GOP Opponents Respond to Pro-Life Group’s Backing Fred Thompson

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 12, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

GOP Opponents Respond to Pro-Life Group’s Backing Fred Thompson Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 12,

Washington, DC ( — National Right to Life officially endorsed pro-life presidential candidate Fred Thompson on Tuesday and the campaigns of some of his opponents in the contest for the Republican nomination have responded. Some issued polite responses saying their candidate is also pro-life while others attacked the endorsement.

National Right to Life officials told over the weekend that it had officially endorsed Thompson, saying he has had "a strong, consistent pro-life record throughout his political career."

Kevin Madden, a spokesman for the campaign of Mitt Romney said that, while Thompson is pro-life, his candidate opposes abortion as well.

"Gov. Romney has a great deal of respect for all of those who advocate tirelessly in the name of protecting and defending the sanctity of life," Madden said in a statement. "He looks forward to continuing to work with his supporters and others involved in the pro-life effort now and throughout this campaign."

However, a representative of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is also pro-life, strongly criticized National Right to Life.

Speaking for the campaign, former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley claimed NRLC’s endorsement was a case of "Washington politics" trumping real examination of each candidate’s values.

Beasley flatly called the endorsement a "mistake," while acknowledging that Thompson has "a good track record" on pro-life issues, he claimed Huckabee’s is better saying, "It’s not even a close call."

"That’s what surprises me about this endorsement. It just goes to show that even a great organization isn’t perfect," he told MSNBC. "They make mistakes from time to time. And I think this is one of them."

Providing some analysis of the selection of Thompson, CBS senior correspondent David Brody says he’s not surprised.

"You simply can’t argue with Fred Thompson’s record on the life issue when it comes to his voting record in the Senate. And the National Right to Life Committee takes dead aim at a candidate’s overall record so it makes sense," he said.

"Mike Huckabee has to be scratching his head wondering why he wasn’t picked. Mitt Romney would have loved to pick up the endorsement but with the recent conversion, that probably wasn’t going to happen," he explained.

"Embryonic stem cell research support eliminated John McCain. And Rudy Giuliani, oh…never mind," he concluded.