrassing task of making a second endorsement. Also, if Fred goes down the national news story will be how the pro-life activists and issue are not important even to Republicans anymore. This is a great way for National Right to Life to make itself less relevant.

  • Joe

    In my opinion this is a mistake. I think they wanted to make an anti-Rudy statement but by picking Fred so early they run a real risk that they may not play any role at all in the selection of a candidate. Fred is not polling well in Iowa or New Hampshire. South Carolina looks like it may be make or break for Fred and if it goes badly National Right to Life will be left without a candidate or with the embarrassing task of making a second endorsement. Also, if Fred goes down the national news story will be how the pro-life activists and issue are not important even to Republicans anymore. This is a great way for National Right to Life to make itself less relevant.

  • Richard

    I’m puzzled at the hostility of Christians to McCain. I have a dear friend who claims McCain is “crazy,” which echoes Pat Robertson’s view of him. Why?

  • Richard

    I’m puzzled at the hostility of Christians to McCain. I have a dear friend who claims McCain is “crazy,” which echoes Pat Robertson’s view of him. Why?

  • texan

    Same reason they think Ron Paul is crazy. The “new” media doesn’t like it when you don’t tow the GOP line. Just watch Fox when someone like McCain departs from the president’s script on some legislation or issue; there will be significant air-time devoted to smearing them for a couple of days. That’s why I’ve stopped watching Fox News and listening to Rush and company. They have turned out to be just as bad (or worse) at objectively reporting on an issue than the so-called mainstream media. It’s not about truth.

  • texan

    Same reason they think Ron Paul is crazy. The “new” media doesn’t like it when you don’t tow the GOP line. Just watch Fox when someone like McCain departs from the president’s script on some legislation or issue; there will be significant air-time devoted to smearing them for a couple of days. That’s why I’ve stopped watching Fox News and listening to Rush and company. They have turned out to be just as bad (or worse) at objectively reporting on an issue than the so-called mainstream media. It’s not about truth.

  • Joe

    Christians are hostile towards McCain because after losing the 2000 South Carolina primary he labeled evangelical Christians “agents of intolerance.”

  • Joe

    Christians are hostile towards McCain because after losing the 2000 South Carolina primary he labeled evangelical Christians “agents of intolerance.”

  • fwsonnek

    Joe:

    This is because the most vocal christians ARE agents of intolerance.

    pat robertson, falwell, and especially Dr Dobson.

    McCain has it all right there.

  • fwsonnek

    Joe:

    This is because the most vocal christians ARE agents of intolerance.

    pat robertson, falwell, and especially Dr Dobson.

    McCain has it all right there.

  • Don S

    Joe, I think your comments are very insightful, and a likely outcome in this case, as it does not appear that Thompson’s campaign is going to be successful. As for McCain, there is no way NRTL would ever endorse him because of McCain-Feingold. So, of the credible candidates, they had a choice between Thompson, Romney, and (marginally) Huckabee. I would have sat back and waited a bit longer to see which one of those three emerges before endorsing, because none of them are ideal, or even close to ideal. It seems to be that they must have had a motive of trying to stop Romney, for whatever reason.

  • Don S

    Joe, I think your comments are very insightful, and a likely outcome in this case, as it does not appear that Thompson’s campaign is going to be successful. As for McCain, there is no way NRTL would ever endorse him because of McCain-Feingold. So, of the credible candidates, they had a choice between Thompson, Romney, and (marginally) Huckabee. I would have sat back and waited a bit longer to see which one of those three emerges before endorsing, because none of them are ideal, or even close to ideal. It seems to be that they must have had a motive of trying to stop Romney, for whatever reason.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Robert Perry

    I think that NRTL is falling, sadly, into the trap of trying to anoint a king rather than to guide policy. Pragmatism that speaks death for the cause, really.

    McCain also falls afoul of conservative Christians for his campaign finance deform acts. His comments to SC voters were foolish as well–ignoring the reality that in a civilized nation, there are certain things that we really ought not tolerate. It’s not being called intolerant that ought to tick us off, but rather the assumption that it’s somehow right to tolerate that which is repulsive.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Robert Perry

    I think that NRTL is falling, sadly, into the trap of trying to anoint a king rather than to guide policy. Pragmatism that speaks death for the cause, really.

    McCain also falls afoul of conservative Christians for his campaign finance deform acts. His comments to SC voters were foolish as well–ignoring the reality that in a civilized nation, there are certain things that we really ought not tolerate. It’s not being called intolerant that ought to tick us off, but rather the assumption that it’s somehow right to tolerate that which is repulsive.

  • Don S

    NRO has an interview up now on their website with NRTL, and it is clear from that interview that viability was the primary concern of NRTL in making their endorsement. They made a statement that Thompson has consistently come in second to pro-abortion Giuliani in polling. They also made it clear that Thompson has been pro-life his entire political career, which apparently is a shot at Romney.

  • Don S

    NRO has an interview up now on their website with NRTL, and it is clear from that interview that viability was the primary concern of NRTL in making their endorsement. They made a statement that Thompson has consistently come in second to pro-abortion Giuliani in polling. They also made it clear that Thompson has been pro-life his entire political career, which apparently is a shot at Romney.

  • http://www.one-eternal-day.com/ Jim Skaggs

    It really isn’t early. Republican voters will be making decisions starting in January. If they want to affect the decision, now is the time. After the nominations are secured another decision may have to be made.

    Every time Thompson voted on legislation that actually concerned abortion, he voted pro-life. He has apparently made commitments to NRTL about executive branch appointments as well as originalists for the judiciary.

    I suspect they feel Huckabee is unelectable for reasons unrelated to his pro-life positions. McCain has proven himself unpredictable. Romney is a recent and convenient convert. Giuliani is unacceptable because he is pro-choice. Thompson is reliable. I suspect it is that simple.

  • http://www.one-eternal-day.com/ Jim Skaggs

    It really isn’t early. Republican voters will be making decisions starting in January. If they want to affect the decision, now is the time. After the nominations are secured another decision may have to be made.

    Every time Thompson voted on legislation that actually concerned abortion, he voted pro-life. He has apparently made commitments to NRTL about executive branch appointments as well as originalists for the judiciary.

    I suspect they feel Huckabee is unelectable for reasons unrelated to his pro-life positions. McCain has proven himself unpredictable. Romney is a recent and convenient convert. Giuliani is unacceptable because he is pro-choice. Thompson is reliable. I suspect it is that simple.

  • Joe

    If Huckabee is so unelectable why is he polling at 21% (6 points ahead of Fred and only 6 points behind Romney)in Iowa. He is also within the margin of error in head to heads with Hillary. Also don’t forget he is a Republican that capture over 40% of the black vote in Arkansas the last time he ran. The unelectable label is tired and worn out. What else does he have to do to convince you? The money will come (it already has started in a small respect). Don’t forget that Bill Clinton didn’t win anything until the New York primary in and was about to close up shop and go home until he won it. This is a marathon not a sprint.

  • Joe

    If Huckabee is so unelectable why is he polling at 21% (6 points ahead of Fred and only 6 points behind Romney)in Iowa. He is also within the margin of error in head to heads with Hillary. Also don’t forget he is a Republican that capture over 40% of the black vote in Arkansas the last time he ran. The unelectable label is tired and worn out. What else does he have to do to convince you? The money will come (it already has started in a small respect). Don’t forget that Bill Clinton didn’t win anything until the New York primary in and was about to close up shop and go home until he won it. This is a marathon not a sprint.

  • organshoes

    Most all labels assigned to candidates and to voters are tired and worn out. At least, so you would think.
    But they’re effective.
    Starting early isn’t helping get any message out. It’s only giving labels more time to stick.
    Labels do the work many voters won’t do.

  • organshoes

    Most all labels assigned to candidates and to voters are tired and worn out. At least, so you would think.
    But they’re effective.
    Starting early isn’t helping get any message out. It’s only giving labels more time to stick.
    Labels do the work many voters won’t do.


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