A decade after he helped persuade a president to allow funding of some embryonic stem cell research, Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor and presumptive U.S. Senate candidate, paid a visit to the Vatican on Wednesday to deliver a very different message.
In Rome, Thompson, who is Roman Catholic, portrayed himself as a strong proponent of adult stem cells – cells that aren’t culled from embryos – while appearing to brush aside the embryonic stem cell research he once defended.
In 2008, appearing before a room full of scientists at the World Stem Cell Summit in Madison, Thompson again took credit for helping persuade the president to allow at least some research involving embryonic stem cells.
More than a year earlier, however, during his short-lived campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Thompson had begun disavowing embryonic stem cell research on the campaign trail. Thompson began testing the presidential waters in January 2007, saying that he favored embryonic stem cell research under the Bush policy guidelines. But by July of the same year he was quoted in an Iowa newspaper saying he would veto any bill from Congress that allowed such research.
Published: Nov 10, 2011