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. John S, Castle Rock, CO


    What and idiot!
    Posted By Tia, Iowa : August 17, 2007 3:43 pm
    (End Quote)

    Tia, you only prove what a failed education system we have, thanks to the left. To those quoting the full faith and credit clause, or the 14th amendment, neither precludes any state from enacting its own ban on abortion, if Roe v Wade is overturned.

    One problem I have with the left is you demand personal autonomy, without accepting personal responsibility.

    August 19, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. d nc

    For the information of the politicians. The saying is "The proof of the pudding is in the tasting." Not that this idiot would know that.

    August 19, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. Fran Durham, NC

    This man's views of Roe V Wade just infuriates me. Running the risk of sounding like a total feminist I would just like to say, "Since when should an old man have the audacity to govern what a women chooses to do with her body". This is not an issue that should be raised at this time. We are in the middle of war, No Child Left Behind is NOT working, our economy could tank soon, because of preditory
    lending and oh yeah, Hurricane Dean is on the way. Give me a break!!

    August 19, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Benjamin, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Fran: when will all the crazy people wake up and realize that "it is not the woman who is aborted." The phrase, "My body; my right" is ridiculous.

    The woman isn't aborted, it is the new human being living within her.

    People, you made the choice - the choice to have sexual relations. Now take responsibility for your actions and stop killing human being.

    You people are sick!

    August 19, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Van

    ABORTION=MURDER Pure and simple. Why is a person who kills a pregnant lady also charged with murder of the unborn?? oh yeah, because IT IS MURDER. In order for a person to be charged with murder, a LIVING BEING HAS TO BE INVOLVED!!! If a fetus is NOT a living being, then you could not charge someone with murder...but these morons believe if a woman "chooses" to murder her own child in the womb, it is HER RIGHT TO DO SO????? America is a joke, full of idiots and incompetent, emotionally driven hypocrites

    August 19, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Dennis Welch, Fredericton, New Brunswick

    In Canada, we would call this guy a "moron"! Much like Bush himself!

    August 19, 2007 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Joy Almquist, San Francisco, CA

    When people try to step on the rights of others, it amazes me that these same people still have a sense of entitlement to them.

    August 19, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. dan, montclair nj

    right wing extremist, mediocre actor, worn out views...much like reagen. he'll not 'overturn' anything: he's not on the supreme court, nor is he in congress – just another blow-hard.

    August 19, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. ipanema boy, Washington, DC

    He´ll lose to Hillary big time.

    ´Nuff said!

    August 19, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Anna Pecorino

    So, Fred Thompson opened the door to the cage and threw the raw meat in. "No Gay marriages, Overturn Roe v Wade"! Same old Reagan and 31 and 43 used to get elected. Think another acting cowboy can pull off the nomination?

    August 19, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Benjamin, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    If protecting human life makes one a right-wing extremist, facist, moron, moral majority, conservative, federalist, idiot, against freedom, unamerican, moralist, dark ages, and the other dozen names used.....

    Where do I sign up?

    Humans are the most magnificent creatures on earth and should not be killed by mother, father, or anyone else.

    Democrats have sold their souls to the devil.

    August 19, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. Dave, Encinitas, CA

    Please stick with acting, Fred. Love your work. America needs you, just not as president.

    August 19, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. David, Salinas, CA


    I understand that you are sincerely anti-abortion. What I don’t get is why you would support a candidate who took one position on the issue for money, and now takes another for votes.

    Are you unaware that Thompson was a pro-abortion lobbyist. If you think this is the defining issue, why not vote for Huckabee, Brownback. McCain or Paul all of whom have been consistently pro-life. Thompson doesn’t believe in your cause. He’s just pandering.

    August 19, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  14. Jeremy, North Carolina

    As a libertarian leaning Republican in the mold of Barry Goldwater, I would extremely hate to see a Thompson presidency. I'm tired of all these Bible thumping rednecks who always seem to be nominated.

    August 19, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Jason, Seattle WA

    Who is this guy? I'm voting for Ron Paul!

    August 19, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  16. Craig, SD

    Re: N

    "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."

    I feel for you that you went through this trauma, but you just negated your argument by explaining your situation. Your birth control failed, obviously you knew what the possible outcome was, then, your boyfriend bailed. Apparently, you took the action you did so as not to be saddled with the responsibility? The financial drain?

    Methinks that those would be reasons of convenience.

    August 19, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. Mike, Palo Alto, CA

    As the former GOP Chair of California's 5th largest county and former state Young Republican chair, I remember when the Republican Party stood for freedom of the Thompson has emerged as yet another right wing clone who would deprive women of the most basic freedom. It would be better if Thompson would model himself after Barry Goldwater, who was pro-choice and pro-gay rights. The comment the Roe v. Wade is "bad medicine" is particulary offensive ... he is not a doctor, and has never even played one on TV. He is yet another example of why I left the Party.

    August 19, 2007 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. Benjamin, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    David: thank you for the information and I agree with you.

    My personal favorite is Senator Brownback.

    August 19, 2007 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  19. Robert, Hollywood,FL

    Its amazing how all these divorced men and older men marrying younger women have all this moral authority. The Republicans voted in the first divorced President in our country's history. I guess Christianity in this country has decided that divorce and remarriage to a different woman is now bad law and bad medicine. Its amazing how these men can pick and choose whats moral and whats not.

    August 19, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  20. john, phoenix, az

    Hey,,, just a few words of wisdom from me,,, in my opinion,,, this is to everyone who is complaining about roe vs wade, or alternative lifestyles,,, just think,,, you are probably someone who didnt even vote for president, according to statistics, which say that people just whine about decisions and policies,,, but when it comes down to people actually getting out and voting to make a difference,,,
    people tend to just gripe and moan about who is president,,, go ahead and vote and make a difference. thanks.

    August 19, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  21. Mark D., Phoenix, Arizona


    Are you all BLIND? Can't you see that Mr. Thompson would make a WONDERFUL leader?

    Of the American Taliban.

    August 19, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  22. Aaron (Perrysburg OH)

    David (in Gilbert)
    While I agree with you on the fundementals of abortion, how is it possible for one to support the limitation of ones indivdual freedoms? The government needs to stay out of this debate for once as it clouds the electore with false divisions. Think about it. Is it worth a count divided just to have an excired republican or democrat voting base??? We need to unify in order to change the moral tone of this country not by democrat or republican princibals but on those of commin sense. Less governmnet, more community!!!!

    August 20, 2007 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  23. Gem, San Antonio, Texas

    Former Senator Fred Thompson's pledge to overturn Roe Vs Wade just goes to show how disconnected Senator Thompson and the Republican party is from the American public.

    While I believe that his qwest to protect unborn Americans is honorable, what about those that are born, and are dying in Afghanstan and Iraq?

    Our domestic policy agenda should be clear and concise. Aimed at stabilizing Iraq with international forces and the launch of a phased withdrawal of our men and women in uniform.

    August 20, 2007 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  24. J Smith North Carolina

    I like Law & Order...and Fred Thompson is a decient actor.....Hollywood is where he needs to stay...from the comments he has made lately proves to me he knows little about running a government.

    August 20, 2007 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  25. Yvan,Indio,CA

    Who cares about this loser views on abortion. This Guy is never going to be the next President. Go back to Law and Order TV serie, we have enough of non-sense from Juliani and Mc Cain.

    August 20, 2007 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
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