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. Chula Vista, CA

    Tom wrote:
    What will Thompson do when Ginsburg, Breyer, Stevens, Souter and Kennedy declare interspecies "marriage", bestiality and same-sex "marriage" to be "fundamental constitutional rights"?
    You forgot about them dropping the legal age of consent to13 so all of those perverts caught on tape on NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” won’t have to hide in the shadows any more. That will also allow those same pervs in the House and Senate to “come out of the toy chest.” Your comments may have been meant as satire… But that IS where we are heading. God help us!

    August 17, 2007 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. A. Chico-Juarbe, Arecibo, Puerto Rico

    Everything that Mr. Thompson said in the interview is correct. Roe v. Wade is bad law. The Supreme Court based it's decision on a so-called privacy right that does not exist in the U.S. Constitution. The "right" to abortion was, and should be, a matter to be decided by each state. That is the way our states were designed to work. On the other point, one state does not have to give "full faith and credit" to an act by one state that is illegal in the other one. Reagan was right. Vote with your feet. If you want to live in a homosexual marriage, move to Massachussetts or Vermont, states in which that kind of marriage is legal. The U.S. is not a unitary state. It is a federation with 50 different states. It should stay that way.

    August 17, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  3. A. Sandifer, Orangeburg, SC

    He has my attention so far, unlike anyone else in the running! I like what he is saying so far and I will following him closely to see what else he has to say. There is not one person male or female that is in the running that has made one statement that impresses me, until now that is!

    August 17, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  4. Tod, Sacramento California

    From what I understand about Roe vs Wade,if it is overtured it then becomes a state issue. So what does that accomplish? I am not for abortion as it is being used for contraception but I also believe in a womans choice. This will never be an easy issue to solve.

    August 17, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  5. Kathy Canfield, OH

    What an idiot! It's 2007, not 1907! Get a clue!

    August 17, 2007 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  6. David, Maricopa AZ

    I guess being an actor and an elected official really doesn't mix. The fact that Roe v. Wade has been law for over 30 years and a states right to govern dates back to the contstitution means squat to Mr. Thompson. Next up another civil war.

    August 17, 2007 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  7. Tina, Dallas, TX

    Fred Thompson definitely would get my vote!

    August 17, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  8. David Blackburn, Huntington, West Virginia

    Republicans are such hypocrites. I find it hypocritical that while they use the Fox News Network to bash the Hollywood elite, the Republican and Right Wing neo-cons are pushing an ACTOR to represent their party in the presidential race. GO FIGURE!

    August 17, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  9. Ron, Combine, TX

    Finally, someone who speaks his mind and doesn't worry about political correctness. Roe vs. Wade – right pn target. Gay marriage – thanks, Fred, for being a voice of reason. He's got my vote.

    August 17, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  10. Ken, Boston MA

    As usual liberals can't read, or at least read what was said. He didn't say he's outlaw abortion, only support overturning Rowe. He also didn't say he outlaw homosexual marriage, he did say he would try to make sure just because one state did marry homosexuals another wouldn't be forced to recognize the marriage. These are basic principles of Federalism and no different than saying that just because one state gives you a concealed weapon license each evry other state must allow you to carry when you travel.

    Really, try comprehending what's been said.

    August 17, 2007 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. Nancy Edwards , Pinellas Park , FL

    It is legal in Mexico City. Certainly conditions have improved over the years. Maybe it wouldn't be back to square one but more of a hassle. What a creep. A nosy creep at that.........

    August 17, 2007 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  12. Fred, Hinton Ok.

    "Another religious nut runs for office"
    maybe if we elect more women to office we can rid ourselves of the Good-Old-Boy systems like religion and finally move ahead in our evolution.

    August 17, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  13. Brooks, California

    CNN should be ashamed of the flagrantly incorrect headline linking to this story: "'Law & Order' star: I'll ban abortion"

    I strongly support abortion rights, but agree that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Nowhere in the story do I see any support for the idea that he wants to "ban abortion" or has stated, as the link implies, "I'll ban abortion."

    And while I would not support a constitutional amendment exempting gay marriages from full faith and credit, at least Thompson's got his head on straight in one respect here: he's talking about achieving his policy goals through constitutional amendments instead of judicial activism.

    August 17, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  14. John, Phoenix, Arizona

    Here comes the Republican diversion. GAYS GAYS GAYS. Haven't we had enough of closet gay Republicans already this year?

    August 17, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  15. Aaron Lincoln, Nebraska

    He uses the word 'cure' in a curious way.
    Seems to be indicative of a black & white way of thinking going on here, and that's just not practical for a president (God forbid we should have a 'flip-flopper'). Haven't we learned that ('winning' or 'losing') lesson in Iraq? Looks like he hasn't.
    His 'cures' seem like 'bad medicine' to me.

    August 17, 2007 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  16. Bob, Fairfield, OH

    What's next, a stop at Bob Jones? If these are going to be his main issues, he has no clue regarding the problems facing this country and has no business running for President. Can we please get a candidate who doesn't run on irrelevant emotional issues and who will focus on the nuts and bolts of what needs fixing??

    August 17, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  17. MC, Johnson City, Tenn

    Fred, stay in acting. Making a fool of yourself there is acceptable and reasonably harmless.

    August 17, 2007 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  18. Dan, South Orange, NJ

    FYI – overturning Roe v. Wade does not ban abortion. It puts the issue in the hands of voters and legislatures, not nine justices appointed by the president. Deceptive headline lies to you.

    August 17, 2007 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. Jim, Gloucester MA

    Me a TV star. Me like old laws better. Move to Florida and retire. We don't need leaders like you, who refuse to acknowledge reality. I guess we can send all the unwanted kids to your house then, you obviously have lots of "L&O" money...

    August 17, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  20. Matthew Herbers Wisconsin

    Law & Order? Knock it off Reagan wannabe. You'd think all off those leagal situations would give you a sense of the constitution and its meanings

    August 17, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  21. David, Anchorage, Alaska

    FINALLY... a presidential candidate who has the guts to stand up and speak his mind. You got my vote Fred.

    August 17, 2007 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  22. george987789


    August 18, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  23. Carol, Pittsville, MD

    and as much as I admire him as an actor. That ONE pronouncement about attempting to reverse Roe v Wade won't ever get him elected and he'd lose my vote. The man can't know the dilemma of a pregnant woman and he can't give birth. He's not fit to make judgement on it either.

    August 18, 2007 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  24. Scott, Boonville MO

    Did whoever wrote the tag line on the main page ever go to journalism school (or for that matter bother to think for a second before coming up with the idiocy about 'banning abortion')?

    There's nothing here about banning abortion. The link from the main page is one of the most pathetic things I've seen on a news site in a long time.

    Not that Thompson makes a good candidate, but try to at least pretend to be fair here CNN.

    August 18, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  25. Benjamin, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Basic biology teaches that human life begins at conception. At the moment of conception a new, unique, and unrepeatable human being is brought into existence. Existence is the first and basic good of every creature.

    The Declaration of Independence states that one of the inalienable (not granted by man) rights humans have is the right to life. This means that human life is not dependent upon the arbitrary measures and desires of others but is a God-given right. It is the first and primary duty of the Government to secure this right.

    Abortion contradicts the basic principles this country was founded upon: all men are created equal and all men have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    August 18, 2007 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
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