Fred Thompson Watch V

As previously noted herein, non-candidate for president Fred Thompson worked as a lobbyist on behalf of a pro-abortion group in the early 1990s. This remains a problem for his non-campaign.

First, this was clumsily handled from the beginning, with his staff at first issuing a flat denial any such thing every happened. From there the story progressed to "maybe I did" to "If I did it doesn't matter" to "I did and I'm proud of it." Here is the latest version:

"Don't confuse the lawyer with the client," Thompson said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It has nothing to do with one's political views. Lawyering is a profession but it's also a business."

Thompson has come under fire for representing - among others - abortion rights activists, raising questions about his own position as he prepares to enter the contest for the Republican presidential nomination.

"I'm not representing an issue," said Thompson. "I'm representing a client who has an issue."

Thompson, a lawyer, compared his work lobbying to that of a lawyer who represents someone accused of a crime.

"I've represented people accused of crimes," Thompson said. "These are people who deserved representation." MORE

Indeed, people who are accused of crimes deserve representation. This is not exactly the same thing as lobbying the government for political favors. Anyway, neither lawyers nor lobbyists are required to represent everyone who asks them for help. If, in fact, Fred Thompson was willing to lobby on behalf of anybody with cash no matter how much he disagreed with their cause, then the main thing this tells us is that he will do anything if the price is right, ethical principles notwithstanding.

Think about it another way: suppose in the early 1990s Fred Thompson had lobbied the U.S. government on behalf of, say, the Palestinian Liberation Organization? Or Osama bin Ladin? Saddam Hussein? Saudi princes? Open-borders advocates? The Ku Klux Klan? Greenpeace? Would conservatives be so quick to grant absolution on the basis that he was "just representing a client?" Certainly not.

Abortion is a non-negotiable issue for me. There are some things to like about Fred Thompson, but, for me, nothing else will matter until I know that he believes life begins at conception and must be given full legal protection from that very moment.

So far, all I've seen are vague statements from Thompson saying he is "pro-life." Like most politicians, he leaves himself plenty of wiggle room so he can try to be all things to all people. I've been fooled before and it isn't going to happen again. He needs to be specific.

This is one of many reasons Ron Paul remains my candidate of choice. Here is a cool test that helps identify which candidates match your opinions on the issues. Try it out.

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