ABC News’ Christine Byun Reports: Republican candidate Fred Thompson appeared with his family before a group of religious conservatives and said his "heart is fully engaged with [his] head" on the issue of abortion.
"As President of United States, no legislation that funds or supports this procedure would pass my desk without my veto," Thompson promised, eliciting heavy applause.
The former lawyer has been questioned for his lobbying work on behalf of an abortion-rights group. Today, he talked about his experiences as a father to highlight his pro-life stance.
Thompson – who has admitted to not regularly attending church – also said, if elected, his first act as President of United States would be to pray.
"I would go into the Oval office and close the door, and pray for the wisdom to know what was right," Thompson told the social conservation crowd, garnering a standing ovation. The former senator has admitted that he does not belong to a church in McLean, Virginia, where he currently lives with his family, but attends church when he visits his mother in Tennessee.
The GOP hopeful came to the Values Voters Summit to woo conservatives, declaring "the greatest pulpit of them all is the presidency of the United States" and said he wouldn’t be "afraid to use it."
He said he would appoint "strict conservative" judges. He also addressed the economy, which he called a "moral issue," and said he would tackle the third rail of politics: Social Security.
Thompson discussed his proposal to keep marriage "between a man and a woman," in which an amendment would allow states to decide for themselves regarding marriage laws. His proposed constitutional amendment has drawn criticism from Christian conservatives, specifically Focus on the Family leader, Dr. James Dobson, who is also speaking at the conference.
After a week of taking on his GOP rivals, Thompson’s snubs towards his rivals were much more muted today.
On-stage, he did not reference them by name, but prior to his speech, a cadre of campaign volunteers eagerly handed out fliers which contrasted his record on social issues with those of his opponents, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.