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. David Slaga, Norton, MA

    Ugh, Fred, just go back to being a mediocre actor and leave us alone.

    August 17, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Daniel SLC UT

    K from NC,

    Eating animals is murder!!! It happens.

    PS. As Giuliani would say "Fred you're a loser"

    August 17, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. Dave Baltimore Md

    Stick to acting Freddy and don't push your personal views on me-remember this is AMERICA!!!

    August 17, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Jess in Pasadena, Ca

    Fred is the reason we need Rudy. Rudy is socially liberal on issues of gay marriage and abortion and conservative when it comes to taxing hard working people.

    August 17, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. joel, herndon, virginia

    It must have been a deliberate misquote by CNN that he would overturn Roe v. Wade. He obviously knows that only the US Supreme Court could do that. CNN, as usual, is guilty of attempting to influence the ignorant masses. I'm certain that many Democrats actually believe that the President could single handily overtun the law of the land. The truth is the biggest enemy of the Democrat party (and CNN).

    August 17, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Kuro, Long Beach CA

    Fred, while you make a good actor, and I enjoy watching you do act in fictional roles, you make a lousy politician.

    Thompson's level of conservatism is draconian, and I shudder to think of him anywhere near the White House, much less in it.

    August 17, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Jess in Pasadena, Ca

    Candidates such as Fred are the reason that Republicans will lose. Rudy is the only hope-someone that is socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

    August 17, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Laurie, Eugene, Oregon

    Hey K from NC–you're against abortion, but I bet you're also against family planning, and I bet you're also against higher taxes that will pay for the social services that will required in order to feed those kids born to mothers who cannot afford and aren't equipped to raise them. Sure, you love babies. But only until they're born. The arrogance of Fred Thompson at once revolts and frightens me. I cannot stand another bigoted, sexist and ignorant person posing as the president of my country who plans to start shredding our Constitution, as if it wasn't damaged enough already. If this is what he is outwardly saying he'll do, I can only imagine what his real objectives are. This country can't take another one of these bozoes.

    August 17, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Arkay, MI

    “We are going to be getting in if we get in, and of course, we are in the testing the waters phase,” he said, adding, “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,”

    Who is writing the lines for this actor?

    August 17, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. J. Devereaux, San Diego California

    Until the day when Mr. Thompson can walk in the shoes of others without bigotry AND miraculously grow a uterus, he should stay quiet! Get out of lives of women & those who have the right to marry whomever they wish!

    August 17, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Todd, Leesburg, VA

    I think that the idea of conservatism has been corrupted somewhat in this country. It has been redefined to be a social conservative. Its very odd now because some of the things the Bush administration does to forward its Social Morals agenda would normally be considered rather liberal as far as I can see.

    August 17, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Robby Lamb, Washington DC

    Jerry Orbach would be so disappointed. BOO FRED, BOO. "Marriage" is a religious term. Unions/Partnerships should be allowed, by law to all consenting adults. All people are guaranteed the SAME RIGHTS as citizens of this country. Let people practice marriage in their churches, synogogues and mosques. As for abortion, sure let's go back to backroom abortions, cause those really turned out well.

    August 17, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. Sam, Knoxville, TN

    WOW! I love this guy! He is a strait shooter! Really, though, have some of you thought this through, Abortion. I have never talked to someone that is pregnant and they say, "Oh yea, I have a lifeless fetus inside me", they always say "I am having a baby!" If we can not protect life at its most innocent and precious point, then life means nothing. No wonder children are being treated like objects to sexual predators, the babies were nothing in the womb and not worth much more now, right?! If you think a baby with a heart beat and movement is like cancer then by all means abort it! Some people would hug a tree to save it but witness having a babies, sorry lifeless fetus, brains sucked out. Anyway, Fred is talking about it from a Constitutional stand point. Does not everyone in America have a right to LIFE, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness?

    Sam
    Knoxville, TN

    August 17, 2007 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. Tim, FL

    “We are going to be getting in if we get in, and of course, we are in the testing the waters phase. 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”

    What did he just say?!?? This stream of consciousness nonsense does not bode well for him.

    August 17, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Kathleen, Elizabeth, NJ

    I agree that abortion should only be used in the cases of rape, incest and to save the mother's life. If the mother is too sick and near death, it wont do the child any good if she dies (and takes the baby with her). Often times if the father doesn't want anything to do with the baby, then he wont be in the baby's life anyway. I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum while pregnant with my son and it is a very real and life-threatening disease that only a very small amount of pregnant women get; it often gets trumped up as really bad morning sickness, but its much worse than that. It does pose the neccessary option of abortion. I feel it should definately be an option if needed, though not as a form of birth control.

    As far as the gays and marriage, if they have the right to fight for our country and vote, then they should have the right to marriage.

    August 17, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Ronnie Marshall, Palm Desert, CA

    Too bad this isn't the Dark Ages of the mid-20th Century, old Fred would surely win with his "ban abortion" platform. We seriously need to keep this dinosaur from further polluting the White House and dragging women down to 2nd class citizens who are unable to decide themselves what is best for them and their family. Fred as president would be Really Bad News!

    August 17, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. Stacey Milwaukee, WI

    I was initially excited to see that my favorite Law & Order character was going to run for presidency. I was just about to cross over from Hilary, UNTIL he opend his mouth. The problem is, the people that want to ban abortion are the same people that CANNOT get pregnant, carry a baby, or have to be responsible for it for the rest of their life. I love how men can make this decision when the product of rape or incest is not something that they will have to deal with. Thank God they can sit on their high horses, and dictate that some poor helpless victim will have to relive their pain every minute of every day for the rest of their life. What a country we live in.

    August 17, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  18. Ben, Tonawanda, NY

    This man represents a scary future for America. Even though you may not believe in something, that does not mean that you should press your views on everyone else. If gay marriage and abortion are banned, people will find loopholes and still continue to live as they choose. People need to understand that America was founded on the principle of freedoms, and trying to force your ideas on everyone is bad policy. What needs to be done is to balance law, beliefs, and policy so that people are still able to safely do what they choose, while causing the smallest disruption possible.

    August 17, 2007 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Gail, Cleveland OH

    I look forward to a straight shooting candidate entering the race. Perhaps this is one candidate the we conservatives can finally embrace.

    August 17, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Mike, Reston, VA

    To Susan from New York,
    Please identify the section in the Constitution that protects a women's right to kill babies. Even if it was some kind of personal right, why is it not a right to use drugs, ride a motorcycle without a helmet, drive without a seatbelt, buy machine guns, engage in prostitution, gamble. If you are going to be pro-choice, be pro-choice across the board. Else, you are hypocrite.

    August 17, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. John Thomas, Edina, MN

    "Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country!"

    -President Ronald Reagan

    August 17, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. J. Miller Nashville,TN

    Not another actor in the White House, please! What makes these people think that they are at all qualified to be the President?!

    August 17, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. penalcolony, Washington, D.C.

    Ol' Fred (as he likes to call himself) looks a couple of years ol'er every time I see him.

    August 17, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. M. Smith, Cleveland, Ohio

    Oh plueeze. First thing this clown does it start an anti-woman campaign.

    How about we ban condoms, Viagra, and vasectomies?

    LEAVE WOMEN ALONE YOU BIG, MORONIC PHILISTINE!!!

    August 17, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. daniel

    So, pro-life country-boy Fred Thompson has a history of working for an abortion rights group. The alleged pro-life conservative Fred Thompson worked as a lobbyist for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Assn. in the early 1990s, reports the LA Times.

    It was Thompson's job to lobby the H. W. Bush Administration "to withdraw or relax" the abortion "gag rule" - a rule that "barred abortion counseling at clinics that receive federal money."

    By the way Fred, How old's your grandaughter, I mean wife?

    August 17, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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