- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Republican congressman who called President Obama an “enemy of humanity” said Tuesday through a spokeswoman that he should have made clear that he was referring to the president’s policies related to abortion.

Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona said in a speech to conservatives Saturday in St. Louis that given Mr. Obama’s decision to fund international family planning organizations that support legal abortion, “we shouldn’t be shocked that he does all these other insane things.”

“A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can’t do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity,” Mr. Franks said to the “How To Take Back America” conference.

Bethany Haley, spokeswoman for Mr. Franks, said the congressman was referring to “unborn humanity” and should have clarified his statement. She also said Mr. Franks meant to say that Mr. Obama’s abortion-related policies have no place in government, rather than that Mr. Obama has no place in government.

Miss Haley said she spoke to Mr. Franks early Tuesday before he boarded a plane from Arizona to Washington.

“He was just referring to the way President Obama has set himself up as the most pro-abortion president in America’s history,” Miss Haley said. She ticked off a list of the president’s policies and appointments she said were favorable to abortion rights.

“It’s a trend - it’s not just one or two things. Ever since his days in the Illinois Senate, President Obama has been radical on the issue of abortion,” Miss Haley said.

A White House spokesman had no immediate comment.

A video recording of Mr. Franks’ speech was provided by the liberal interest group People for the American Way.

Mr. Franks’ remarks “show a stunning lack of respect for our president and the office of the presidency,” said Michael Keegan, president of People for the American Way.

The conference was organized by conservative interest groups, including the Eagle Forum and Faith2Action.

Before his election to Congress seven years ago, Mr. Franks, 52, founded the Arizona Family Research Institute, a think tank associated with James Dobson’s Focus on the Family organization. Abortion has been his signature issue. He favors rolling back the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, which he likens to genocide.

Mr. Franks has been a consultant to conservative commentator Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign, and served two years in the Arizona House of Representatives. He was appointed by Arizona Gov. Evan Mecham to a state government post overseeing children’s programs.

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