by Steven Ertelt
November 1, 2006
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) — Actor Michael J. Fox is continuing his campaign on behalf of candidates who back embryonic stem cell research and want to force taxpayers to pay for it. He stopped in Iowa on Monday and stumped for pro-abortion gubernatorial candidate Chet Culver, though he told a local newspaper he’s not a celebrity campaigner.
Fox stopped at Drake University, where more than 800 students and members of the local community came to see him. Hundreds of people had to be turned away because the auditorium had filled to capacity.
"Stem cell research is not a political issue. Rather, it’s a deeply personal issue for thousands of Iowans and their families who suffer each day. And it’s not junk science like many on the far right would like you to believe," Culver said at the rally.
In an interview with the Quad City Times newspaper, Fox says he’s not a celebrity campaigner, despite his television commercials attacking pro-life candidates and campaign stops in several states. He says he’s only involved int he elections to promote embryonic stem cell research.
"We’re all in the same fight together, so I’m happy to be here for this," he said.
He claimed embryonic stem cell research has more potential than the use of adult stem cells even though the latter have been the only ones to help any human patients. Embryonic cells have caused tumors when implanted into animals and still can’t overcome immune system rejection issues.
Pro-life gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle said Fox was wrong to imply that he doesn’t support stem cell research.
"I have a clear and consistent record of supporting stem cell research that’s led to breakthroughs showing promise of alleviating juvenile diabetes, paralysis and organ damage in human trials," he said in a statement LifeNews.com obtained.
"The research that is currently most promising is adult stem cell and cord blood. And because it is so important to keep hope alive and make progress that I doubled funding for research at the National Institutes of Health as House Budget Chair," he explained.
"Finding cures for disease should be a non-partisan issue, and it’s shameful that Chet Culver is preying upon the fears of patients and their families, while not understanding Iowa has no ban on embryonic stem cell research," he added.
Meanwhile, Fox also stopped in Ohio to campaign for Rep. Sherrod Brown, a pro-abortion candidate for the Senate who is challenging pro-life Sen. Mike DeWine, who has voted against using taxpayer funds for embryonic stem cell research.
During a speech to about 150 people, Fox referred to criticism of his television commercials, which mislead voters by claiming pro-life candidates oppose all stem cell research. He referred to criticism from some corners that he was exploiting his Parkinson’s disease to attack candidates.
"I guess I’m not supposed to speak with you until my symptoms go away. Or maybe I’m just supposed to go away. But I’m not going to go away," he said, according to an AP report.