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. Kevin, Seattle, Washington

    By reading all these comments, I now believe the rumors that CNN is watched/read by "mostly" the liberal left. Abortion is murder everyone, plain and simple. If it's legal, why can't I go up to someone I don't like walking down the street and blow their head off? Same thing as abortion. You have a LIVING human inside you, then you suddenly don't want it. The conservative majority in this country needs someone like Thompson, and I can only hope Romney joins him on the ticket.

    August 18, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Eugene Elliott, Orlando, Florida

    Let me see if I understand this right. The Country is falling apart literally, such as the bridges. High School graduation rates are nearly as low as Bush's approval ratings in some major cities. Twelve million criminal invaders roam the country stealing the jobs those seniors would be trying for because most cannot afford college. Millions more job were sent to Asia by the bushies and the best the clone want-a-be of the second worst president after Bush is rabble rousing on abortion? How sad, but understandable from the party that could do no better than George W Loser.

    August 18, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Frogge, Somewhere, IA

    It never fails. CNN taking someone's statement out of context.

    August 18, 2007 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Georgina, Victoria, British Columbia

    Mark Bishop, you stated that as a Republican, if Thompson got elected to run for president, you would vote Democrat unless Hillary were running, then you would move to Canada. Didn't you know, we only accept Democrats here, sorry.

    August 18, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Lind, Pahrump, NV

    I am so tired of all these candidates (and sitting politians), mostly men, who try to foist THEIR religious views on the general public. Not everyone is an Evangelical Christian. This country was founded on the idea that ALL religions and beliefs are equal. Not all of them have this homophobic, anti-gay, anti-abortion stance that these guys would like to promote.

    Maybe it's time that everyone of us who believe in a woman's right to decide her own fate, should dig out a clothes hanger and send one to each candidate who advocates the banning of abortion. Since they are obviously not LISTENING to the people, maybe a VISUAL AID is needed.

    August 18, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. Heather Oklahoma City, OK

    I would just like to ask the people on here that are against abortion, what will happen to a woman that has one? I want to hear every possible scenario please.

    August 18, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Violet, The Villages FL

    Amazing! Thompson would take established law (since 1973), work to overturn it and make people who have been involved in abortions (doctors, nurses, women, husbands/boyfriends) into criminals! This is a matter of choice for women; nothing more and nothing less. When it is a medical matter, it is between the woman and her doctor. Nobody else should get involved. These holy rollers try to decide what is best for everybody else – abortion is killing the unborn BUT killing abortion providers is perfectly FINE! Trying to intimidate the doctors' families including picketing the doctors' homes and where their children go to school is fine too! Spare us from these religous bigots. This is like oil and water; politics and religion also don't mix.

    August 18, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Scott

    As people said, the Headline on the front page is very bad. Not quite objective on the part of CNN.

    If Roe were overturned, as Thompson stated he wants, the issue of abortion goes back to the individual states. In some states, it would probably be illegal immediately, based on statutes that are still on the books. Other states (perhaps most of them) would keep it legal.

    Even with Roe overturned, however, there is subsequent case law that would make a ban problematic.

    Also, Thompson may not realize this but a President can't overturn Supreme Court case law. The Court would have to do it, or a Constitutional amendment would have to be passed to do it without the Court.

    August 18, 2007 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Louis, New York, New York

    There is far too much intollerance in America today. How can we allow a hate monger like this pathetic man – hardly a role model for morality – to seep in to the news and culture of our country. We already lag so far behind much of the civilized world in the areas of human rights – do we want our children growing up in a country that hates so much? This man will never be elected – Thank God – but he also deserves no coverage from CNN! I'll switch off Law & Order anytime he's on – and I'm certainly not the only one!

    August 18, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Adam A.; Prescott, Arizona

    Thank God! Finally, someone who will listen to those of us in this country who have traditional values and who value life over convenience. I'm tired of politicians who listen to what the media portrays as American values instead of representing REAL family values, the ideals this country were founded upon.

    August 18, 2007 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Scott

    Louis, you need to get a grip. I disagree with Thompson on everything he said, but hatemonger is a bit extreme. Your post is as intolerant as anything Thompson said. People can disagree on issues. Doesn't make them hatemongers. People like you are a bigger problem in this country than people like Thompson, and that's coming from a fellow (I'm assuming) liberal.

    August 18, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Cynthia, Tempe, AZ

    Doesn't this man realize that women are sick and tired of having old men telling them what is right and what is wrong. I think the women and open minded men of this country know that the government can't really legislate morality. If the the old men do, then how are we any different than the poltical situations in the Middle east.

    August 18, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Benjamin, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    It amazes me how democrats can write about being civilized and in the same sentence write about how civilized it is to kill unborn human beings. This is not being civilized, this is inhumane! I agree with Thompson, this is bad law and bad medicine.

    Every single person's life begins at conception. At this earliest stage of life it is a human being with human DNA. It is growing, taking in nutrients, and will one day reproduce. These are the three basic characteristics of life.

    The movement forward in political theory and morality in the U.S. is that life will no longer be at the mercy of the strong. Life is an inalienable right given by God. Read the Declaration of Independence people!

    Now, with Roe v. Wade, every person's existence is subject to the arbitrary measures and desires of the mother or parents. This is insanity.

    The choice was made when the couple chose to have sexual relations. Now that a new person exists that person must be taken care of. You don't avoid responsibility for your actions by killing human life. Wake up people!!!

    Roe v. Wade is bad law and bad medicine.

    August 18, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Sandra Lee Drury, Sand Lake, MI

    Why would we elect another Bush-like quality and leadership as the likes of Fred Thompson? Someone who thinks he knows what's good for all Americans? Banning Gay Marriages, overturning the Abortion laws, and NO PRODUCTIVE PLAN FOR IRAQ!!! Enough is Enough
    THINK AMERICA IT'S TIME TO STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS NOT THE VIEWS OF POOR LEADERSHIP

    August 18, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Christie St. Louis, MO

    This guy is a real hack job! Don't the Republicans have ANYTHING new to talk about aside from abortion and gay rights?

    August 18, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Gary, Oklahoma City, OK

    Only a chump would continue to make abortion a campaign issue. I want to vote Republican, but I can't support this stupid idea! What are people like this thinking?

    August 18, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Ryan, Texas

    This guy needs to form a convincing argument why Roe v. Wade should be turned over in the first place. Guys like him believe that life begins at conception, but I have never heard good support for that view. Why are some people so adamant about defending a single/few-celled cluster that is no different than a random skin cell? I have an MD, so embryo-huggers please feel free to prove me wrong.

    August 18, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Linda, Nevada

    I'm sorry to dissapoint you, Benjamin, but not all sexual contact is consensual. Those who are pregnant by rape or incest, have NOT concented! You sound like one of those men who believe that ALL women should carry to term ALL pregnancies, wanted or not.

    In an ideal world, all babies would be wanted, but we don't have that. Contrary to the belief that women have abortions for birth control only, it should be noted, that it is a last resort for most of them. I would argue that an 11-year old, raped by her father, or brother, would want to have that baby.

    All of you HOLIER THAN THOU people should wake-up and smell the reality of life in the big (and little) city. You all want to stop a woman from having an abortion, but then you complain bitterly, about all the un-wed mothers! You can't have it both ways!!!

    August 18, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. linda, cincinnati, ohio

    He is not a candidate yet so why in the world is CNN covering him. For that matter why is he getting any attention?
    Everyone knows why he has not announced his entry into the race. It's because he gets more face time with America simply through reruns of Law & Order. He can skirt the rule of equal access to broadcast time for the candidates by waiting to announce until after the fall tv premiers. Until then he will continue to get free advertising for himself. What a lawyer!

    August 18, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. David, Manhattan Beach, CA

    Hillary is going to destroy this buffoon.

    August 18, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Larry, Seattle, WA

    We could run my dog Spot and beat Hitlery Clinton out in this next election. He has a higher IQ and a better understanding of foreign policy, for sure!

    August 18, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Jar Jar Binks

    How the hell is this man an attorney? The Defense of Marriage Act (below) ALREADY grants states the right not to recognize gay marriages.

    1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) need recognize a marriage between persons of the same sex, even if the marriage was concluded or recognized in another state.
    2. The Federal Government may not recognize same-sex or polygamous marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states.

    August 18, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. Rose, LA, CA

    Who does this man think he is?

    It is my right to kill my child. It is my body my right! If I want to have all the sex I want without having children, that is my right.

    The U.S. Supreme Court said it is my right to kill my child if I don't want him. Who does this man think he is to take away my right?

    We don't live in Iraq people - we should be able to kill our children. Damn!

    August 18, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. Elijah, Portland, ORegon

    What a joke....

    Ron Paul said all of this stuff first before Thompason did and you dont put that on CNN.com.

    Ron Paul is the MAN...quit censoring him.

    August 18, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. Tim H. Long Beach,NY

    WAKE-UP all Freedom loving Americans!

    We are just finally getting rid of KARL ROVE and his hateful policies of division.

    Gay Marriage. Abortion. Gun Control.

    All issues that are used to rally their REICH Wing Base.

    America needs to stop allowing these type of people from stripping us of our rights AND our dignity.

    We need to flush the toilet of all these hate mongerers.

    Vote anything but Republican if you want to save the country from the steady erosion of the SEPARATION of Church and STATE!

    August 18, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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