Despite Buzz, Thompson Swats Away Question About His Lobbying Activities

Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, center, and his, wife, Judith, tour the garage area at the Daytona International Speedway before the start of the Pepsi 400 in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, center, and his, wife, Judith, tour the garage area at the Daytona International Speedway before the start of the Pepsi 400 in Daytona Beach, Fla. (By John Raoux -- Associated Press)
By Politics
Sunday, July 8, 2007

Republican Fred D. Thompson refused to say yesterday whether he recalled lobbying President George H.W. Bush's administration in 1991 to loosen restrictions on abortion counseling, work that officials and documents say he accepted.

Thompson gave an oblique response when asked about the matter, first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

"I'd just say the flies get bigger in the summertime. I guess the flies are buzzing," said Thompson, a former senator from Tennessee who is considering running for president as a social conservative.

A family-planning group hired Thompson as a lobbyist in its fight against a White House regulation blocking clinics that received federal money from offering abortion counseling, the Times reported.

Thompson spoke yesterday to 350 people at the Young Republican National Convention in Hollywood, Fla. The crowd interrupted his nine-minute speech with wild applause, especially when Thompson said he was the top target of the New York Times and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Hours later, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, an announced GOP presidential candidate, addressed the crowd and was also well-received. He repeatedly criticized Clinton on a number of issues and knocked the health care plan of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

-- Associated Press

Flat-Out Opposed

Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani drew jeers yesterday for saying he does not think a flat federal income tax is right for the country.

"I don't think a flat tax is a realistic change for America. Our economy is dependent upon the way our tax system operates," the former New York mayor said at a town hall meeting in Jacksonville, Fla. "I have a real question whether it would be the right transition for our economy."

Giuliani said he supports a simpler tax system and cuts in federal taxes, including the elimination of the inheritance tax.


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