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. Sara, Pittsburgh, PA

    well, lost my vote.

    August 18, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Vicki Spartanburg So. Carolina

    How dare Fred Thompson interfere with a womans private reproductive rights?

    How can men make these decisions when they are not the ones who carry the burden of reproduction.

    How can the people of the United States keep allowing the Federal Govt. to remove their rights without protest?

    August 18, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Steve, Seattle WA

    I see all the whiner liberals are out this morning. By all mean, nominate Hillary. That will promise a republican victory. They could even nominate Jeb Bush and win by a landslide. This country will still never elect a woman president. As much as she doesn't look like a woman. Especially this woman. Are you libs just stupid? Bubba was brought to impeachment. He sat on his ass ordering pizza and hookers for 8 years taking credit for the ripples of Reagan. And you want his she male partner in there now? How moronic can you be. Please nominate her. half the dems won't even vote for her. Or go nominate the guy with Hussien in his name. that will get him some votes..not!

    the libs only hope is that the right screw up and nominate Rudy. He's pretty much a liberal with dumb ideas. perfect match for the Dems.

    August 18, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    The "proof in in the pudding"? I now understand why he is waiting to enter the race. To avoid as many public speeches as possible. I'm Republican and listening to this man speak makes my skin crawl.

    I would vote for Obama over this man. If Republicans want to lose, he's your man.

    August 18, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. Molly Mpls, MN

    For those that call him a Bush or Reagan. He is neither. Neither came out as vocally as this guy has, and at least they had the excuse of ignorance due to the times. This guy is going back 50 years by making a sound bite that only speaks to those closed-minded individuals now in their 70's. If this country is going to espouse freedom and a true democracy, no government is going to tell the people of it how to live their personal lives.

    August 18, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Creighton Lovelace, Forest City, NC

    Thompson has no idea about the Constitution. There's no need to protect states from adopting gay Marriage because this is already covered under the 10th Amendment. Just because Mass. and others allow Sodomite Marriages doesn't mean that NC or SC HAS to do it too. A Constitutional Amendment isn't needed because that is a STATE matter. No need for the FEDS to get involved with an issue of States' Rights.

    As far as Roe V. Wade, that allows the murder of innocents which under Common Law the Govt. is required to protect with Internal and External forces.

    Thompson is indeed a joke. Ron Paul is the man of the Constitution.

    August 18, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. brian

    Oh boy, he sounds like the poster boy for the fundamentalist Christians. To bad he doesn't realize that if he were president, he'd be representing ALL of america, with all if it's different faiths and even those who don't believe in God. Haven't we had our fill of these type of politicians? Ones who believe they are 'choosen' by God to set the nation on the right path? Perhaps he should take us back to the 50's, women would stay home and cook and clean, people of differen races couldn't marry, on and on. It's laughable (except to the few who truely believe they hold the 'truth' in their interpretation of the bible.
    next please

    August 18, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. CDS, Augusta, GA

    I like him, he has alot of charisma however his stand on these above issues just chill me to the bone and I can't see myself voting for him.

    August 18, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Bob West Palm

    Sara of New York says:
    "a fetus cannot survive outside of a uterus – therefore it is not capable of independent life."

    So, are you an advocate of NOT using life support?

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

    Are you referring to parents/guardians sluffing the responsibility and relying on the gov't do it? I'd rather tell my kids how to prevent pregnancy and have them get another class of calculus during school.

    "so please don't try to make a law to tell me that I can't make a MEDICAL decision about MY body."

    Well, I need to back track here, if that's your attitude, maybe we should funf education on how methods to prevent them from becoming pregnant....for adults at the Community College or night school level.

    ME, me, ME, myself, I, Me, MY, Mine, I, MY, Me, I, I, I, I want MY choice!!!!
    To not take responsibility for what I've done...and YOU can pay for it.

    Get over it.

    August 18, 2007 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. John LaRosk

    Congrats to Fred Thompson. It's time for America to "support" the moral things of America. This man is what
    America needs; NOT naysayers that are
    exploiting the Congress at present. God bless.

    August 18, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. Matthew, Keller, TX

    Thank God, finally a Republican to take a stand on the right issues! God bless you Mr. Thompson!!

    August 18, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. David, Salinas, CA

    A word in defense of actors: I spent many years as a Hollywood screenwriter and am very aware of the intelligence, sensitivity and hard work that goes into being a good actor. Our nation’s founders intended that citizens from all professions and walks of life should have access to power. Actors are citizens, too.

    My problems with Ronald Reagan were that he escalated nuclear tensions, used excessive power to quell student protests, deregulated the savings & loans, fired striking air traffic controllers, ignored the AIDS crisis, ignored the homeless crisis, closed mental health facilities, traded arms to terrorists for hostages, and cut taxes for the rich while presiding over huge increases in the federal budget deficit and the national debt. I never minded that he used to pretend to be a cowboy in the movies. In fact I enjoyed his work.

    My problems with Fred Thompson are that he was a Washington lobbyist who represented a foreign dictator as well as big tobacco, mining, asbestos interests which truly harmed the American people. I also don’t like his hypocritical position on abortion, given his lobbying record. Most important I don’t like the fact that he’s running for President after doing nothing of substance during his nine years in the Senate. I don’t mind that he used to pretend to be a D.A. on television. In fact I enjoyed his work.

    So let’s go after Thompson for being a corrupt beltway insider, a flip-flopping panderer and an empty suit. But leave the actor-bashing out of it. We may want to run Ben Affleck someday.

    August 18, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. lou, ny, ny

    CNN should get it straight – overturning Roe v. Wade is NOT a BAN ON ABORTION. What an ignorant thing to say.

    August 18, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Al Tam, St. Catharines, Ontario

    If I would have known the blindness and unrealistic stubborness of this person, I would have refused to watch those 'Law and Order' episodes in which his images are included.
    A disgrace to a responsible society.
    A disgrace to human right issues already been fought and won.

    August 18, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. Dan, Olathe KS

    Fred Thompson for the Republican nomination ah, sweet music to my ears. There aren't enough crazy people, even in crazy Bible-Thump America, to vote this guy into office. Looks like a win for the Dems in '08!

    August 18, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. Stevie Jay, Oakbrook, Illinois

    Anoher losey actor as president!

    Didn't you get enough of that last phoney?

    August 18, 2007 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. Tooley, Charlotte, NC

    I'll vote for him if he will end these horrible crimes.

    August 18, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. Matthew, Keller, TX

    Wow! All of these high moral liberals! I forgot the moral compass, Bill Clinton! He has a high level of morals right? Give me a break, this web site and network should stand for "Clinton News Network". Reading some of these comments attacking our "Commander in Chief" is a joke! If you don't like it, leave! Our country like it or not was founded on Christian principles and I commend Mr. Thompson for taking a stand on these issues that Rudy and Mr. Mccain are afraid to stand up for because they are afraid who they will offend! You have my vote sir! If not you, W08!

    August 18, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Patrick Peavy Plano, TX

    Basically Linda from Phoenix says it is okay because guys do it to. This ins't mathematics where multiplying two negatives yields a positive. This is real life.

    And there was an above mentioned post about what Republicans are truly supposed to stand for, I agree wholeheartedly. The Republican party has been hijacked by religious and socially oppressive conservatives. I would be a registered Republican except for that reason and if my party doesn't choose Hillary as the nominee I will be a registered Indy from that day forward. Many people may see this as contradictory due to her stance on abortion but I don't expect to agree on everything with my candidate.

    August 18, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Diana, McDonough, GA

    What a scary scary man. Just throw him in a pile with all the other right wing nut jobs.

    August 18, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. suzanne, b'ham

    This is America. The year is 2007. There is no way this man will become president with this platform. Will be support all the unwanted children?

    August 18, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. Malaka, Milwaukee, WI

    Your Presidential Future is very Clear...There is none...Who R U to decide what women can do with their own bodies. MY BODY, NOT YOURS, WHEN WILL PEOPLE REALIZE THIS. And Then U do want to acknowledge gay marriages...2 strikes..What else U got?

    August 18, 2007 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Sadie

    Thanks goodness there is some sense left in our country. Abortion, the slaughter of innocent children in the name of "convenience" or protecting one's own selfish self-interests is beyond horrifying.

    August 18, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Providence

    I laugh at the ignorance of Pro-Life people. These are the same people who are for lowering taxes and cuting funds for the Welfare program.

    If they ever stopped to think eliminating abortion would lead to MORE underprivileged children, more poverty and a higher crime rate!

    It's simple to say, abortion is murder but if you really stop and look at the big picture, it's beneficial to our society in the big picture.

    August 18, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  25. SaveBabies

    Reality check ya'll: Abortion is not a right in any sense of the word. It is simply a law that was passed. Nowhere in the Constitution will you find a "right" to an abortion. I'm voting for Fred.

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