Good Ol' Fred's Problem
Fred Thompson just can't seem to tell the truth about his pro-choice lobbying career. The New York Times this morning had an article that nailed Fred.
Billing records show that former Senator Fred Thompson spent nearly 20 hours working as a lobbyist on behalf of a group seeking to ease restrictive federal rules on abortion counseling in the 1990s, even though he recently said he did not recall doing any work for the organization.
According to records from Arent Fox, the law firm based in Washington where Mr. Thompson worked part-time from 1991 to 1994, he charged the organization, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, about $5,000 for work he did in 1991 and 1992. The records show that Mr. Thompson, a probable Republican candidate for president in 2008, spent much of that time in telephone conferences with the president of the group, and on three occasions he reported lobbying administration officials on its behalf.
Mr. Thompson’s work for the family planning agency has become an issue because he is positioning himself as a faithful conservative who is opposed to abortion.
Earlier this month, Mr. Thompson disputed accounts by the group’s former president and others, saying through a spokesman that he had “no recollection” of doing anything to aid the group’s efforts to overturn a rule banning federally financed clinics from dispensing information about abortion to pregnant women. At most, said Mr. Thompson’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, he “may have been consulted by one of the firm’s partners who represented this group.”
Right wingers are starting to notice. This was from a post by a fan over at the National Review.
Fred Thompson is letting this abortion story get out of control, which is entirely avoidable and unnecessary.
While in the Senate, Fred Thompson voted to restrict abortion every chance he got. That is a more solid basis on which to judge him than anything else. He ought simply to say, "It is true that in the early 1990s, I had mixed feelings about abortion and in some ways I was basically pro-choice. But over the past 15 years, I've become solidly pro-life, and and I have the voting record to prove it."
I honestly don't know why he isn't taking this approach, but it would be far better than the kabuki dance we're going through with each new client and questionnaire the media unearths from 15 years ago.