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. Nat, San Diego, CA

    To Sam from Knoxville who wrote: "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?!" I admit to not having studied in depth the psychology of sexual predators, but to suggest that they exist in our society because of legalized abortions is simply ridiculous. In addition to being horrified by your twisted thought process, I am going out on a limb here and guessing that you, like most other right wing, pro-lifers, are a hypocrite. The right is always talking about protecting “innocent” life, yet they seem to have a distinct anti-living stance on many issues such as stem cell research, social services, death penalty, etc. (btw, pro-life, pro-death penalty types are my personal favorite hypocrites). The difference between pro-life and pro-choice I think really comes down to which you value more: cells or fetuses that are “innocent” simply because they are incapable of making moral choices, or those of us that are actually fully-developed humans breathing, living, and, in many cases suffering, on this Earth.

    August 18, 2007 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Shawnie - Grants Pass, OR

    I wonder if the Ron Paul people understand they're damaging him by spamming his name everywhere, especially unrelated topics. It's as tasteful as pollution.

    August 18, 2007 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Mrs. Deborah Cannon Tucson, AZ

    Mr. Thompson you seem to speak for those of us who have this country's values in mind. Thankyou from a wife, mother and elementary teacher. I am liking what I hear. Get in this race and kick the Democrat butts.
    Mrs. Deborah Cannon

    August 18, 2007 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. Don, Medford, OR

    You have got to be kidding me! This caveman is the Republicans great hope???? This is Ronald Reagan's successor?????????? LMAO – this is too funny. Hillary will eat him alive and the press will turn him into a standing joke!! I can't wait for the guy to jump in.

    August 18, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  5. Cable King Pittsburgh Pa

    And the Reverend Thompson is
    doing so well in the Republican polls because . . . .?

    August 18, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  6. Peter, Wausau, WI

    Excellent! It's good to see that someone in modern America is interested in doing what's morally right, rather than scrambling to try doing what's politically correct. He has my support for sure; I can't wait until he actually becomes an official candidate!

    August 18, 2007 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. Steve - Peoria, IL

    In comparing the two most conservative candidates, Gov. Romney wants the Presidency so bad, he can't come right out and alienate the centrists by saying he'd overturn Roe v. Wade.

    Sen . Thompson doesn't care which voters he alienates; he's not pandering, he's the real red state dyed-in-the-wool conservative and he'd overturn Roe v. Wade without hesitation.

    August 18, 2007 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. David, Frisco, Texas

    I am so, so very tired of the bickering between the left and right on issues that aren't important. Let's talk about the future of the country, not its past. We need plans for progress, not dated dogma.

    August 18, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. Cable King Pittsburgh Pa

    Don't you just love those folks who substitute the term "traditional values" for their personal values. Oh, how I long for the land of the free!

    Rock oN!

    August 18, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  10. Carson, Minneapolis, Minnesoat

    Illegalizing abortion will not improve anything. It is wholly ignorant to believe anything else. And let me explain something to the Christian Right zealots who believe it is their mission in their horribly empty lives to tell others what to do (already sounds a bit facist to me): it is not your job to run the world for God, it is your job to give people enough peace of mind to be able to go back out into the inevitably cruel world that God created and encourage them to "love thy neighbor as thyself." When you bring your groupthink, your hate, your ignorance into the political spectrum and start enforcing your beliefs on others you have devolved into a facist.......yes, Hitler and Mussolini were both facists. I have no problem with any religious theology (I myself was brought up and am quite familiar with the teachings of Jesus Christ) so long as it stays out of politics....theocracies are destructive and archaic. Just ask England's history professors. I was once told by a Christian Right lumux of man that people like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are "crazy" and that makes them "dangerous." I then asked him if he would feel more or less safe if his very powerful elected leader suffered from a mental disorder. He said "I'd probabIy lose confidence in them, yes" I then quickly informed this dunce that one of the most clinically accepted red-flags of the bi-polar disorder in human beings is a severe, obsession-like religiosity. I have many friends who are diagnosed bi-polar who will attest to that. I then asked him if he thought that such great Christian warriors like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Fred Phelps would cease to be great Christian leaders if they were to be diagnosed as bi-polar, thereby making them "crazy" and "dangerous." He said he didn't know much about science. I laughed, long and hard, at him and his half-baked religous dogma that lacked any sort of common sense at all. Just blind hatred running around disguised as a Christian. I yearn for the day that Repulicans can go back to being founded in common sense and not religious lies. Isn't that a bastardization of what God's will in the first place? To use God in order to advance yourself? George Bush never came through on his religious promises. Why? Because he never had any intention to do so in the first place!

    August 18, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  11. Erica, Mountain Lakes, NJ

    Fred Thompson...another moron who I won't be voting for. He's just another Bush!

    August 18, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  12. Steve - Peoria, IL

    I think those who oppose abortion are standing up for the rights of the most innocent of all- the unborn who have no voice in their fate.

    August 18, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  13. Sara, New York

    Actually I meant to type "conception" not "contraception" – but it's worth noting...

    Maybe if we spent more time working for greater use of contraception we wouldn't need to have this debate at all...

    but who would want people to do that?

    Oh, and Bob – noticed how you ignored all of my points in my last comment and focused on one comment which I stand by. It is about ME and MY body.

    August 18, 2007 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  14. N

    David in , Gilbert Arizona wrote: I don't have a problem with Fred Thompson's stance on Roe v Wade and not because of some right-wing neo-con moral stance. It is because women use their "right" to choose with almost wrecklace abandon. A woman's right to choose does not consider the choice of the father either....Abortion should not be used as a matter of convenience.

    David, Have an abortion and then tell me how convenient it is. I had an abortion when my birth control failed. I was taking responsibility, but birth control is not failproof. As for the father's choice, my live-in boyfriend's choice when he found out I was pregnant was to leave. Get a womb. Then you can have an opinion on this. By the way, getting an abortion, while not something I would want to do again, was absolutely the right thing to do, and I am reminded of that every single day when I look at the two intelligent, polite, thoughtful children I am raising in a stable, happy two-parent household. I don't regret the decision for a moment.

    August 18, 2007 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  15. Ken, Cleveland, Ohio

    The biggest mistake of all the GOP could make would be to nominate a person who claims he will overturn Roe. Use some common sense–women vote much more frequently than men and have a majority of the population to start. Hillary will be the Democratic nominee. If you can't figure out the rest, you probably don't vote.

    August 18, 2007 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  16. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    I think those who oppose abortion are standing up for the rights of the most innocent of all- the unborn who have no voice in their fate.
    Posted By Steve – Peoria, IL : August 18, 2007 10:58 pm

    And those who oppose this war are standing up for the rights of the most courageous of Americans – The American Soldiers...who unfortunately were sent to war under false pretenses and even though Bush declared victory over 4 years ago...They continue to die bravely in a war that should not be continuing today.

    August 19, 2007 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  17. Lyons Steve

    Did he get that line from a Law and Order cue card?

    Abortion is none of Thompson's business, since he can't get pregnant himself.

    Between either Romney or Thompson for the Republicans, this ought to be one hell of a fine show in the general election.

    August 19, 2007 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  18. Jim, Tucson, AZ

    Fred looks kind of sickly, with sunken eyes and he's lost some weight it looks like. He sure ain't Ronald Reagan. I think the interest in him is kind of a joke.

    August 19, 2007 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  19. Linda, Pahrump, NV

    I am so tired of hearing the candidates talk about religious "issues" like they were all that mattered. Haven't we had enough of a Theocratic government for the last 7 years. When are we going to get a candidate that will work for the right reasons. Personally, I think that the pothole down the street is more important to me than whether Joe marries George.

    August 19, 2007 04:39 am at 4:39 am |
  20. Carson, Minneapolis, Minnesoat

    I have no problem with someone who disagrees with abortion. That's your right. And if you, because you are an imperfect human being, ever find yourself in the precarious situation of having to make that choice, by all means do what you think is right. Trust me, I will never object to someone deciding to actually have a baby. It is your choice. I would like to see a world where that precarious situation never occurs, but that's not the world we live in. There are so many other problems facing our planet right now that are more important. The truly sad part is, all these politicians know that and the only reason that they even care about the abortion issue is because they would rather keep people pre-occupied with partisan politics than with the truth. Bottom line: if you don't like abortion, don't have one. In the meantime, mind your own business and keep your "moral superiority" off of a woman's body. Education is the answer to that problem but politicians would rather slit their wrists than have a well-educated populace asking them all the pertinent questions. It's a power play and the idiots who think that any politican seriously agrees with the Christian is the same breed of sucker that P.T. Barnum created a circus for. Look at duh pretty tigers!

    "Gay Marriage": you tell me who has done more to disgrace marriage. A man who fell in love with another man and wants to share a life together, or a the several thousand other heterosexual couples who get divorced every year in this country. Homosexual men and women have not had any affect on the drastic divorce rate in heterosexual community in recent years. Why isn't Focus On The Family accosting divorced couples for poopooing on the sanctity of marriage? Why aren't they accosting the predator who created the girls gone wild empire for inspiring a new generation of rapists and sex offenders? Why aren't they crucifying every sex offender who happens to be an ordained priest? Now, presuming that what the GLBT community wants is to be legally free to spend the rest of their lives with the person of their choosing (remember: heterosexual people don't ALWAYS get married becuase they love each other but they do always choose to get married!) and receive the same legal rights as anyone else than there is no legal document that you can show me that denies them their rights to do so. Simply put: marriage is a uniquely religious term and should have nothing to do with the legality of equality in this country. If you want to hold onto the status of marriage, go ahead. You can do so in your private local church...with other people who feel the same way. Moreover, you'll find that it's not just a constitutional right, but it's also a CIVIL RIGHT. Once again, sad thing is that all the gung-ho homophobes out there are ignorant enough to fear them. After all, the Gay Menace has extremely wily and cunning strategies to recruit new members. What they won't tell you is that the recruitment model that the Gay Menace uses is based off the one that Karl Rove/Dick Cheney/George Bush/Donald Rumsfeld/John Ashcroft/Newt Gingrich/Ronald Reagan/Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson/Fred Phelps/Jim Baker and the rest of the ol' gang of FAKE Republicans helped to create about 25 years ago. You know what's going to happen to this society once we legalize civil unions and recognize the rights of the GLBT community? Absolutely nothing. At the very least, things would improve a little. Your bastardized version of Christianity and the hate that it creates is comprable to the arguement for banning smoking in bars. I should not have to put up with it in public. That's it! I'm calling Norm Coleman and Amy Klobuchar to tell them that I am going to ban all hate in the state of Minnesota and there's nothing they can do about it. Amy might say "cool." Norm might say "I don't want ruffle any feathers in the hate economy, I mean, the Christian Right.

    August 19, 2007 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  21. Izzy, London, UK

    I follow American politics closely as an academic choice and I have to say – a good number, if not all, of the presidential aspirants on the republicn aisle are not in tune with reality neither are they demonstrating they have any iota of common sense. If Fred Thompson win the republican nomination on the basis of right-wing neo-con pandering then there's a problem with the bulk of American voters. It's not difficult to see that the best candidate to elected President in the present circumstances which you people have put yourselves in is Barack Obama.

    August 19, 2007 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  22. Eric Roberts, Proud Veteran, Naperville, IL

    I keep seeing these comments about how great of a guy he is because he stands for what he believes. The President;s (or any other elected official for that matter) job is not to stand for what he (in the non-gender sense of the word) believes...his job is to stand for what the people of this country believes. I can give a rat's behind if he doesn't agree with abortion, stem cell research, or gay marriage. It is completely irrelevant. He is entitled to his opinion.

    When he says that he is going to work towards making his views the law of the land, that is when I say he is not qualified to hold office in this country.

    We have far too many elected offical that forget that they are the servants of the people, not thier masters and that we dictate how they should vote on matters and that they should not be standing on personal convictions or any crap like that. We are their bosses and they should be doing what we tell them...nothing less.

    I think our government has forgotten what it's role is on our socienty and needs to be reminded. Certain lines from the Declaration of Independance come to mind about when a government ceases to serve it's people...

    Maybe Jefferson was right...

    August 19, 2007 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. Ranjit Bhonsle

    Guys is an idiot. Have met him and most uninspiring.

    August 19, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Mark, Steamboat Springs, Colorad

    The man is intelligent.. but too old, and is not a moderate. This country doesn't need another Republican Candidate that is supported by the Extreme Right. That will only lead to further erosion of our rights..

    Moderation is the key... and those that are not centrists... should not win the coming election cycle. Our nation is in deep trouble if we keep catering to the extreme left or right.

    August 19, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Harry

    Carson, I hear you.

    First of all, why would you stop being a successful working actor to pursue an expensive futile presidential campaign? Well I guess the motivation is power, silly me.

    Blah...abortion, blah...gay marriage. All the divisive issues that don't come around until election time.

    Priority should be for the rights of pregnant women (to stay as they are) and gays (to get some for the first time ever). Gays as demographic pay an extraordinary amount of tax from their much higher than average income, that's a simple fact. Who the hell is anyone to say that my partner of 13 years can not inherit my property and earnings if something happens to me? Marriages are as valid as the sanctity of the vows two people make and keep to each other, regardless of gender. How is it that men and women (I love my straights BTW) can go to Vegas get trashed, go to the Chapel of Love and get married, then annul it the next day and write it off as a goof? Merely a story they tell their friends and get a good laugh.

    How is it that you can attend a $100,000 wedding, where the happy couple makes promises of forever in front of god family & friends, gets lavished with gifts and good wishes only to get divorced 10 months later? You know what? I want my gift back. Everyone who attended that wedding got bamboozled!

    So...why is priority given to people that are so sadly fearful and offended by women rights and gays?

    August 19, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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