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. Tee Saltillo,Ms.

    What has become of our world when Rod says not being able to marry who you choose meaning same-sex marriages is abominable? In the King James Version of the Bible God states in Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. We humans can change all the things we wish to suit our standards and perversions but the road is wide that leads to hell and many therewith shall go. As for Fred, I believe he is trying to bring our nation back to decency. I am a woman and my doctor told me after my second child if I became pregnant again he would take the baby because it would kill me to have another. I said I would never allow that and he said he would not ask me I Would Die. I made sure I never was put in that position. I understand rape and sickness but let's get real I also know women that have had a least nine abortions because they said it was so easy to do they did not worry about getting pregnant while having sex.

    August 18, 2007 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  2. Cathy Jones

    and that is why you will never be president.

    August 18, 2007 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  3. Renee, Cincinnati, Ohio

    Law and Order: FIRE FRED! I am appauled at his campaign promises. I wonder what else he will ban or pass to make HIS world the way HE likes it. Not the way the citizens of the USA vote.

    August 18, 2007 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  4. Eric, Salt Lake City Utah

    BBC will be my new homepage thanks to the CNN headline writers who are either very stupid or intentionally misleading. Almost as bad are those who's criticisms show they didn't bother to get the full story or are obviously intellectually dishonest. Thompson is not my favored candidate, but this thread is full of tripe.

    August 18, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  5. Phil, Arlington VA

    I'm confused. The headline says "I'll Ban Abortion." Yet when I read the article and watch the interview he says no such thing. He says he would work to overturn Roe v. Wade... that is a FAR cry from banning abortion. Is CNN intentionally deceiving their readers or does Thompson actually say "I'll ban abortion" somewhere?

    August 18, 2007 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  6. Dan, Rochester, MN

    Why is that whenever someone tries to stand up for what is right there are always those who want to tear that person down? It is not wrong to stand up for what is right regardless of the mistakes you've made. Otherwise no one would be able to. And talk about forcing things down people's throats: isn't that what was done with the Roe vs. Wade decision?
    Thompson, you have my vote!!

    August 18, 2007 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  7. Jacki, Kissimmee, FL

    Oh, my...this guy is sick, sick, sick! He is trying to bring the Taliban mentality to the United States! Yes, let's have the government dictate what a woman can and cannot do with her own body. What is next?...Morality Police? Why do men think they have the final decision over women and their bodies...who gave them the power? I, for one, do not think men or governments have that right.

    There are too many unwanted children who are abused, murdered and abandoned today. If a woman is smart enough to know she doesn't want the child or can cope with it to begin with...why force her to have it if she knows she can't handle it?

    Here's an idea...these supercilious, holier-than-thou jerks have to adopt all the would-be-aborted pregnencies! Let's see how many children they can take on and how much they are willing to pay from their own pockets. They, and he, would be singing an entirely different tune.

    August 18, 2007 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  8. Tamara, Livingston, MT

    This guy needs to be sent back to the stoneages. Banning abortion is an assault against women; what will he do next, take away a woman's right to vote?

    What goes on in a woman's womb is no one's business but her's and her doctor's. Stay the hell out of it, Fred Thompson.

    August 18, 2007 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  9. John Keppinge, St Louis, MO

    Your title for this article is misleading journalism and spin-doctoring at its best. Nowhere does Fred Thompson say "I'll ban abortion" in the story...yet you use that line as the headline to imply that this is his stated position.

    Unless I missed something, he only said he is opposed to Roe v. Wade, which many people oppose because of its "judicial legislative" and anti-federalist nature regardless of their stance on abortion.

    Point is, your headline is a lie and misleads the reader. I would ask that you retract.

    Thank you.

    August 18, 2007 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  10. S.S., Milwaukee WI

    Great, just what we need...another old man telling women what to do with their bodies. Stop trying to take away OUR right to choose. Also, to the few people on here talking about how their tax dollars is paying for the abortions for "poor folk", are you freaking kidding me! Everyone that pays taxes can say they are paying for something they don't think is needed (like a new stadium). Lastly, to imply that "poor folk" use abortion as a form of birth control, sometimes abortion is a viable option. Bottom line it should be the Woman’s choice, since she knows the situation better than anyone.

    August 18, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  11. Andra, LV, NV

    Who does this guy think he is? He not gay and he is certainly isnt capable of getting pregnant, so his opinions on these issues is irrelevant and out of touch. This is the 21 century, change with the times or preach your "beliefs" to those with the same anti-liberal mentality

    August 18, 2007 01:18 am at 1:18 am |

    God have mercy on this party referred to as Republicans. They are the biggest bunch of hypocrites ever! Nothing but lies,lies,lies,lies come out of that area between their nose and their chins! No more fraudulent elections and discrimination from this racist crowd! America has gotten wise to their tricks! Finally! And also as soon as we get a Democrat President in the White House that will actually work with Congress then you will see that our Congress is doing their jobs. The only reason they can't get anything accomplished right now is because everything is getting vetoed. GO DEMOCRATS 2008!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 18, 2007 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  13. RN, Atlanta, GA

    Well another one bites the dust. I was thinking he might not be too bad until I just read this article..

    Abortions, although I may not agree with them, are a necessary medical offering. People have pregnancies that simply must be terminated for health or safety reasons. Not having that option puts us back in the stone age. I abhor the idea of people using abortions as a form of birth control.. use ANYTHING but an abortion! However, people want what they want and if they want an abortion and it's illegal, they'll do it anyway. Remember the nightmarish stories of coat-hangers in back alleys? At least this way it's sanitary, safe and done by someone who knows what they're doing.

    What a bone head.

    August 18, 2007 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  14. Arthur Springer, New York, NY

    If this is where Thompson is going, the faster he goes off the edge into the nowhere the better. The country has had enough of this divisive religiosity. This is not Iraq. This is a secular country and the right-wing GOP jihadists don't have to like it. But they can't ruin it for everyone else.

    August 18, 2007 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  15. Larry, Seattle, WA

    Look, Fred is talking about Roe being bad law. It is! Abortions should be resolved at a state level. He never used the words banned in that article. He wants an amendment to protect states rights to choose what they will and will not honor based on their own rights as a state. You folks that leap right on the hate-the-Republican bandwagon need to use some reading comprehension when dissecting these soundbyte articles. Leave the liberal talking points at the door, ffs.

    The federal government has trampled on states rights over the last 5 decades and I think Fred is speaking to that. It's similar with gay 'marriage', if a state doesn't want to honor a gay 'marriage', they shouldn't be forced to.

    Frankly, the entitlement society we live in has bloomed a federal government about 25 sizes too big and performing functions the STATES need to be performing. The Fed should be providing common defense, infrastructure and other functions of that sort. Welfare and social security need to be scrapped, national health care needs to be avoided and can we please finish off Iraq/Afghanistan and learn to keep our hands to ourselves?!

    Quit putting words into Fred's mouth and actually READ what he says! At least he stands for something, unlike the tell-you-what-you-want-to-hear Giuliani and Clinton!

    August 18, 2007 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  16. Brad, Phoenix, AZ

    Fred Thompson, stick with acting. No one wants another neocon in office, and everyone's tired of Religious Governance. Separation of Church and State, learn it buck-o and keep your moral views to yourself.

    August 18, 2007 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  17. Saba, Gainesville FL

    Reading through these, I keep running across comments like, "Abortion is murder", "I'd vote for anyone willing to protect babies", and the like.

    Yes, abortion is an awful thing that should be used as a last resort. But overturning Roe v Wade is not the answer. It does not solve the PROBLEM, unwanted pregnancies.

    A problem that WE have created by stigmatizing open discussion about sex, by enforcing abstinence-only education programs that have proven to be ineffective, by limiting access to contraception.

    What then happens is an unfit mother and usually absent father give birth to a child she (or they) cannot afford to feed, house, clothe, educate, and nurture.

    So then OUR hard-earned tax money goes to raise these children, who usually grow up in dysfunctional homes and all too often repeat the tragic same cycle, or become thugs that commit crimes and end up in jail, where we have to continue to pay for their care.

    Why don't you protect the unborn by making sure they do not get created in the first place, rather than fight to make them one more drain on society?

    Further, there are already hundreds of thousands of children in state care desperate for a family to love and nurture them. Where is your voice for their cause? Instead of fighting for the already suffering, you fight to add to their numbers and further stretch their already limited resources.

    It disgusts me!

    On the topic of banning gay marriage, I am appalled that there are Americans that feel justified in trying to regulate what two consenting sane adults do with their lives when it harms no one else.

    Just because a certain lifestyle does not fit a certain set of religious social policy does not give the government the right to ban it. After all, that's what the Taliban decided to do, and look where that ended up.

    August 18, 2007 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  18. Larry, Seattle, WA

    Meredith from Kansas City said-
    "Until Fred Thompson grows ovaries and a uterus, he should keep his opinions to himself regarding a woman's reproductive freedom."

    When the father of said fetus can opt out of an accidental pregnancy with no responsibility of paternity, then you can tell men to stop discussing abortion. It takes two to tango, but only the women gets to choose? The mans life is affected as well. You'd do well to remember that.

    August 18, 2007 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  19. o.b. dallas texas

    Joke is a understatement ...I wonder why you have grown men telling what women to do with their bodies..the real issue is there are thousands of kids in america right now without parents..i dont see any of these people advocating against abortion.taking in young minority kids in their nice homes ..end of story ..that what wrong with america right now..

    August 18, 2007 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  20. Amy, Blacksburg, VA

    Why shouldn't other states be required to recognize gay marriage? They recognize straight marriages. Not recognizing a gay marriage or civil union is actually an *exception* to the norm.

    August 18, 2007 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  21. John Reilly, NY, NY

    seriously, this guy could set human rights back a good 40 years. another arrogant old white man with a cigar peddling hate. fantastic.

    August 18, 2007 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  22. Arizona Bay, Ca


    Another who fails at life.

    god is dead. man is king and the temple of god is the body that has been given us and it is to be here a very long time!

    August 18, 2007 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  23. Anonymous

    I appreciate the honesty, but as a lif-long Repuplican in the minority, I will no longer support Mr. Thompson, His view on Roe Vs. Wade seriously conflicts with my beliefs and I no longer can support hin, I guess I have to get behind Ron Paul now, as he is the best repulican Candidate

    August 18, 2007 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  24. N - South Carolina

    dear right wing men....unless you can give an intelligent and scientifically sound definition of what the so called "unborn" is, do all of us a favor and save it. really, it's not our fault that some of you were born into under priviledged families because your mother was forced to conceive you at the age of 10. and whoever it was that tried to equate bearing arms with abortion rights....ahh please. telling a woman what to do with her body versus banning guns that both kill others due to negligence of the owner/seller and destroy our ecosystems and its inhabitants...i sooo see your point. THIS IS CNN not FOX.

    August 18, 2007 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  25. Jose Jiminez, Tampa Florida

    Perhaps after he finds a way to overturn RvW he can come up with a plan to deal with the 1.3 million extra mouths per year in the US that will need to be fed. That's roughly the population of the entire state of Idaho... PER YEAR. Have fun with that.

    August 18, 2007 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
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