by Steven Ertelt
November 26, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson are both strongly pro-life and have pro-life records during their political tenures. Yet, observers not familiar with their records may think otherwise given the fierce attacks the campaigns have lobbed against on another over abortion.
Huckbee and his campaign have been pressing Thompson on the issue of a human life amendment.
Thompson opposes such an amendment, saying it’s not politically feasible and that he prefers to focus on the more immediate goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.
The Thompson campaign sent LifeNews.com a press release Sunday saying that’s a position Huckabee has previously expressed.
"In February 1995, Huckabee supported revising the GOP abortion plank to let states decide their own abortion laws," the Thompson campaign said.
It pointed to a quote the former Arkansas governor gave the Washington Times about shifting the GOP platform from a human life amendment to supporting the reversal of Roe, saying, "’That’s exactly what we have looked for, and if it’s left up to the states, more of them are going to put some restrictions on abortion."
Thompson’s campaign also cites Huckabee telling a blog, "So, I’ve never felt that it was a legitimate manner in which to address this and, first of all, it should be left to the states."
Chip Saltsman, Huckabee’s campaign manager, quickly responded with a press release of his own that took a much more strident tone.
Saltsman spoke to the quotes the Thompson campaign raised.
"Governor Huckabee always has supported a Human Life Amendment, but also knows that the repeal of Roe v. Wade is better than the current laws," he said.
Then, he launched an attack on the former Tennessee senator.
"The desperate attacks on Governor Huckabee by Fred Thompson are evidence that Fred’s show is running out of material and he’s left to cranking out re-runs," Saltsman said.
"Fred has been confused about being pro-life, but Governor Huckabee never has been," Saltsman said.
He pointed to Huckabee’s pro-life record, and, ignoring Thompson’s pro-life voting record in the Senate, pointed to some lobbying he did fo a pro-abortion group that contracted with a law firm he worked for in the early 1990s.
LifeNews.com spoke with two representatives of leading national pro-life groups about the bickering.
Neither would comment for the record, but both indicated they hoped the pro-life candidates would focus less on each other and more on both pro-abortion GOP candidate Rudy Giuliani and the pro-abortion Democrats seeking the nomination on the other side of the aisle.