By Andy Sher
NASHVILLE — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Corker announced Wednesday the creation of a Corker Pro-life Leadership Council as he seeks to address criticisms from GOP rivals and Tennessee Right to Life about his stance on abortion.
I am honored to have support from such a broad group of pro-life leaders from all parts of Tennessee, Mr. Corker said in a statement.
Chattanoogan Doug Daugherty, a council member and president of the Chattanooga Resource Foundation, said in a statement that he trusts Mr. Corker to protect the unborn.
Bob Corker is pro-life and believes that every life has great value from the time of conception, he said in the statement.
Kimberly George of AAA Women’s Services, a crisis pregnancy center in Hamilton County, is on Mr. Corker’s seven-member council.
Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary, who are seeking the GOP senatorial nomination, have attacked Mr. Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor, on the topic of abortion.
Tennessee Right to Life lobbyist Karen Brukardt said Mr. Corker is looking for pro-life credibility. She said the group is solidly behind Ed Bryant.
Mr. Corker said last week that he was wrong to have said in a 1994 U.S. Senate bid that he personally was against abortion but did not think it was appropriate for government to get involved in the abortion debate.
Bryant spokesman Andrew Shulman said Mr. Corker needs to explain why he actively worked against pro-life legislation in 1995 when he was commissioner of finance and administration.
As state finance commissioner in the mid-1990s, Mr. Corker asked state Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, to stop pushing an amendment that would ban state funding of abortions, Rep. Dunn recently said.
Corker campaign political director Todd Womack said that in 1995 the Sundquist administration faced a $250 million shortfall and was working through a very, very contentious budget.
The amendment that was talked about was at the 11th hour, and ... it was really not appropriate to add any sort of amendment, he said.
Mr. Womack said the council demonstrates the strength Bob Corker has from the pro-life community.
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