Fred Thompson Takes First Step in Presidential Run, Opposes Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 30, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Fred Thompson Takes First Step in Presidential Run, Opposes Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 30
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Former Tennessee senator and well-known actor Fred Thompson has taken the first step in what could be a full-fledged candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. Thompson will file paperwork on Friday saying he is considering an exploratory committee allowing him to start raising funds.

Advisors to Thompson said the statement of potential candidacy could lead to some initial fundraising that may result in an official candidacy announcement near the July 4 Independence Day weekend.

The advisors told the Washington Post that Thompson has asked closed friends and supports to raise a few hundred thousand dollars on his behalf and he plans to use the funds to open a campaign office and hire initial staff members.

"It allows for testing the waters, to see if the financial resources are going to be there to mount a campaign, set up an operation and continue to get ready to announce his candidacy," one source close to Thompson told the Post.

In addition, Thompson is slated to start a web site in the next week or two and will deliver a policy speech this weekend and appear on the Jay Leno television program soon.

The move could boost Thompson’s standing the polls, which have already shown him leapfrogging into second or third place over candidates who are formally in the race.

Thompson could provide a fresh face for pro-life advocates who have been somewhat disappointed with the current crop of candidates.

While Rudy Giuliani is the only pro-abortion candidate in the race, John McCain supports embryonic stem cell research and Mitt Romney only recently converted to the pro-life position.

Other more solid pro-life candidates like Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee are lagging in polls and haven’t raised the kind of cash they need to be competitive.

Thompson is an actor, attorney and former senator from the state of Tennessee who says he strongly opposes abortion.

As recently as March, Thompson commented on the issue of abortion and said he’s resolutely against it, adding that he supports overturning Roe v. Wade.

Thompson told Fox News he is pro-life and wants the high court to reverse its decision in Roe — calling it "bad law and bad medical science."

"I don’t think the court ought to wake up one day and make new social policy for the country that’s contrary to what it’s been for the last 200 years. We have a process in this country to do that," he said about the Roe decision.

"Judges shouldn’t be doing that. That’s what happened in the that case. I think it was wrong," he added.

Thompson compiled a 100 percent pro-life voting record on abortion issues while in the Senate, according to the National Right to Life Committee. He only disagreed with the organization on the issue of campaign finance reform, which it said would limit its activities.

During his tenure, Thompson cast two votes against a Senate resolution endorsing the Roe v. Wade decision and urging the Supreme Court to uphold it.

The former Tennessee senator voted against funding abortions with taxpayer dollars in numerous situations and he voted for a ban on partial-birth abortions, to uphold parental involvement laws, and to prohibit scientific research using fetal tissue from babies who were the victims of abortions.

Thompson also won praise from the pro-life community for helping Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts with his nomination bid. Roberts eventually ruled in favor of the national ban on partial-birth abortions.

Thompson served eight years in the Senate beginning in 1995 after he won a special election to complete the remainder of Sen. Al Gore’s term. He won re-election in 1996.