August 18th, 2007
10:53 AM ET
13 years ago

Thompson: Roe 'bad law and bad medicine'

Watch CNN's John King interview Fred Thompson.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Likely Republican White House hopeful Fred Thompson told CNN Friday that he would work to overturn Roe v. Wade if elected president, and would push for a constitutional amendment that protects states from being forced to honor gay marriages performed in other states.

“I don’t think that one state ought to be able to pass a law requiring gay marriage or allowing gay marriage and have another state be required to follow along,” Thompson told CNN’s John King in an interview Friday.

Thompson added that the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion “was bad law and bad medicine.”

As for when he will jump into the race, the former Tennessee senator said "shortly."

“We are going to be getting in if we get in, and of course, we are in the testing the waters phase,” he said. “We’re going to be making a statement shortly that will cure all of that. But yeah, we’ll be in traditionally when people get in this race."

Thompson also said he believed he could enter the presidential race next month and still win the Iowa caucuses.

On the issue of Iraq, Thompson refused to provide a timeline for how much longer US forces would remain in the country under his administration, but said, “We need to make every effort to make sure that we don’t get run out of there with our tail between our legs before we’ve done the job of securing that place.”

Asked about critics who call him “too lazy” to put in the long hours necessary to run for president, Thompson said: “If I have critics in Washington it's not going to come as a surprise to me. I'll have more by the end of this campaign,” adding, “The proof’s in the pudding. I think that’s curable.”

- CNN Chief National Correspondent John King

Filed under: Fred Thompson
soundoff (535 Responses)
  1. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    This guy is a JOKE, end of story.

    Wonder if he will wear a Ronald Reagan mask to appearances.

    August 17, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Rich, Texas

    Just another George Bush!!!Do we really want that or can we even afford that? I am tired of the same old worn out diversions the Republicans use to keep people from voting on real issues...What is next Flag Burning? Get real, please...

    August 17, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. die, another day, another time

    Oh puhleeze, like he's the moral majority? He's been married how many times? What gives him the right to overturn Roe V. Wade, and more importantly pass judgement on alternative lifestyles.

    August 17, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Rich, McKinney, Texas

    Just another George Bush and a Reagan want to be!!! I am tired of the worn out diversions Republicans use to keep people from realizing what they really stand for...What is next, Flag burning?

    August 17, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Paul Marsh Scranton Pennsylvania

    Fred Thompson does a pretty fair job of portraying a hard line conservative.
    Acting is a great discipline for honing your pandering skills.

    August 17, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. VanReuter NY NY

    He will make a great candidate...for the democrats. lol
    Hillary will crush him and then a little man in Phoenix Az. will be crawling back under his rock for EIGHT YEARS.


    August 17, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. John, Atlanta, GA

    Actually, the author of this story is not especially up on his politics. A conservative person would advocate Federalism and want the states to decide their own laws, or as Reagan said, "Vote with your feet."

    So the person who compared him to Reagan is completely wrong and needs to brush up on history.

    August 17, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. David, Arlington, VA

    How the heck would he know if abortion is bad medicine? Last I checked, he doesn't have an MD. And as for his comments on gay marriage: "I don’t think that one state ought to be able to pass a law requiring gay marriage or allowing gay marriage and have another state be required to follow along..." Um, doesn't that fly right in the face of the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution (not to mention, more broadly speaking, the equal protection clause). Sure, if a state like Alabama doesn't want to recognize a gay marriage legally performed in Massachusetts, they can pass a state law doing so (which several states have done). But to try to completely ignore the principles of full faith and credit on the federal level, and via Constitutional amendment no less, screams federal over-reach and a violation of states' rights (two things one would think a conservative like Thompson would be against). For someone with a law degree, you'd think he'd consider the legal ramifications of his policy positions more carefully.

    August 17, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Jenny, Louisville, Ky

    What an idiot. Why does this country love idiots so much?????

    August 17, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. Rylee, Columbia, SC

    My sister was very sick while pregnant and was told she would stroke out and die if she did not terminate the pregancy. I feel some abortions are neccessary in that sense, and do not feel comfortable with that option being removed.

    August 17, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. S, Orlando, FL

    Give me a break? This guy is the GOP's great hope for holding on to the presidency? He sounds like a total idiot to me.

    “We need to make every effort to make sure that we don’t get run out of there with our tail between our legs before we’ve done the job of securing that place.” Real tough talk from yet another chickenhawk.

    August 17, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. K, Charlotte, NC

    Abortion is murder. This is not an opinion; it is a fact. I'd vote for anyone willing to protect babies in a heartbeat! When will someone stand up for the unborn?

    August 17, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Rod, Charlotte NC.

    I don't know a single person who will vote for this guy.
    His comments concerning Roe vs Wade and Gay Marriage make me feel like qualifying him as against personal freedom and completely unamerican.
    Imposing your core belief that someone should not have the right to choose marriage or abortion is abominable. People have to have choices and do what is right for them and their families. Be it gay, straight, white, black, hispanic, asian whatever we need to remember that personal freedom is a key core value of our nation.

    August 17, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Tia, Iowa

    What and idiot!

    August 17, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. Mark Ramsey MD Fort Lauderdale FL

    Thank goodness! We finally have a genuine homophobic sexist protestant white male in the race. Please save us Fred!!!

    August 17, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. Killer Chimp, Aventura, FL

    God I hate politicians. Power hungry bible thumper. What about abortions for rape and incest? Why so concerned about gays getting married. If they love each other why not. Get off it. Not an important issues. Geeze!

    August 17, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. Mel, Stockbridge Georgia

    Same old Republican line, pandering to the would-be Christian ayatollahs and their campaign cash. Please, no more actors or cowboys in the White House.

    August 17, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. Niels, Sykesville, MD

    For those naive enough to say they will ban Abortion, I have two questions... 1. How will you fund the needed additional jails and prisons? and 2. How long a sentence will you recommend for our women and daughters to serve? Abortion illegal = women in jail for it, no ifs ands or buts...

    August 17, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. Ron, Los Altos, CA

    Geez, I'm a registered Republican and I would never give this guy my vote. If by some bizarre miracle he becomes the Republican front-runner, I'm going independant...

    August 17, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. David, Gilbert Arizona

    I don't have a problem with Fred Thompson's stance on Roe v Wade and not because of some right-wing neo-con moral stance. It is because women use their "right" to choose with almost wrecklace abandon. A woman's right to choose does not consider the choice of the father either. Abortion should be used only in extreme cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. Abortion should not be used as a matter of convenience.

    I do have an issue with anyone who would tamper with the Constitution of the United States, especially when the matter is being addressed at the state level. This is the United States, meaning a group of states that are united together. A constitutional ammendment disregards the rights of a state government to pass legislation based on the will of the people.

    I am interested to know how Fred will approach the issue of immigration reform. Right now Fred resembles Dubya WAY too much to get elected. If Fred is in favor of a guest worker program and a path to citizenship for the 12 million illegal immigrants Fred is pretty much toast, just like what happened to McCain.

    August 17, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Ian, New York, NY

    Who the heck is this guy?

    August 17, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  22. Susan - New York, N.Y.

    Another man who wants to dictate morals and take away a woman's right to choose. Sounds alot like the Taliban to me. I may have to apply for political asylum in another "democratic" country.

    August 17, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Dani, Topeka, Kansas

    Hey, all you people who are so concerned about the unborn, maybe you could become more concerned about sentient human beings already living, and support a troop withdrawal from Iraq, or stem cell research, alleviating poverty, etc. I don't understand people like Fred Thompson who are all for life, but clearly despise living human beings.

    August 17, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. Angry Woman

    By overturning Roe vs. Wade you'll be pushing women into "backalley" abortions which is far more dangerous. If an abortion is a danger to a woman's health then there should be that option. Also if a woman, or a teenager is raped the option for an abortion should be there. What right does anyone have to tell them that they HAVE to carry to term? Abortion shouldn't be used as a form of birth control, but you shouldn't have the government or religious zealots decide what's best for a woman.

    August 17, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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