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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fred Thompson Speaks at RNC Convention

Fred Thompson, former Tennessee Senator, one-time presidential candidate, and who also played DA Arthur Branch in the Law & Order Universe, gave a speech at the Republican National Convention last night. Here’s the video of his speech, and the AP Press release covering it. Maybe it’s just me, but he sounded like he was slurring his words a bit. It could be something as simple as a set of bad dentures. I know Fred was treated for cancer a while back, so I hope he is in good health.

Thompson raps Obama on abortion answer

Thompson raps Obama on abortion answer

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Fred Thompson, "Law & Order" actor and former senator, used a Republican National Convention speech to denounce Barack Obama for declining to say when human life begins, although Thompson's own record on abortion is mixed.

"We need a president who doesn't think that the protection of the unborn or a newly born baby is above his pay grade," Thompson said, according to excerpts of his remarks planned for Tuesday night.

The comment was a clear reference to an answer that Obama gave at a forum at California's Saddleback Church sponsored by the popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren. On a question referring to the number of abortions in the country, Warren asked Obama at what point he believed babies had human rights.

"Well, you know, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade," the Illinois senator replied.

Obama supports abortion rights, while GOP nominee-in-waiting John McCain is opposed. Thompson also is opposed, though he faced criticism during his presidential campaign because he lobbied in 1991 for an abortion rights group. He also answered a 1994 newspaper survey by saying, "The ultimate decision on abortion should be left with the woman and not the government."

After Monday's opening session of the convention was abbreviated and toned down in deference to Hurricane Gustav, Thompson's prepared remarks indicated politics was back on the agenda, with the actor highlighting McCain's status as a maverick.

Thompson said that McCain has the "kind of character that civilizations from the beginning of history have sought in their leaders."

Best known recently as the gruff district attorney on NBC's "Law & Order," Thompson once was a rival of McCain. But the Tennessean dropped out of the presidential race in January after his much-anticipated campaign failed to gain strong support among conservatives.

Thompson's address included a defense of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose announcement as McCain's running mate has been overshadowed by disclosures that an attorney has been hired to represent Palin in an investigation into an Alaska controversy and that her unmarried daughter is pregnant.

"Let's be clear: the selection of Governor Palin has the other side and their friends in the media in a state of panic," Thompson said. "She is a courageous, successful, reformer, who is not afraid to take on the establishment."

Thompson said he believes McCain and Palin will "take the federal bureaucracy by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shaking."

He also said that McCain, a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, has traveled to Iraq eight times since 2003 "seeking truth, not publicity.

"This man, John McCain, is not intimidated by what the polls say or what is politically safe or popular," Thompson said.

McCain restored people's faith in government by pushing for reform during his time in Washington, he added.

Said Thompson: "Confronting when necessary, reaching across the aisle when possible, John personified why we came to Washington in the first place."

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