He just said this on FoxNews — and it’s not the first time I’ve heard it:
“I have been pro-life all my career. i always will be. the difference with me and most of the rest of them is that is where i was yesterday, today, and where i will be tomorrow. “
I’m writing this just minutes away from his hometown here in Tennessee — where it was widely reported he was pro-choice in ’94, and he never did nothing to rebut that reporting. Also, in 1997, Thompson wrote a constituent letter saying, “I believe that government should not interfere with individual convictions and actions in this area.” And he also said — concerning Roe v. Wade, “Government should stay out of it. No public financing. The ultimate decision must be made by the woman. Government should treat its citizens as adults capable of making moral decisions on their own.”
Today, Thompson added:
“You know, we can spend a lot of time going back into the 1990′s and trying to revive old battles or we can try to do something about it today.”
I am not trying to revive old battles, nor am I critical of someone who has come around on the issue of life. But it gets a little exasperating to have a guy like Fred Thompson use his “I’ve-been-a-conservative-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow” line for cheap applause (with its inherent criticism of Gov. Romney) when it’s not even true.
The line probably works. I’ve never seen any pundit call him out on it and it probably scores him points with the ill-informed or the purposefully forgetful. When he uttered it in DC, he received laughter and applause from the crowd gathered for the Family Research Council/Alliance Defense Fund’s Values Voter conference. But it is working for Fred beyond providing a superficial soundtrack for his speeches?
Turns out those audience members didn’t actually vote for Fred. In fact, Thompson placed a dismal fourth amongst people who at one time considered him the great evangelical hope.