November 12th, 2007
02:40 PM ET
11 years ago

Thompson scores National Right to Life endorsement

Thompson has scored a big endorsement.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - GOP presidential hopeful Fred Thompson will get the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee, three GOP sources tell CNN.

The formal announcement, which will take place at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday in Washington, is a much needed boost for Thompson’s campaign, which is suffering from low poll numbers and criticism the candidate lacks enough fire in the belly to win.

Thompson came into the race late with the hope of winning over social conservatives unsatisfied with the rest of the GOP field. Although polls and anecdotal evidence suggest he’s failed to excite those conservatives, he is making a big push to play up his conservative credentials on the stump and in a TV ad - especially his anti-abortion views and voting record in the Senate.

Thompson has, however, faced criticism from some conservatives for what they see as conflicting statements, like saying last week he does not support the plank in the Republicans party platform since Ronald Reagan was president that calls for an anti-abortion constitutional amendment. Thompson said he hopes Roe v. Wade will be overturned, but that in general he believes abortion laws should be left up to the states.

The National Right To Life Committee boasts affiliates in all 50 states with over 3,000 local chapters nationwide. Although some GOP strategists say its grassroots power may not be as strong as it was in the past, it will likely mobilize some crucial support for Thompson’s campaign.

- CNN's Dana Bash, John King, and Mark Preston

Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. RightyTighty

    My question is how do the majority of pro-lifers explain their support of the death penalty? -Kate

    Only a wilded-eyed, kool-aid drunk liberal would compare unborn, unblemished, children to murders. But hey, let’s follow this warped sence of reason and find out what the libs preferences really are.. Kill the kids and keep the murders or Keep the kids and kill the murders??
    Kate’s choice is obvious, what’s yours??

    November 12, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Gregg K., Huntington Beach, CA

    Who is the favorite Republican of the large majority of editorial board members, OpEd columnists, "news" writers/program directors, etc. for ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Public Television (KCET), New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times? Rudy Giuliani, of course, due to his liberal social values/values. There is no conspiracy. Liberals tend to go into professions that are predominately "low pay" but have "high social influence" like journalism, acting (TV, movies), music, and teaching at all levels (pre-school through PhD programs (one aberration is law, a high paying profession dominated by social issue liberals). Conservatives disproportionaly tend to go into business and military, where there is very little ability to influence popular culture and advance pro-life, pro traditional family, and respect for Judeo-Christian values. The end result of all of this is a culture that has dramatically lunged to the left since the early 1960s (the leftward drift has coincided with the spread of TVs in nearly every American home). First talk radio and then Foc News became widely popular as there was pent up demand by social issue conservatives to get their news from a more balanced media "filter". LET"S BE BRUTALLY HONEST, CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL ACTIVISTS AND MODERATES SEEK TO INFLUENCE EVERYTHING FROM WHAT OUR CHILDREN LEARN FROM PRE-SCHOOL THROUGH DOCTORAL PROGRAMS, WHAT VALUES WE HOLD, EMPLOYMENT POLICIES, IMMIGRATION POLICY, HEALTHCARE, TAX POLICY, ETC. For those in the so-called political center and those who don't particpate in the political process (including those who don't vote), considering taking an interest in the world in which you live. There is more to life than eating, sleeping, sports, and entertainment. I do respect your right to be apathetic and cynical. In closing, PRO-LIFERS, don't let the "media elites" shape and advocate will be the Republican nominee for President. However, don't be stupid. If Rudy Giuliani does win the nomination (he is my last choice), we should support him over Hillary and hold Rudy to his word of "appointing strict constructionists" to the U.S. Supreme Ct.

    November 12, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Ron Paul is an avid pro-lifer? Wow, that ought to piss off 37,000 donors! That's almost as good as Huckabee's Norris undorsement. Libertariarianism only for men?

    November 12, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Jeff Badura East Hartford CT

    dear Kate in Aurora CO

    you have the lib talking points down to a tee and even if you were correct ( and your not ) why would the impression of the GOP's inability to take care of children make you advocate the killing of the unborn ??

    your logic is flawed !!

    and Religion has nothing to do with the prevention of the killing of the innocent !!

    I'm agnostic and i live in New England and I'm against the murder of the unborn child on simple logical moral grounds !!

    as far as the death penalty that's an easy answer for those people have had the right to life and have forfeited it by killing and or torchering other innocent people !! If a person raps and kills a 9 yr old child then in my book they deserve death but an unborn child does not !!

    ill flip around your ridicules logic on you !!! how can you advocate the killing of the innocent unborn in the name of " woman's rights" but not the criminally horrific in the name of justice !!

    what it comes down to is the left has no logic in the abortion argument and henceforth you try to obfuscate the matter !!

    Kate, Abortion is wrong and all your bait and switch tactics will not change that fact !!

    November 12, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    That guy's running for president? Are you KIDDING ME?

    November 12, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |

    Fred Thompson has failed to live up to the billing many of his admirers expected of him. When I see his speaking demeanor I'm reminded of the Tom Hanks' character, Forest Gump. This man does not bring passion to the podium. He will not get the nomination, it will be Rudy for the Gop. Anyway Hillary will win the Presidency so it doesn't matter who Gop nominate.

    November 12, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Nathan, Los Angeles, CA

    Mike Huckabee is the only candidate who is passionately pro-life. I get so tired of politicians toting pro-life stances as a means to garner support. If one believes that life begins at conception, then we are dealing with mass murder. If not, then lets treat it like just another piece of legislation or political ideology. I think most candidates treat it like another piece of legislation–I think Huckabee sees it as a moral travesty needing urgent attention. Let's be consistent here: if Thompson really firmly believed that life begins at conception, then he would believe that those "lives" are protected by the US Constitution.

    November 12, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Mike, Palo Alto, CA

    One thing is very clear ... if any GOP candidate wins the 2008 presidential election, women can beging to say goodbye to their reproductive freedom. All have made it clear that Roe v. Wade should be repealed ... an, yes, this includes Giulliani, who has promised 'strict constructionist' judges. If the women of America value their freedom, they must vote against the Republicans. It is that simple.

    November 12, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Fred Paxson, Fort Worth, Texas

    They Said It: Thompson Social Security Plan Applauded as ‘Courageous,’ ‘Honest,’ and ‘Substantive’

    Courage & Honesty

    Republican presidential contender Fred Thompson’s plan to save Social Security and protect seniors, which he introduced Friday afternoon in a Washington, D.C., hotel, differs starkly from standard election year pablum on the subject in one key way: He’s actually treating voters like adults. (ABC, 11/9) seeking to show he is willing to take on tough issues if elected in November 2008, telling a news conference in Washington he was the only candidate to offer an extensive Social Security plan. (Reuters, 11/10)

    “You certainly have to admire his courage for putting this out,” said Alan Viard with the American Enterprise Institute. (Tennessean, 11/10)

    Supporters contend that Thompson’s willingness to take on the so-called third rail of politics will impress voters. (Bloomberg, 11/10)

    Conservative economic experts applauded Thompson for offering specifics on an issue considered to be politically dangerous. (Tennessean, 11/10)

    “He’s not afraid to be brutally honest with the American people about the challenges that lie ahead,” said Representative Zach Wamp, a Tennessee Republican who is working to recruit supporters for Thompson. “People can tell the difference between a strong leader telling the truth and a weak leader talking politics.” (Bloomberg, 11/10)


    [Thompson is] the first candidate of either party to offer a detailed proposal to fix the nation’s retirement system. (WP, 11/10)

    The Republican candidate laid out a detailed, four-page proposal (WSJ, 11/10)

    Mr. Thompson’s plan...was more specific than what the Bush White House put on the table when it sought to overhaul the system. It also varied substantially from the traditional conservative approach of focusing primarily on personal investment accounts. (NYT, 11/10)

    Economist Jason Furman said Thompson deserves credit for offering a detailed plan to address the projected Social Security shortfall...(Bloomberg, 11/10)

    In discussing policy, Thompson was in his element. (Politico, 11/9)

    He’d prefer to talk about substance. (Politico, 11/9)

    Thompson’s plan draws on ideas favored by conservatives: a reduction in benefits, rather than an increase in payroll taxes; and a shift toward private accounts, rather than government-provided payments. (WP, 11/10)


    [Thompson] ventured Friday into an area few rivals have tread: advocacy of a fundamental overhaul of Social Security. (WSJ, 11/10)

    Although all of the presidential candidates have spoken, when asked, about the need to fix the Social Security system, none has offered such a detailed plan nor talked so eagerly and often about the issue. (WSJ, 11/10)

    Among Republicans, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney have talked in general terms ... but none has offered a specific plan. (WP, 11/10)

    Mr. Thompson is the only one of the Republicans running for the White House who has made Social Security a central theme of his campaign. (NYT, 11/10)

    He is the only presidential candidate so far to make Social Security an anchor of his campaign. (WSJ, 11/10)

    But with less than two months before the 2008 voting begins, candidates have generally been reluctant to confront the Social Security issue. (WP, 11/10)


    Saving and Protecting Social Security
    A Plan to Ensure Retirement Security for All Americans

    November 12, 2007 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. ac, w-s, nc

    What we need in our next President is a true leader who stands on what is true and his convictions, no matter what is popular. The only person I have heard who does not even try to cater to appealing to as many as possible is Mike Huckabee. He knows what he stands for. What he stands for directs his course of action, and he has no apology; he doesn't look backward to see what people think of what he says. That is leadership, and that is what we need. Not a weak stomached person who wants power and is willing to adopt answers that will be most popular.

    November 12, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. JD Rugby ND

    Let me get this straight – the National Right to Life Committee endorses Fred Thompson, but Fred Thompson advocates continuing death and violence of Americans and Iraqis in Iraq. There is a disconnect there somewhere.

    November 12, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Dan (Baltimore, MD)

    The anti-women's-rights group endorsed Thompson? If he doesn't reject the endorsement then, he's not getting my vote. Rights to life and body should never be revoked, especially when it is selectively biased against one gender.

    November 12, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Mary, Holland, MI

    One issue voters (and the only one issue voters I know of are pro-lifers) are so narrow minded.

    November 12, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. Sincere Guy, Mesa, AZ

    First, to cultural, religious and Republican-minded folks: Quit your whining and griping! There's a crucial race to win next year. Let's unanimously support whoever the Republican nominee is next year in order to defeat Hillary's quest for power for power's sake. This is ultimately what is at stake!!!

    To progressive, Democratic folks: To respectfully disagree with you, we are not imposing our beliefs on you. We are trying to stand up for our society, which is crumbling like when the culture of the Roman Empire crumbled and was no more.

    For example, the sad fact is that although we Christians have not done enough to reach out to practicing homosexuals (and others suffering from sexual abuse and childhood neglect) in order to show them the powerful love of God and a better existence, the objective reality still remains the same: if society continues to tolerate and promote this and other immoral things, our civilization will suffer the same fate as the Romans-extinction.

    Furthermore, the willingness of many to promote and to attempt to "IMPOSE" this and the ABORTION HOLOCAUST on the rest of us is what is actually offensive.

    We must not be earthly-minded in our approach to society and for pressing for change. We must look beyond the materialism of our age to see the spiritual worth of every human person and our ultimate fate after we leave this earth: eternal happiness with God for those who have striven to follow His Ways, or eternal separation from a loving God by those who seek the ways of the world.

    Still love you and pray for you regardless of what you do!

    November 12, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Carson Minneapolis MN

    ALL politicians are not to be trusted. They will say something to pander to a base of "issues voters" and then fail to do anything about it. The tragic thing about these "issues voters" is that they are so ill-informed of what is actually going on in this world that they think it is a good idea to base there vote completely off of whether or not a candidate agrees with them on such trivial matters as the ridiculous abortion debate, marriage rights for the GLBT community, or gun control. Quite frankly, only their ignorance preceeds them because these issues are so far down on the totem pole that they needn't be worried about by these deceptive politicians. Here's what it is ridiculous about the abortion issue: the more idiotic anti-choice people out there would have you believe that legislation banning the practice will solve the problem. It will NOT. Abortion rates do not increase or decrease due to their legality. But it is shown quite succinctly in Europe how abortion rates do go down due to a better informed populace that has access to conctraceptive protection and pragmatic sex education programs. Look, you will never be able to stop people having sex, but you can educate them to make sure that, if they do it, they are protected as well as they can be and they will be able to avoid making the terrible choice of whether or not to have an abortion. You can't have it both ways with this issue. Either you get over your hang-ups with human sexuality and talk about it or you can continue to repress it and know that when someone makes a mistake, abortions are pretty much the only way out of it. I personally find abortions to be extremely unfortunate for anyone, but the solution, which no one has been really talking about for 30 years is through better education systems, not harsh penalties or illegalizaiton. Furthermore, I love the fact that this group of facist religious nuts is all cut up about who to vote for already. The Republican party is getting everything it deserves for selling its soul to these freaks. I hope that one day the Republican party will harken back to the days of Eisenhower and Gerald Ford instead of bastardizing the religious beliefs of a small group of idiots in order to gaurantee a economically profitable war to the war-mongers who are actually running everything up top. The only way a Republican will win in 08 is if they nominate Guiliani and try to re-gain some ground with the moderate, practical minded voters of the Republican party who are socially liberal (as is the vast majority of this country) but fiscally conservative (which no Republican or Democrat in Washington has been for about 15 years).

    November 12, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. J Houston, TX

    reproductive freedom

    There is no such thing. As a matter of fact, if you're an unfit parent, we take your children away. Unfortunately in cases of abortion that can't be done for 9 months...then we will happily take care of the child that woman fails to care for.

    Since when did a parent have the right to kill their own child? We convict people for manslaughter in car accidents with unborn children, but not the mother on the way to the clinic. Double standard.

    November 12, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Grant H. Lynn, CSA Salt Lake City, UT

    I believe this endorsement is simply a verification of Senator Thompsons beliefs all along. What can't people figure out when he says "I'm 100% Pro Life" or "Marriage is between a man and a woman". Have our leaders given us so much politicotalk that we can't understand simple English. It's refreshing to have a candidate that speaks in English and short, meaningful phrases. I tell people to simply go to and deside for themselves. Watch for Fred'sGivingDay November21st

    November 12, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. Good_Luck_Fred

    I find it fasinating that people are willing to call others names as if they were children. How are we to tell our kids to respect one another if we can't do it ourselves?

    as for Fred....he's honest,m straightforward, and probbly the best pick we have. Don' like my opinion? TOUGH.

    November 12, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. pam in dallas

    Some endorsements you just don't want. I would drop out of the race if they endorsed me and I couldn't get them to recant immediately. Who wants to be know as anti-civil rights?

    November 12, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  20. Gregg K., Huntington Beach, CA

    CONCLUSION: John McCain is the best pick for pro-lifers.

    Posted By Gregg K., Huntington Beach, CA : November 12, 2007 3:25 pm

    Gregg you do realize that when you fight a war based on lies and you plan to bomb Iran when you become president is a violation of the 'right to life' concept. Why do you Christians not comprehend this. Hypocrites.

    Posted By Billyboy : November 12, 2007 4:17 pm


    I suggest you do a fact check. Saddam Hussein and his Administration lied about having WMD stockpiles to deter Iran from attacking Iraq and refused meaningful inspections to cover-up his ruse. Previously, over a million human beings were killed in the Iran-Iraq war which ended in the 1980s. This war was caused by Iraq's invasion of Iran and there was no winner. The U.S. and other leading Intelliegence Agencies believed some of Saddam's disinformation and acted on it after Saddam continued to refuse to allow meaningful inspections. In an ideal world, there would never be any war for any reason. However, our country cannot risk allowing men with warped, destructive, inhumane ideologies acquire WMDs to exterminate the U.S., Western European democracies, and Israel. Stopping this is no more anti-Christian or anti-life than stopping Hitler.

    November 12, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. Chris Rhoades, Franklin, TN

    Ron Paul has written books:
    Abortion and Liberty
    Challenge to Liberty: Coming to Grips with the Abortion Issue

    Has been published in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy with the article: Being pro-life is necessary to defend liberty
    as well as given many speeches and authored many pieces of legislation including defining life beginning at conception.

    Couple that with him being an OB-GYN who has personally delivered over 4000 babies and this endorsement baffles me.

    Kudos for Thompson’s voting record though. We need more that will do the same. You can look at endorsements but when comparing records, Dr. Paul clearly comes out ahead.

    November 12, 2007 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. John, Charlotte, NC

    "We Republicans need to get behind someone that can beat Clinton. Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

    Posted By Terry, Tazewell VA : November 12, 2007 3:12 pm "

    Defining yourself by your dislike of a person is self-defeating and somewhat trivial. The best GOP candidate is the one that is solidly and consistently behind the party platform.
    If the party would spend more time expounding their beliefs, not bashing the beliefs of others, or wrapped up in winning, regardless of what bed has to be jumped into to achieve it, then maybe the general public would have a better image of the GOP.

    November 12, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. George, IL

    It's really the end of the United States if it's really Hillary vs. Guiliani. Can't a nation of 300+ million people come up with a few decent people to run for the Office?

    November 12, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. sgtlejeune

    I have never truly understood the abortion argument from either side in regards to politics. Clinton had a democratic congress for a short time, and nothing was done in regards to Roe v Wade. Bush had a republican congress for 6 years, and nothing was done in regards to Roe v Wade. So I have a hard time believing that either side would do anything in the abortion realm, but use it as a wedge political issue to get votes.

    November 12, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. ronnie - knoxville, tn

    Better a tired actor who wants to shrink the government than an evil socialist who wants to grow it.

    November 12, 2007 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
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