Posted: November 13, 2007 6:37 PM
Thompson Gets Big Boost from 'Right to Life' Group Endorsement
The presidential campaign of former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson received a boost Tuesday with a key endorsement from the largest anti-abortion organization in the nation. The National Right to Life Committee said it endorsed Thompson because of the “strong, consistent pro-life record throughout his political career” and because he “believes the 1973 abortion on demand Supreme Court decision was wrongly decided and must be reversed.”
The endorsement came as a surprise to many because it eschews another candidate with conservative views on abortion, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Last week on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ Thompson said that he opposed a “human life amendment” that would ban all abortions - in contrast with Huckabee and the official GOP platform - and would rather let states decide their own laws.
For Thompson’s campaign, the NRLC’s support came at a good time. (“I am blessed and grateful,” Thompson said of the endorsement.) The Washington Post published a lengthy article about “chaos” in Thompson’s campaign in a front-page story Monday. Washington Post reporter Michael D. Shear describes Thompson’s campaign as full of “bickering and infighting over operations and strategy” and that “even his allies have questioned the way it has been run.”
His campaign, with the exception of South Carolina, is not faring well in the polls. The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza reported that in some polls, Thompson isn’t even in the top five.
“The most recent data comes from New Hampshire where two surveys were released over the weekend. The first, conducted by the University of New Hampshire for the Boston Globe, put Thompson in sixth (yes, SIXTH) place with just three percent of the vote….The last three polls taken in Iowa put Thompson in fourth, fifth and fourth place, respectively, and his high water mark in any of those surveys is 11 percent,” Cillizza wrote.
While on the trail Friday, Thompson unveiled his plan for overhauling social security. The Wall Street Journal noted that no other candidate “has offered such a detailed plan nor talked so eagerly and often about the issue,” while the Politico’s Jonathan Martin praises Thompson for sticking to the issues and for “letting Fred be Fred.”
NBC’s David Gregory tagged along with Thompson in Iowa, where it’s “running cold” for the campaign. In the segment, Thompson describes the race as an uphill climb for the Republican Party and for his campaign.
In South Carolina, the numbers are better, with Thompson at the top of some polls. With recent campaign stops in the state at dining establishments such as the Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg, Beef O’Brady’s in Fort Mill, Tommy’s Country Ham House in Greenville and the NASCAR Cafe in Myrtle Beach, Thompson shared his dieting and eating habits with supporters. “If it tastes good, don’t eat it,” Thompson said, according to the Associated Press.