Skip to comments.Fred Thompson's blunder
Posted on 11/08/2007 12:00:05 AM PST by Tailgunner Joe
WASHINGTON -- Fred Thompson was well into a prolonged dialogue about abortion with interviewer Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday when he said something stunning for social conservatives: "I do not think it is a wise thing to criminalize young girls and perhaps their parents as aiders and abettors." He then went further: "You can't have a (federal) law" that "would take young, young girls ... and say, basically, we're going to put them in jail."
Those comments sent e-mails flying across the country reflecting astonishment and rage by pro-life Republicans who had turned to Thompson as their best presidential bet for 2008. No anti-abortion legislation ever has proposed criminal penalties against women having abortions, much less their parents. Jailing women is a spurious issue raised by abortion rights activists. What Thompson said could be expected from NARAL.
Thompson's comments revealed astounding lack of sensitivity about the abortion issue. He surely anticipated that Russert would cite Thompson's record favoring state's rights on abortion. Whether the candidate just blurted out what he said or planned it, it reflects failure to realize how much his chances for the presidential nomination depend on social conservatives.
(Excerpt) Read more at pittsburghlive.com ...
I consider myself a social conservative, as well as a fiscal conservative and a security conservative. I was CHEERED by Thompson’s remarks. I like a man who says he doesn’t dance to anyone’s tune and means it, even when he talking about the purer than thou wing of the Republican Party.
For me, more than ever, Fred’s the MAN. And I know others who feel exactly the same way.
I don’t dance to anyone’s tune either. Not even Fred’s.
Fred has lost ~30 points at Intrade over the last few weeks, with some heavy short interest still prevailing.
Thompson Tanking in Futures Markets (Intrade, IEM)
Intrade; Iowa Electronic Markets ^ | October 31, 2008
Intrade forum discussion
Freds just telling it like it is. We aren’ty going to throw 13 year old lawbreakers in prison. If that causes people to freak out, then too bad.
Vote for Julie-Annie instead.
Did Novak get this pissed off when Rudy claimed that he could now support a partial birth abortion ban now that it includes an exception for the life of the mother - when EVERY PBA ban ever introduced has included that exception?
Did he see fit to tell everyone that that’s something we could expect from NARAL?
I’m guessing no.
but we should throw abortionists in jail
kinda like hitting the drug dealers instead of the drug users, eh?
Quite frankly, the abortion issue would take care of itself within a generation provided that Christian parents upheld their responsibilities for raising and educating their children. Instead, many are banished to be “educated” in the government school system and end up learning all kinds of perverse values. I wasn’t taught at home, but my parents realized the value of a real education for me and my 8 siblings. That’s why each and every one of us attended/attends a Lutheran school away from the depredations of of the governement school system and the morons that it turns out.
Um, he is not “about the only one.” I too, applaud Fred Thompson’s orientation on the issue. It was no blunder. One can oppose abortion just fine without using the crude tools of the criminal justice system to eliminate it. Indeed, past history indicates that method is a failure. I’d say Fred is wisely avoiding a trap.
Thompson thought better of this position after the program. His campaign manager Bill Lacy told me Tuesday that Thompson “does not want to change the platform” in 2008.
well that’s good to hear.
Me three. Getting some actual federalism back would be worth letting the states decide the abortion question within their own borders.
kinda like hitting the drug dealers instead of the drug users, eh?
yes. even if few were actually incarcerated, it would send a public message that society does not approve of abortion.
the problem is that fred gave the impression he was opposed to states making abortion a crime
Fred Thompson on Tim Russert:
Contrast with Duncan Hunter’s take on the issue:
Since when is believing in federalism a “blunder”?
I do not want to put mothers in jail for having an abortion. Nor do I want to stop abortions during situations where medically, the continuation of the baby THREATENS the mother’s life.
However, I do want to stop abortions. The best way to do that is to go after the doctors or others who perform abortions. First a substantial fine, then loose their license with some jail time, then substantial jail time.
If Novak is against Thompson, I consider it a plus. Novak is pathetic.
I also think we need to counter the NARAL stereotypes. You do not do that by ignoring them.
What society are you talking about? Poll after poll after poll shows a majority of Americans supports legalized abortion.
The "throw abortionists in jail" message doesn't really get a whole lot of political traction these days...
People have asked me, hypothetically, OK it goes back to the states, somebody comes up with a bill, and they say we're going to outlaw this, that, or the other, and my response was, I do not think it is a wise thing to criminalize young girls, and perhaps their parents as aiders and abettors, and perhaps their family physician. And that's what your talking about. It's not a 'sense of the Senate;' you're talking about potential criminal law.
It sounds to me like he is personally opposed to abortion, but is not comfortable with it being illegal.
I think Novak still sees McCain as the frontrunner.
Sure, poll after poll after poll show that we all agree on that one. /s
but the point is jmack...HLA supporters don’t want to put girls in jail but Fred was suggesting that would be the consequence. I don’t think that was very helpful
While I’m against abortion, I’m thorn about what to do with the person who does it, especially when it happens to a young girl. Yeah, like you, I commend Fred for saying this.
a majority of Americans elected and re-elected Reagan and W Bush, who were clearly pro-life.
I think maybe some are missing the nuance ..... I believe it is the fact that he was using NARAL’s propaganda “that young girls would end up in jail”, when no proposal for that has ever ever ever been in the republican platform. Nuanced,yes,beyond me, yes, but this is what I read in Novak’s article, and certainly not that Novak was upset personally.
that was not the point of his article. Freddie used naral’s propaganda, see above. Novak is reporting.
A.) A majority of voters elected and re-elected Reagan and W Bush (except, of course, in 2000 when GWB didn't even enjoy that).
B.) Just because someone votes for a candidate who claims to be pro-life, doesn't mean the voter is pro-life themselves.
I still maintain that a majority of Americans accept legalized abortion.
The outrage over this is proof to me that even some conservatives are not capable of listening to a coherent discussion of someone’s position. Seems they, too, are driven by the sound bite. I thought we were better than that, and am terribly disappointed to learn that so many conservatives are as incapable of rational thought as liberals.
I hope you guys find a guy with the right sound bites you can support. Bomb throwers always appeal to some. I’ll continue to support the most thoughtful candidate in the primaries, Fred Thompson.
Anyone who pays attention to Novak (Democratic, Liberal, American traitor, framer of VP Cheney) is an fool - by their own choice.
Why not? They're murdering their babies, aren't they?
well we have a government that tries to represent the will of the people. If most Americans really wanted abortion to be legal, they would do anything to prevent a pro-life president from winning.
yes but they are misinformed. They don’t know what they are killing. The abortionist does
Pro-life candidates lost in '76, '92 and '96 and in 2000 the pro-life candidate won despite receiving less votes than the pro-choice candidate. The reality of the situation is that voters a.) no longer really care that much about abortion and b.) realize that a pro-life president probably isn't going to do much to change the status quo.
Do the math. It is fair to say by looking at the last two elections that about 1/2 the voters support the pro-choice democrat and the other 1/2 the voters support the republican candidate. Currently, the republican frontrunner is himself, pro-choice.
Kinda starting to look like a consensus, doesn't it?
I consider myself a social conservative, as well as a fiscal conservative and a security conservative. I was CHEERED by Thompsons remarks. I like a man who says he doesnt dance to anyones tune and means it, even when he talking about the purer than thou wing of the Republican Party. For me, more than ever, Freds the MAN. And I know others who feel exactly the same way.I agree with you 100%. The forces lined up against Western Civilization and the American Way of life are huge and are both inside and outside our borders. The self-defined purists would have us sit in our homes, and sit on our hands, while our enemies tear apart what's left of our nation and our freedoms, all in the name of enforcing ideological purity on a single issue.
I never liked Novak and I liked him less after he caused that whole Plame nonsense and I like him even less now.
I don’t think it is so clear cut either way. but does that really matter? A law, even if passed by a slim majority, will still officially represent America. I think the partial abortion ban that was passed sends an important message.
Getting some actual federalism back would be worth letting the states decide the abortion question within their own borders.Which is why Fred is so consistent on this and many other issues. States should have the right to ban abortions, even the right to lock up 13 year old girls if a majority of voters believe that's the best way to enforce the law. But to make it a federal crime is to do what the leftists do: rule everyone in America from the on-high sanctuary of Washington DC. Fred's against that. So am I.
so you have no problem with allowing abortion in states that don’t do anything about it?
You're missing the point.
The point is, pro-lifers aren't looking to throw 13 year-old girls into prison either--and Fred, like Rudy, KNOWS it.
This is a classic strawman argument cynically used by the abortion industry and its minions to generate emotion and anger among voters.
The point is, Fred has adopted the phony-baloney fear mongering of the abortion industry to justify his do-nothing fence-straddling stance on abortion. He's hiding his true laissez-faire pro-abort intentions behind a federalism fig leaf--just LIKE Rudy.
The point cannot be stressed enough: for all intents and purposes, the stances of Fred and Rudy on abortion are indistinguishable.
What part of the concept of federalism are you having trouble comprehending? If I live in a state whose laws I don’t like (and I do), I try to change them. If I can’t and I find the situation intolerable, I can move to another state. But in most cases, and this is one of them, I’d rather the feds pick their noses than pick my state’s laws. It’s why I like Fred.
but fred has a pro-life record. that means he voted for federal laws against abortion. how could this be if he is 1) believes in federalism and 2) just like Rudy
but unborn babies can’t move to another state. they’ll just get killed
Federalism is not a fig leaf. Federalism is a concept born of the great minds that built our nation. Disregard for the concept of federalism is at the root of most evil in this country. An evil that many “conservatives” are willing to rush into just because they are 100% sure that their pet cause is more important than Hillary’s pet causes, or Obama’s pet causes, or the pet cause of the leftist lunatic homeless guy on the corner.
Everyone has pet causes. The Framers knew that. Hence: federalism.
Federalism pre-dated the pro-life movement and if our country survives it will be because federalism, in one form or another, manages to survive the onslaught of the various forms of Collectivism and Centralism that plague modern America.