August 18th, 2007
10:53 AM ET
14 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. Darrell Ashworth, Hurricane, WV

    Fred Thompson has my vote. Banning 2 different immoralities (abortion and homosexuality) is a great start. Liberals are such morons. I see idiots on here posting that it is 2007 not 1907. Morality has no sense of time. What was wrong and immoral then is wrong and immoral now. Thompson will win. Liberals and CNN idiots will not stop him

    August 17, 2007 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. Christian, Palmetto FL

    Considering his Senate record, Thompson would simply be a Tennessee version of Bush, and possibly worse. For goodness sakes, his first campaign manager was a Tobacco executive.

    After seeing him speak on TV, I can't think of any candidate that seems more out of touch with American citizens that desperately want change.

    August 17, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    WOW! Fred I hope you win the Republican nomination! GOOD LUCK! You will be a gift to Democrats all across the nation, you are going to get roasted buddy! God bless you!

    August 17, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. Josh, Columbia, SC

    CNN needs to be more accurate in its headlines. Saying Thompson wants to overturn Roe v. Wade is NOT the same thing as saying he would ban abortion. As CNN should know, the effect of overturning Roe v. Wade would be to return regulation of abortion to the states, NOT to outlaw it. This sort of inaccuracy is the kind of thing that exposes CNN to legitimate criticism of liberal bias.

    August 17, 2007 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. dg, la, ca

    Wow, it really works! Gays and abortion really do get Americans to hate each other. Gotta give it to the Republicans.

    August 17, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  6. ALS Boston, MA

    I have read over 200 comments thus far.

    About ONE in TWENTY was either supporting or stating that they would vote for Fred Thompson....Hopefully, that will be the same election result. ONE in TWENTY for Fred and the'CONSERVATIVES'

    August 17, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Claire, Shreveport, La.

    Ridiculous. What, is every half-assed politician-wannabe running for president now? I had respect for him as an actor on Law & Order, but as a politician.... Especially with those views on abortion? Please. He is nuts.

    August 17, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. rob v. san diego

    before anyone yells at me i know i meant the declaration of independance, not the constitution. im lousy at history but i remember the line from the doument well

    August 17, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. Danielle - Honolulu, HI

    He will most certainly not get my vote and I will make sure other people know about it too!

    August 17, 2007 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. CJB

    Who does he think he is to ban abortion? I would definitely vote Democratic if he is the Republican candidate.

    August 17, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. John from America

    Leave it up to "Old Fred for Real" to bring up non-issues in a national debate! Fred – where do you stand on the middle class poverty, middle class national dept, middle class education, middle class health care, veterans health care, housing for American poor, hungry school children, etc! No, you have to bring up right wing hot button issues and ignore what's really wrong in America today. Oh yes, you don't have a clue – go back to acting fool!

    August 17, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. Rahn, Loxahatchee FL

    Yeah, so what... What about Ron Paul?

    August 17, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. anonymous

    Shades of the Taliban.
    If our founders came for religious freedom, where do we go next?

    August 17, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. Chris M. Florissant, CO

    I'm sure at some point all of us have had the daydream of....if only I was the one in charge....welcome to the real world doesn't happen that way. I dont subscribe to cable tv, or any other kind, so i dont know your work, never seen you before to remember anyway. Your comments about this one issue are all I need to hear from you. I dont believe that a country made up of millions of diverse individuals like America needs another President who wants nothing more than to "play act". Have we not just spent the last 7 years seeing what damage can be caused by someone who has the belief that THEY in fact know whats best for everyone, and their way is the only right way? You, and other politicians, dont give enough credit to the American people and their intelligence. I cannot possibly consider you as a serious candidate for Presidency, we need to repair this country and its reputation, not continue the bumblings of someone who wants to play dictator. This is a role for REAL MR. Thompson, not for a silly tv show.

    August 17, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  15. Jennifer Cincinnati

    Saving the lives of innocent human beings is a justice issue. Fred Thompson however has no finesse and will never be elected. If abortion is outlawed then women will flock to Canada to have one. Our society does not see the sacredness of's all for fun and pleasure. When you look @ sexuality with it's many gifts...then you will see how precious life is....especially from conception.
    I really don't understand all the debate about gay if men will stop having sex with women. Please!!! Let people marry whom they choose.

    August 17, 2007 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  16. jms, Dyer, Tn

    Thomoson needs to go back to the farm and stay there.We really do not need another bigot in the White House

    August 17, 2007 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  17. Dave; Doylestown, PA

    I heard that Thompson was pro-choice back when he was a young Hollywood hunk making the rounds with the ladies. Hmmm... I'd chalk him up as another GOP hypocrite.

    August 17, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. Mike, charlotte nc

    If this is a true statement than he can save time, money, and energy by not bothering to run.

    August 17, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  19. Teresa Hively, Wenatchee, WA

    If Thompson really thinks that the women of this country will allow their right to reproductive choice to be taken away he is delusional.

    August 17, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  20. Randy Austin, TX

    I used to think maybe Fred Thompson was pretty much harmless. However, after hearing his stand on abortion and gay I think this man would be the absolute WORST choice for an American president, and set our coutry back 50 years. Please America, not let this man get elected to anything ever again.

    August 17, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  21. Andre Comeau, Boston

    I agree with most comments above. Mr Thompson might want to stick with his acting. I am really doubting and mass media polls that give him such high numbers when Ron Paul is sweeping reactions everywhere and still is not on board. Can someone explain who is controlling these polls?

    August 17, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  22. Anthony, Greensburg, PA

    To all you goof-ball RTL'rs: What is your level of concern in regard to the aborted 18 year-old men and women in the Middle East Mess? Dull and slow minded fools are so easily duped by these overtly calculated splitting topics. Let's focus on feeding, providing health care, and educating our nation before we approach such fringe matters. This guy is a hack.

    August 17, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. Catherine, DeLand FL

    It is impossible to legislate morals. That is what the GOP has been trying to do. Evidently, it isn't working and won't work if the Supreme Court does its job. But if another George Bush wanna-be gets into office, we might see a rise in peaceful civil disobedience. I refuse to have someone legislate how I care for my body and who I can or cannot marry. I don't think any of the GOP candidates understand that they must reflect the concerns of the constituents...and not their own personal agendas.

    August 17, 2007 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. Ralph, San Deigo, CA

    I would not want to see Roe vs. Wade overturned. It is not that I agree with abortion, because I do not. I think it is murder. Doing so would only force women into back alleys to be operated on by shady, inept doctors. That’s not the answer. If we cannot convince people that abortion is wrong through intelligent dialogue, then trying to force that believe upon them by overturning Roe vs. Wade isn’t going to work. I am a republican, conservative, Christian, Hispanic male who would NEVER vote for the likes of Fred Thompson. We need some who can unite not divide. If Fred gets the nomination, I’ll be sitting out this election!

    August 17, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  25. Ed - Philadelphia

    Oh brother, another overly invasive social conservative..They're all the same; all the worlds problems can be traced to abortion, pornography, & Howard Stern...I HATE social conservatives, & will never vote Republican again soley because of that awful group..

    Straight Democratic tickets, then again, that's the only way I've voted....

    August 17, 2007 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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