Many have called for the billing records that would substantiate the L.A. Times‘ charge that Senator Thompson lobbied for abortion, or his spokesman’s initial statement that “Fred Thompson did not lobby for this group, period,” or his own subsequent statement that he did not remember. Well, here they are:
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.
So the story is true. As we’ve said before, this is not a deal-breaker, but:
anyone who continues to pretend that he is some kind of pro-life Superman is, well, pretending. He is imperfect and he has morphed–just as his responses to the L.A. Times story have morphed.
I’m not saying he isn’t worth supporting because he’s changed–such a belief is silly and destructive, no matter which candidate you deploy it against. But I am saying that those who refuse to admit that he has changed are deluding themselves, at the risk of no one’s credibility but their own.
Finally, as I said yesterday, I would really appreciate–and I think the nation could use–a clear statement on this issue from the Senator. Governor Romney’s already made his many times, which isn’t surprising, given that he is the only serious candidate consistently talking about cultural/family issues.
Is that such an unreasonable request?