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. Michael

    I think old Fred needs to go hunting with Dick Cheney.

    August 17, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Liz K., Tampa FL

    Hey, Ladies, if you used birth control (or just merely kept your legs crossed) we wouldn't be having discussions about abortion (incest, rape, excluded). Abortion is just a very convenient form of birth control. You are taking a life – it is murder. And you do have a right to choice – of birth control!!!!! (talk about idiots!)

    August 17, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. T, Philly

    In the words of Reagan..."I feel very strongly about those social issues, but I also place my confidence in the fact that the one thing that I do seek are judges that will interpret the law and not write the law. We've had too many examples in recent years of courts and judges legislating."

    And Laurie...Start shredding our Constitution??? Roe vs. Wade set a precedent for how abortion is considered legal and that should not have happened as the Supreme Court over stepped their boundaries as they have not the power to make laws According to the CONSTITUTION – Article 1, section 1. "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives" which means Congress has the sole power to make laws and needs to rule on issues such as these.

    August 17, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Chris R

    Abortion: Look, I don't support abortion but I am not about to impose *my* personal beliefs on another person. Why? Because I don't want anyone imposing their beliefs on me.

    Hypocrisy: I know a man who is pro-life – he is opposed to abortion. He is also opposed to the death penalty, the war, and the dimunition of civil rights we are facing. I respect this man. Thompson? No, I don't respect him.

    Gay marraige: Why do some people have such a problem with this? Civil marraige is a contract – thats all. Any two competent people should be able to enter into a contract if its their wish to. Personally, I feel that God is the embodiment of love. Where there is love there is God. Where there is hate there is an absence of God. As such, if any two people love each other God has already given His blessing. Even those that reject God are blessed by His love because love cannot exist without God. Unless you want to argue that love isn't a gift of God I don't see where you have a leg to stand on.

    August 17, 2007 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. K Martin, NYC, NY

    "Testing the waters" phase? He's joking right? I thought he was entering the race back on the Fourth of July. Now he's STILL testing the waters? All the while collecting campaing cash I'm sure.

    Does that comment he made about getting into the race even make sense? I suppose he'll appeal to the "I'd have a beer with the guy" voter.

    Oh, and is he bringing his little red pickup prop? The one he left abandoned after his Senate race? It may be a little rusty, new paint will fix that up.

    I agree, this bozo's a JOKE.

    August 17, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Glenn Texas

    Sounds more and more like Thompson's campaign is going to be over before it's even begun.

    August 17, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. Linda, Chandler AZ

    To Kay in Charlotte N.C. : So, I'm assuming, if Thompson does what he sets out to do and repeals Roe V. Wade, you'll be adopting lots of unwanted babies. Right?

    August 17, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. Nina, Sacramento, Ca.

    Gee, what a shock, one more fat white American male who thinks he has the right to make decisions about my life and body. And, how amazing, one more moral-free politician pandering to the religious right. Shades of Bush's false promises, no?

    August 17, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. M Nelson Pacifica Cal

    No one is going to ban abortion – the country would go nuts. The only people who care about the abortion issue are the religous right who won't let it go.

    Abortion will stay legal – so just move on to another topic – and who the hell cares about gay marriage?

    The freaken polar ice caps are melting – let's worry about that.

    August 17, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Erik Randall Yuma, AZ

    Hey there Mr. Constitution! The Constitution does protect one thing – Have you heard of the 10th Amendment? I won't explain it to you – since it seems that you have to brush up on it anyway. Roe v. Wade prevents federal tampering with an abortion law.

    Likewise, we do not need a constitutional law banning homosexuality since ALL marriage laws are state laws (Federalism) with the exception of filing Federal income tax. In addition, no states allow Gay Marriage – so you might as well ban Unicorns since neither exist anyway. So good job, you have just proved that you do not know very much.

    By the way the person who said "the constitution does not protect a woman's right to kill babies" is probably the most unintelligent comment I have heard in a political debate in months. It is hard not to laugh at something like that.

    Whatever happened to the Conservatives who used to believe in small government and personal freedom? Were they destroyed by theocratic neocons?

    August 17, 2007 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Heather, London On CANADA

    All I can say is THANK GOD I'M CANADIAN!!!!!!

    August 17, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. JE Gibbons - Framingham, MA

    Fred Thompson just got my vote!

    August 17, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. addington_usa,a,a

    I believe you misquoted Fred.

    He actually said, "we are in the testing the Kool-Aid phase”.

    August 17, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Bill, Pittsburgh, PA

    We also ought to ban heterosexual marriage between people who are past child-bearing age. After all, marriage is for the purpose of having kids, right, not for love?

    August 17, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. John

    Earth to Liberals. The US Constitution does not protect murdering babies and homosexuality. If you are so enamored with the US Constitution, then why do insist on destroying the right to keep and bear arms, something that is actually constitutionally protected.

    The Constitution provides what is called a 'penumbra' of privacy protection. This is well established and based on the the 1st (right to association), 4th (prohibition of unwarranted search and seizure), 5th (due process and right to private property), and 9th (protection of rights not enumerated). As such, what two consenting adult do in the privacy of their own homes is *none* of your business.

    Oh, its *really* important you understand the 9th Amendment boyo. Here is the full text for you. Think on it. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    August 17, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Glenn, SLC, UT

    Is there an intelligient fiber in this man at all? What are the chances we and the MSM start giving him the nickname "Bozo" Thompson.

    I am really starting to think he is solely in politics because he is super envious of Schwarzeneggar and Reagan. Either that, or he is trying really hard to prove he is NOT a leftist Hollywood type.

    August 17, 2007 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. New York City

    That is why I can not be a republican. Let gays and lesbian alone. Stop using the gay issue to divide the contry. We all know that eventually gays are going to have the same rights as everybody else. Stop the nonsense.

    August 17, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. K675

    If his statements hold water, I am definitely voting for him. Abortion is a cancer on this country. We are a sick society that, out of personal convenience, prefers to dispose of "unwanted" children. Gay marriage is no better; I am sick of homosexuals pushing their views down my throat and those of my children, lest I or they be called a "bigot." They have far too much power, and need to be stopped.

    August 17, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. E

    Abortion is not a "right." It is a law that was passed, and a bad one at that.

    August 17, 2007 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Pam, Jacksonville, FL

    Keep the ignorant, discriminating comments coming Fred... cause it will certainly keep you from getting to the White House!

    August 17, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. Eric, raleigh, NC

    What an idiot, he should stick to acting, he's not a leader.

    His views are so far out of touch with the majority of the US, he should stay home.

    August 17, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. KUI

    I am tired of gays pushing their agenda down my throat and that of my children in the name of "tolerance." Tolerance is nothing more than a handy way of silencing those who disagree.

    August 17, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. Kris Keizer, Oregon

    Oh dear! There are so many things in this life that involve the State or Federal Government. Deciding what an individual( a woman) should do with their own bodies is not one of them. No one I know supports women using abortion as birth control, but what overwhelms this isuue is the right to control your own life. That supercedes anyone else's personal belief system. Also, you has yet to agree when a zygot becomes a human being able to sustain life? Doctors cannot decide, politicians do not have a right to decide, religious leaders cannot even agree on a definition. It is only the women who knows. Back to Fred Thompson. I just hope that our country will not vote for another dictator like Bush. Both believe that the Presidency is a throne which to rule the world. Guess what, it ain't! They are a representative of all of the people. Not just the religious right Repulicans, not just the Democrats or the Progressives...everyone. Do not push personal belief systems down my throat and pass them off as a moral right of your power. Personal beliefs do not equal political law. Let consenting adults marry, let people have personal rights and let America stand for freedom and greatness again.

    August 17, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Alleah, Orange, CA

    One less candidate I need to consider now.

    August 17, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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