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. Pat, Cleveland Ohio

    Yet another Republican proves he's a moron.

    August 18, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  2. Dan - Seattle, WA

    LLL, actually, being ignorant is a choice and I'm glad to see you're embracing your right to choose.

    August 18, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  3. Jason McInnis, Atlanta, GA

    CNN is misrepresenting the facts. The link on the CNN home page to this story reads "Ticker: 'Law & Order' star: I'll ban abortion". Fred Thompson makes no such statement. In fact, he makes clear his understanding that the President would have no such power. His words are being misrepresented by CNN, which shouldn't surprise anyone.

    August 18, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  4. AM, Angola, IN

    I'm the mother of three, two of which are daughters who are now of voting age and I guarantee you this man would never get any of our votes. Why do men think they have the right to tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her body?
    MEN don't carry a baby for nine months. MEN don't have the health risks women do when they are pregnant. MEN don't get pregnant. Therefore what gives them the right to make that decision for women? America is a great and strong country and I hope that women never lose their right of choice I think that would be a step back into the dark ages.
    As for his gay issues, let them have their civil unions, the gay community has been around since before biblical times. I think our government has greater concerns than these at the moment.

    August 18, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  5. alex, IIN

    These are some constructive comments. By folks who show they are wholly uneducated and partisan. Let's get one thing straight. He is a pseudo-conservative who has name recognition and clout to back his opinions up. He doesn't need an MD to have an opinion on abortion, most of congress doesn't have MD's and they had an opinion on it.
    His gay marriage law stance supports state's rights in the sense that says if Massachusetts wants gay marriage they can't force Ohio to recognize gay marriage. He is advocating for state rights.
    As for abortion it's little more than a focused health care issue. Why should I through taxes, or because you have the same health insurance company I have help pay for you to make a choice? I'm ok with abortion but don't drag my dollar into your inability to use protection we need to label it as an elective surgery in many cases. No tax funding, little normal health insurance coverage. Special cases and exceptions may include but are not limited to health risks and rape.

    August 18, 2007 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  6. John, Ann Arbor, MI

    You are old, we don't need any more old presidents, look at this mess the country is in. Time for new fresh ideas and policies. This is disgusting. Why don't we bring back Jim Crowe laws while he is at it!!!!

    August 18, 2007 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  7. Matt, Albany, GA

    I've never met someone that was glad they had an abortion, or "a woman's right to choose". But I like the morning after pill, or "a woman's right to not have to choose".

    August 18, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. Julie, Tallahassee FL

    Do you really want to turn this country into El Salvador where women go into alleys to have coat hangers stuck up them? They put women in prison over there if they end up in the hospital from back alley abortions.

    August 18, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  9. Felipe Solanet, Coconut Creek, FL

    Got my vote. God bless you.

    August 18, 2007 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. We will win in 08

    Fred Thompson and John McCain in 08'

    Any Democrat can beat these guys!!!

    Both are living and breathing contridictions...and we thought George Bush was the best thing for the Democrats in years...These guys will insure full Democratic Control of Congress and the White House...I say let him win the neo-cons, conservative, and religious right hypocrites nomination....

    August 18, 2007 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  11. Daniel M.

    Fred Thompson has exposed himself as just another "Karl Rove" Republican...Trying to skirt the big issues that his party has failed miserably dealing with...And focusing instead on gay marriage...abortion...and probably flag burning will be next on his agenda...These issues have their place...But not as the cornerstone of a presidential campaign...I thought Fred Thompson would be more than this...What a disappointment.

    August 18, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  12. Steve, Springfield, MA

    Maybe if you weren't so closed minded you would see that there is nothing wrong with same sex marriage. This country talks about it being wrong and not what God wants, but has anyone stopped to think about the war. Is that what God wants? I don't think so but yet every day people die because of it. Has anyone died because of same sex marriage. NO! Get your head out of "Law and Order" and get into reality. There is no way YOU'RE going to be elected president. It's not what God wants!

    August 18, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. Chip Celina OH

    Nina from Sacramento writes:

    "Gee, what a shock, one more fat white American male who thinks he has the right to make decisions about my life and body."

    Actually, this isn't him making a decision about your life and your body. People fail to break this down to its base premise.

    The decision to do the "mating dance" (except in cases of rape) is between the participants. YOU decide whether or not to commit an act that can potentially result in the creation of another human being.

    Furthermore, the decision or 'choice' to not use a means of protection/prevention during the act that would inhibit the possibility of impregnation falls, once again, on the participants.

    If you do use contraception and it fails, you must weigh the consequences. You've rolled the dice and they came up not in your favor, presuming that use of contraception shows an inherent belief of potential outcome of the act. There is lifetime responsibility attached to the short period of self-gratification you are about to endeavor.

    If a pregnancy results (after not using good judgment in the instances above) it then falls solely on the woman to make the decision?

    If you end up carrying a baby "/fetus / potential human being (whatever you wish to call it)" there are now outside interests in YOUR body. In effect you have entered into a contract. Should the father of the embryo lose his "rights to property" simply because YOU wish to dissolve the contract? Does the "potential person" you are carrying have any rights?

    Once at this stage and an abortion is desired, what are the reasons? Because it may be a financial drain on the participants? Or, would having a child at this stage of your life "cramp your style"?

    Given that those are valid reasons, why constrain it to (in the case of partial birth abortion) a split second before many 'acknowledge' that it is a "viable life"?

    Using that logic, what if you need a new car when your child is 3 years old, but you can't afford it? Take him out! Why not, he's still dependent upon you and isn't quite contributing to society yet, you know a drain on the tax-payers having to fund those Head-Start programs, plus it frees up more cash since you won't have to put him in daycare anymore.

    What if that annoying neighbor is "cramping your style", if a consensus of your other neighbors think he's a jerk, Axe him!

    I really don't think anyone is trying to "take control" of your body, they only ask that YOU control it before YOUR " choices" affect others.

    This argument is always framed as 'fat white American males' (a racist comment on your part, don't ya think?) denying "rights" to women, when it is actually an issue that simply asks people to take responsibility for their own actions.

    My $0.02,


    August 18, 2007 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  14. Casey Smith, Los Angeles, California

    Hopefully we will finally have a viable person who can command respect of other world leaders.

    The other candidates so far have shown a sad lack of ability to show leadership.

    August 18, 2007 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  15. R. Cole, McKinney, TX

    He will get my vote. It is time for this country to drawn a line against murder unborn children.

    August 18, 2007 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  16. Heath Steele, Fredericton, NB, Canada

    Great. Now I've got "Bad Medicine" by Bon Jovi in my head for the rest of the day. Thanks, guy from Law and Order and Die Hard 2.

    August 18, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. Robert, Dallas, Tx

    Well it looks like Law & Order can have Fred back sooner than later. His latest ramblings prove that his position will change to placate the neo-cons. This should get him about 25% of the vote. Bill Crystal, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle can be counted on, but who else? Good luck Fred and keep on babbling!!

    August 18, 2007 09:55 am at 9:55 am |


    August 18, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. Heather Oklahoma City, OK

    Ok Christians, let a 29 year old lay it out for you.
    1. Abortion was in the bible, performed by God almighty, and incest was also in the bible....good family values book huh?
    2. I am not gay, but they should be allowed to marry as much as anyone, stop being stupid, homofobic asses.
    3. There are more serious issues to worry about than gay marriage and abortion, give me a break.

    Thanks for your time......hope i never run into any of you guys freak me out.....go get your own boring, mind controlling country.

    August 18, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. Joseph Theriault, Halifax, NS

    So, if abortion is made illegal, how much jail time should the woman serve? If abortion is murder, is it a life sentence or capital offence? Women should probably know how much time they'll serve if this becomes against the law.

    August 18, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  21. Martha, houston, tx

    Oh, my...should he run, and somehow win, the country will be set back at least 100 years with views like those.

    August 18, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. Suzen, Lakeland, Florida

    I am so tired of hearing about every republican using Roe vs. Wade as a platform to start on.....same song and dance....this old man thinks he can rewrite history....let it be!

    August 18, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Mike B, Chicago Illinois

    God bless you, who work so diligently to undermine the Constitution, before you're even officially running for the highest office in the land.

    When will people learn, that Abortion, is just an EMOTIONAL ISSUE to drag out the knuckle-draggers on BOTH sides of the political fence?

    Someone, MANY posts back, stated, "who will protect the unborn?"

    And, Bush himself has stated time and time again...

    "Every life is sacred"

    Yeah? Well all you high-and-mighty "Godly" Christian Extremists ( and that's what you are...extremists )...

    When will someone fight to protect...THE BORN?

    Bush, and ALL abortion opponents speak on and on and on about how life is sacred...and yet, when it comes to killing, our Right Wing Conservative Christian Extremist "President" and his followers are more than willing to send off thousands of young men and women to die for a cause, that even CHENEY HIMSELF didn't believe would've been the "right thing to do" back in 1994!

    No, abortion is not, nor should it any longer be made into, a political issue.

    It is a delicate, emotional, heart-wrenching decision that a family, or a single female, or a rape victim, or a mother in danger of dying during a risky pregnancy, must make under extreme and horrendous pressure.

    They don't need idiots like the so-called "good Christians" in this country to tell them their murderers, or evil people...because the decisions these people have to make, affect them for the rest of their lives.

    Stop making excuses for morons like Bush, Thompson, and anyone else that ACTUALLY BELIEVES they can ban abortion in this country...

    The Republicans don't control the Senate...they don't control the will never happen.

    And if it DOES...then goodbye America. This is one less person who will put his family through anymore of these ridiculous quadrannual pissing matches.

    Oh...and one other thing. These so-called "Christians" and "Moral People" are the same ones who fight tooth and nail against a national healthcare system.

    If every life is so damned sacred, then WHY don't we have national healthcare?

    I think Jesus would be all for it personally. Because, if every life is sacred, then EVERY life is worth saving...poor, rich, middle-class, indigent...doesn't matter.

    The family of 4 that has 2 parents working 2 full-time jobs apiece but can't get medical benefits and has to decide between medicines and food for their families...

    When are these "precious lives" going to finally catch a break from the government.

    I don't remember going to Church as a child, and being preached to that Gays were bad...that abortion was bad...

    I just remember being taught that God's love is gracious, and good...and all-encompassing.

    Perhaps these folks who want to ban abortion, should really look into their hearts...and find out what it is they're really afraid of.

    I want my government to listen to the people for once...and stop making threats AGAINST US.

    And that's all this is...another threat.

    "If you're different ( gay ), or if you want to / have to have an abortion for any number of reasons...then we're going to get the grace of God..."

    Frankly, I'm sick of it. Religion is supposed to teach morals, values, and love and respect for one another...

    Instead, just like in the Madrassas in the Middle East, OUR OWN LEADERS, and OUR OWN CHURCHES have turned it into yet another means of control, fear-mongering...and hatred.

    And for that...I hope there really is a God...and I hope he is vengeful...

    And I for one can't wait to see GW and Fred Thompson, and the rest of them...cowering at his / her feet...

    A mother who has to make the horrible choice to abort her pregnancy because it's a matter of her life versus that of her unborn child, will be met with compassion and grace.

    And anyone who wanted to label her a murderer...will be sent straight through the trap-door and into the pits of hell...

    Stick to acting Fred...Republicans don't stand a chance in 08.

    And if they do win...well...God help us all...He / She won't...because we're beyond saving...but I can still hope.

    August 18, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. Darrell, Plano, TX

    And I won't be voting for him either...

    August 18, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. Patrick Peavy Plano, TX

    If marriage is a religious term then where is the push for a constitutional amendment to prohibit atheists getting married? I hope Thompson gets the nomination so Hillary can crush him. Of course in order for that to happen my party has to have the sense to elect her as their nominee....

    August 18, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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