Fred Thompson Appears to Have No Opinion on Terri Schiavo Euthanasia Case

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 14, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Fred Thompson Appears to Have No Opinion on Terri Schiavo Euthanasia Case Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 14,

The Villages, FL ( — The newest Republican presidential candidate appeared to stumble on Friday while campaigning in Florida. Fred Thompson appeared as if he didn’t remember the national controversy surrounding the euthanasia death of Terri Schiavo and presented mixed views on whether Congress should have gotten involved.

Terri was the disabled woman whose former husband won a court order to remove her feeding tube and starve her to death.

Before she died from a painful 13 days without food and water, Congress approved a bill by large bipartisan margins allowing federal courts to review the state court’s decision allowing Terri’s ex-husband Michael to take her life.

Bay News 9’s "Political Connections" program asked Thompson if he thought Congress acted appropriately in its attempt to help Terri’s family save her life.

"I can’t pass judgment on it. I know that good people were doing what they thought was best," Thompson said. "That’s going back in history. I don’t remember the details of it."

"Local matters generally speaking should be left to the locals. I think Congress has got an awful lot to keep up with," he added.

Responding to their candidate’s comments, the Thompson campaign told CBN News that the former Tennessee senator declined to share his opinion because he wasn’t in Congress at the time the bill was debated.

"Not being part of the situation, not being in the Senate at that point, he did not want to pass judgment," Thompson campaign press secretary Jeff Sadosky said. "He feels some decisions need to be made by families under state and local government."

David Brody, the CBN News senior national correspondent, says Thompson’s not answering detailed policy questions with more specifics could become a problem for him.

"The ‘lack of substance’ narrative will begin to form if Thompson doesn’t move quickly to change the perception," Brody explained. "Rival campaigns will begin to portray him as ‘not ready for prime time.’"