The non-candidate that Republicans claim is their great conservative hope lobbied in 1991 for abortion rights — an action that contradicts his claim to Ronald Reagan’s right-wing legacy.
Fred Dalton Thompson, the on-again, off-again actor and sometimes Senator, represented the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, a pro-abortion group, and lobbied the administration of President George H.W. Bush to ease regulations that prevented clinics that received federal money from offering abortion counseling.
In true Reagan style, Thompson says he “has no recollection” of the lobbying activity.
Reports The Associated Press:
At the time, Thompson, a lawyer, worked as a lobbyist at Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, a Washington firm.
“He may have been consulted by one of the firm’s partners who represented this group in 1991,” Thompson spokesman Mark Corallo said Friday in a statement. “As any lawyer would know, such consultations take place within law firms everyday.”
The newspaper cited minutes from a meeting of the association when Thompson’s work was discussed as well as the recollections of five individuals.
Judith DeSarno, the association’s former president, told The Times that she had specific memories of discussing Thompson’s lobbying work with him in phone conversations and during meals at Washington restaurants.
Minutes of a Sept. 14, 1991, meeting of the association, cited by the newspaper, states: “Judy (DeSarno) reported that the Association had hired Fred Thompson, Esq., as counsel to aid us in discussions with the administration.” According to The Times, DeSarno said Thompson told her he discussed the abortion restriction with John Sununu, then chief of staff to Bush.