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. Chris Hiles, San Jose CA

    Unless you get become pregnant, I suggest leave abortion issue to women. It should be women's choice to decide what to do with their body. Please..

    August 18, 2007 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. George, Louisville, Ky.

    More wedge issues; more smears, queers, and fears; more morality and ethics. Are we going to repeat the 2000 and 2004 elections and fail to talk about dire issues facing this country? I would like to hear about what candidates are going to do about 1.2 Trillion dollar annual deficits, environmental and energy policy to trigger our next economic boom, visa program abuse, outsourcing concerns, national security, decaying infrastructure, stagnating wages, and the convoluted intestinal mess called globalization that's ripping the lower, middle, and upper middle classes a new orifice. Instead of talking about issues that divide the nation, every candidate would get a boost if they addressed the 'numbers' facing this nation.

    August 18, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Ralph Cole, Deer Lodge TN

    Finally a man with backbone. A weak heart caves in to the pressures around him.

    August 18, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. Patrick Peavy Plano, TX

    I do however have to say that I feel that a woman feeling she has the right to choose is a sexist double standard. Men may not carry children, but we can't do anything to change that can we? I think that a lot of women who hold on to that position are extremely selfish. You have another life to consider, grow up and use protection or abstain, it isn't that hard. I think abortion is absolutely terrible, murder no matter how you look at it. But something about the way certain politicians go about it scares me. It's like they don't really care about the unborn child as much as they care about control. As for gay marriage, I am gay and I hope marriage never becomes legal for us. I don't need my relationships cheapened by turning it into a business arrangement on paper. I don't need the public's acceptance to live my life. So to the Right Wing Machine Thompson, Romney, Guiliani or whoever you need to throw at us:Bring it on!!!!

    August 18, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. MS, Colorado Springs, CO

    Please people. If responsible adults with jobs, not addicted to drugs, or out of high school were the only people having babies we wouldn't need abortions. Not everyone "blessed" with the gift of a child deserves them. All of you that preach "Abortion is murder" Go rescue a child living in an orphanage or foster home abandoned by their drug addicted mother, abusive mother, or mentally ill mother. Morales...get real and really have some. As for Thompson-are those issues most important right now? Tom and Tom getting married down the road don't effect my life. Neither does some one having an abortion because it's what's best for them. The real question is: What are you going to do for this country? For me and my family? For my children?

    August 18, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. John Chamberlain Sturgis, SD

    Plain and simple Thompson is the old dusty philosphy who believes he has the moral advantage, and his goal is to protect US citizens from the mental midgets aka Americans.
    This ignorant political model holds Americans under this false belief that we're evangelical christians. Wrong. Thompson is a fool pretending to understand the needs of America. We don't need or want politicians to decide our choices, we are not living inside a theocracy, even though evangelical christians think so.

    August 18, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. William Fox, Winston-Salem, NC

    Well, I had been intrigued by Mr. Thompson... A return to the "grumpy grandpa" image for a president. Yet, now I can effectively scratch him off the list of consideration. "Bad law and bad medicine"... cannot see Mr. Thompson as remotely qualified to judge on either count. His comments on abortion, gays, and Iraq security seem a more than obvious pandering to the far right Republican base, the vocal minority who control the primary. Honestly, seeing otherwise educated people debase themselves to such low intellectual levels in order to grab power is just sad. Democrats are just as bad in courting their base. Our current election system needs an overall... By the time of the general election, there is not a candidate still standing who is not directly beholden to their special interest supporters. Give us a choice for someone in government who wants to stay out of our wallets AND out of our bedrooms!! (?perhaps Ron Paul?)

    August 18, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Jeannie Reno, NV

    Nice to see another arrogant man display his superiority in public.

    Just wondering how many of all these so-called "pro-lifers" have adopted children of their own, etc? Oh, that's right, "do as I say, not as I do."

    August 18, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Dhaba

    You just blew your chance to become president. Go back to "Law and Order"

    August 18, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. Ben, Chandler, AZ

    I'll vote for him. Sounds like he is the only one that is not flip flopping.

    August 18, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Morgan, Missouri

    Wow, what a schmuck. Hahahahaha, and he believes he can win the Iowa caucuses! It MIGHT be a little cute in a toddler kind of way if it weren't so pathetic. Boo hiss!

    August 18, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. Joe Big G TN

    This country has too many wana-be’s and liberals right now, we need a Republican to lead the way in a different direction than Bush, maybe someone a little more conservative than Rudy. As long as they can beat Hillary I don’t care who gets in just not another Clinton. Let’s face it we can only pick through the lies all politicians tell us, they cannot change everything they say and if you believe it you need to wake up. As long as Fred or Rudy can beat the Democrats the people I know will be ok. In my opinion either Fred or Rudy should lead us in the right direction.

    P.S. Most actors want to rake in more money and rub it in everyone’s face and complain poor them their life is so terrible when the rest of us bust our butts just to make it by and take care of our kids, I have not yet seen(remember keyword yet) this from Fred.

    August 18, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. John - Moss Beach

    What an intentionally mild headline.

    It needs to read "Thompson will ban abortion if elected!"

    No more neocons!

    August 18, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Sheree, Medford OR

    Yeah, this is what we need.....some used up holier-than-thou, homophobic good old boy with a rigid right wing agenda and a "don't cut and run" attitude. What a farce. Sounds like what we already have, doesn't it?

    August 18, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. John - Moss Beach

    How about a ban on trophy wives?

    The age difference between him and his missus is borderline digusting.

    August 18, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. Glenn, Florence, SC

    Over turning ROE would take abortion down the dark alleys with a coat hanger for poor people. The rich will find it in other countries or abortion performed under other procedures.

    August 18, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Joe Hill Salt Lake City Utah

    Another Hollywood Star with fascist leanings. Add Herr Thompson to the Reagan and Mel Gibson list. Bush is scary enough, Thompson would be down right frighting as Fuhrer.

    August 18, 2007 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. LSB, TX

    Stick to L&O.

    August 18, 2007 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Patrick Peavy Plano, TX

    I would love to adopt a child that needed a home. Let me check with my state though because I am not sure if they will let people like me adopt. Forgive me for being a Democratic Hillary supporter who also happens to believe that abortion is evil. I guess I should subscribe to "issues packaging" like most Americans who feel to be on the side of one issue automatically puts you on the same side as other issues. It makes me laugh when people ask me how I can be gay and pro-life.

    August 18, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Josh, Sterling, VA.

    If this guy get any of what he wants god help us all. This guy is a complete wacko! If for some reason he is voted in I pray he not around long enough to ruin 1000's of peoples lives!

    August 18, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  21. Sara, New York

    If I read one more comment calling abortion "murder", I may just flee the country. First of all, a fetus cannot survive outside of a uterus – therefore it is not capable of independent life. Second of all, as others have mentioned, you people who condemn all who appreciate their rights to make medical decisions in this country – you are all of the same people who are against comprehensive sex education.

    So women cannot have abortions, but they cannot be educated in the methods which would prevent them from becoming pregnant in the first place. Totally makes sense.

    And, frankly, it is my body and abortion should be a private decision between myself and my doctor. I don't try and tell others how to deal with an unplanned pregnancy – so please don't try to make a law to tell me that I can't make a MEDICAL decision about MY body. Frankly, it's none of your business.

    And, as for the gay marriage comment – well who is hurting the so-called "sanctity" of marriage, this many-wived idiot or a two people of the same sex who want to make a commitment to one another?

    August 18, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  22. Eileen Orlowski, Charlotte, NC

    you just lost my vote. The political arena is not an appropriate venue to address abortion. Politicians that think they have a right to ban personal choice have no business being politicians. Get out of there!! Be a politician, and don't try to be an expert on social policy!

    August 18, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Justin, Chicago Illinois

    Stick to acting. There's a lot off wonderful actors out there who are older, wealthy, white men and plenty of great roles for them. However they make terrible politicians and should play no part and government.

    August 18, 2007 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. Jon S. Ann Arbor, Michigan

    What a surprise – the undeclared candidate shows he can be just as anti-woman and homophobic as the rest of the the old white guys the GOP puts up as candidates.

    August 18, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Rich Orlando, FL

    Why not focus on some real issues for a change? Here is a novel idea: if you disapprove of abortions, don't have one. It has been a legal precedence for over three decades now and a personal choice, unlike orientation for those of you too naive to get it. We do not want our government infringing upon the private decisions between a physician and their patients. Has Thompson learned nothing from the Terri Shiavo case? He used to lobby for Planned Parenthood, which makes him another flip-flopping hypocrite pandering to his extreme base. How much more out of touch can they get?

    Republicans let these religious extremists hijack their party, to the point of losing sight of their core principles. Wake up already, no one is taking you serious anymore. Instead of looking for logical ways of dealing with today's problems, you choose these obnoxious wedge issues, desperately hoping it will repeat the same divisive results as before. Most Americans are awake now (thank God), and your party should do the same.

    Take the issue of gay marriage. It is safe to say that most of us are tired of talking about it, so wouldn’t the common sense approach tell you to find a practical solution so our nation can move on from it. Instead of your discriminatory amendments (which won’t pass), why not propose a majority position of civil unions so that we can put it to rest? Most Americans are beginning to think Republicans do not care about solutions. What is it going to take, another thumping in 2008 for you to return to problem solving and your traditional platforms? That is exactly where you are heading and deserve at this point.

    August 18, 2007 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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