Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson says he "can understand why" the National Right to Life Committee would endorse him. That endorsement is rumored to be made official tomorrow. On Monday afternoon during a conversation with Radio Iowa, Thompson said he didn’t want to be presumptuous and he would not confirm that backing was in the works.
"I would say I would certainly welcome it. I have been a supporter of pro-life causes," Thompson said. "I have had a 100 percent pro-life voting record when I was in the senate on all kinds of different issues that would come before the United States Congress."
Thompson, who campaigned in Oskaloosa and Indianola Monday morning, said the group has supposed him in the past — and he "would appreciate" their backing in the presidential race. "In terms of signals, I just think that it would mean that those who look at these matters the most and consider them the most carefully know my record and know me and would be supportive of me," Thompson said.
Last week Thompson proposed major reform of the Social Security system, including the option of voluntary savings accounts for younger workers with the federal government matching some of the money depositing in those accounts. "No one has proposed anything like this before and I think it’s incumbent upon anybody running for office to address it," Thompson said. "Everybody says it’s a problem, but no one — so far — has had any nerve to do anything about it."
Thompson contends the current system is "unsustainable" because of the demographics — the massive Baby Boomer generation that’s starting to retire and receive Social Security benefits. Thompson said he’s pressing his plan because it shows he’s a "credible" candidate.
"That I’m not just coming up with sound bites that sound good to people that are safe and then plan on doing something else once I get in," Thompson said. "I’m telling you exactly what I think we need to do on the front end."
According to Thompson, he’s having a debate with himself on the issue among the Republican candidates. Democrat Barack Obama has called for raising taxes on the wealthy to fix the "cash flow’ problem in Social Security. Thompson said that’s the wrong choice because increasing taxes on a "productive segment of our society" is not the right answer.