Friday, August 31, 2007

Fred Thompson Wanted to Get Rid of GOP Platform in 1996

Fred Thompson Wanted to Get Rid of GOP Platform in 1996

July 10, 2007

The Brody File has come up with a few interesting quotes from Fred Thompson's past.

First off, it appears Thompson wasn't a big fan of the GOP having any sort of platform back in 1996. In April of 1996, this is what The Memphis Commercial Appeal wrote: Thompson wants to change the way the 1996 Republican National Convention is conducted. For starters, he wants to abolish the party platform - just toss the archaic thing away. 'It's the most useless device I've ever heard of,' Thompson said during a recent visit to Memphis."

Thompson also said this in a separate article from April of 1996:
Thompson: "Does Anyone Remember What Was In The Last , Except Abortion? … If We Get Caught Up In Having A Platform Debate And Stuff Like That, We Deserve To Lose."

In August of that same year, Thompson called abortion a "distracting issue." Read below from an Associated Press article:
U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson says he seldom hears about abortion in campaign travels throughout Tennessee and hopes the issue is downplayed at the Republican National Convention. The Tennessee Republican, a pro-choice defender in a party with an anti-abortion tilt, is preparing for next week's convention in San Diego. He said the party must avoid distracting issues and focus on electing Bob Dole as president. 'We need to concentrate on what brings us together and not what divides us,' Thompson said in an interview with The Tennessean published Tuesday.

Later in that same 1996 AP article came this part:
In 1996, Thompson Said Republican Ideals Don't Need To Be Written Down Into Platform. "Thompson said he opposes making early-term abortions a crime, as some Republicans would like to do with a constitutional amendment. 'But I don't think you should bolt on one issue. I'm still not convinced platforms are a good idea. We know what we believe in and I don't think we need to write it all down in a document,' Thompson said.

So what are we to make of all of this?

On the GOP platform, I would think there are a great number of Republicans who believe the platform is very important because it stands for the principals the party unites behind. But as Thompson says, I'm sure there are those who think the document is a big waste of time.

On the abortion issue, it seems pretty clear that Thompson felt abortion was more of a distraction to the party. You get the sense that he saw it as divisive and something to avoid or downplay at the convention. Pro-lifers will take issue with that. I know Thompson's defenders will point to his stellar pro-life record in the Senate.

Fair enough. But be warned FDT fans: The other campaigns will be gunning for your guy. I don't think Romney or Giuliani will do it publicly. They have their own abortion issues to deal with. Instead, expect a stealth campaign where stories "pop up" about Thompson's past musings on this issue. They know he's a threat.




Fred Thompson's Position on Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage

August 20, 2007


Have you heard Fred Thompson’s position on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage? The story is a little confusing.

On Friday, he was asked the following question by CNN’s John King:

King: “Would a President Fred Thompson actively push a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage?

Thompson: “Yes”

Watch the entire question and answer here  <>because once you do, that yes is not really a yes. As a matter of fact, here’s what the Thompson “unofficial campaign” put out after the CNN interview:

In an interview with CNN today, former Senator Fred Thompson’s position on constitutional amendments concerning gay marriage was unclear.Thompson believes that states should be able to adopt their own laws on marriage consistent with the views of their citizens. He does not believe that one state should be able to impose its marriage laws on other states, or that activist judges should construe the constitution to require that.If necessary, he would support a constitutional amendment prohibiting states from imposing their laws on marriage on other states.Fred Thompson does not support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Read more here. <>

So here’s my take. He’s against the amendment FOR NOW unless federal courts get so crazy that they overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Defense of Marriage Act is FEDERAL legislation signed in 1996 by President Clinton that protects states from having to recognize gay marriages that are sanctioned by other states. Critics say the law is unconstitutional and everybody is waiting to see if the federal courts will strike it down. Then the real fight begins.

What Thompson seems to be saying here is that he’d be FOR the amendment if the 1996 FEDERAL law is overturned. This seems to be the only sensible position Thompson can take. He’s always been a federalist at heart so if he comes out in support of a FEDERAL constitutional amendment then it’s like he’s turning his back on his federalist principles. This position gives him some wiggle room so if DOMA is overturned, he can then say something like this: “Now is the time to act to put family values and preserving the sanctity of marriage over my personal federalist values”. (Or something like that)

Having said all that, his positioning here could be a problem with pro-family groups. They want a constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage and they want a President who will push for it. Mitt Romney is the only top tier candidate that is flat out for one right now.

Will Evangelical leaders be OK with Thompson’s position? If you are in favor of a constitutional amendment, are you OK with this position? I imagine there are some “Fred Heads” out there who believe in a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. How does this sit with you?





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