Thompson Infanticide Distortion Advances Anti-Obama Smear

10/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

As Josh Marshall noted last night, former Sen. Fred Thompson appears to have picked up on the infanticide smear against Barack Obama.

During his speech to the Republican National Convention last night, Thompson said: "And 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's comment tracks with a campaign launched by Deal Hudson, a conservative Catholic operator and McCain adviser, to convince voters that Obama supports infanticide.

Of course, the "pay grade" remark is a reference to Obama's visit to Rick Warren's Saddleback Forum, in which he responded to a question about when human rights begin by saying: "whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity ... is above my pay grade."

But nowhere in his answer did Obama lump in "newly born" babies' rights as part of his answer. In order to tag Obama with the infanticide charge, Thompson not only had to ignore the distinction between federal and state statues meant to protect newly born babies (as most "infanticide" campaigners do), he also had to distort Obama's conversation with Rick Warren.

Presumably, he did so with John McCain's blessing. Asked for comment, an Obama spokesperson merely referenced the campaign's forceful online rebuttal of the infanticide smear, which was posted online after the claim gained traction in Christian circles.

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