by Steven Ertelt
November 14, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Fred Thompson received the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee on Tuesday and a surrogate for the campaign of Mitt Romney claimed Wednesday that it was motivated by money. Paul Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation, says he can’t find any other explanation.
National Right to Life officials said Tuesday they backed Thompson because of his 100 percent voting record on pro-life issues, his willingness to back overturning Roe and the viability of his campaign.
But Weyrich, a Romney backer, told the Washington Times the endorsement "makes no sense" and claimed the Thompson campaign bought off the pro-life group.
"I think in all probability the Thompson people were engaged with the National Right to Life people in financial dealing," Weyrich said.
"In the past, the Republican Party has funded National Right to Life, and while [National Right to Life] can raise money on its own, it needs funding," Weyrich claimed.
David O’Steen, the executive director of the leading pro-life organization, called the claims ludicrous.
"He’s got to be joking," O’Steen told the Washington Times. "There is absolutely no financial arrangement between [Right to Life] and the Thompson campaign or Fred Thompson."
Todd Harris, the communications director for the Thompson campaign, told LifeNews.com that the Weyrich accusations that the National Right to Life Committee was bribed by the Thompson campaign in exchange for its endorsement are "outrageous."
He said National Right to Life is supporting Thompson "because of Fred’s 100% pro-life voting record."
"It is unseemly for the Romney campaign and its supporters to suggest that National Right to Life’s coveted endorsement is based on a bribe," Harris added.
"If the Romney campaign is looking for the reason they did not receive the National Right to Life endorsement, they can start with the fact that Gov. Romney was pro-choice just two years ago," he told LifeNews.com.
"The Romney campaign was clearly hoping for this endorsement and are now clearly upset. But being denied an endorsement is no excuse to impugn the integrity of the very organization they were just days ago trying to woo," he concluded.