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. Katy, Hampton, Virginia

    There goes his shot at the White House....oh well!!

    August 17, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. Poy

    Abortion is not a right; it is a law that was passed. When did it become sacrosanct to kill your baby as a matter of convenience?

    August 17, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Steve libby chicago, il

    glad to see Fred attacking the issues that affect (effect?) about 3% of the population: abortion and gay marriage. He should be ashamed of himself for pandering to the politics of fear. He can not promise to ban abortion–the people will ultimately decide (and apparantly have decided) that issue. Nothing scares the devil out of people to vote republican quite like the thought of gays getting married. Can't say I'd blame him, its a tried and true formula.

    And what an actor: loved him in "Joe Dirt". Oscar.

    August 17, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Erin, Gainesville, FL

    Some states are "requiring" gay marriage now? That's certainly news to me!

    God forbid this man should ever become president.

    August 17, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Jody, Washington, DC

    Fred Thompson: the new self-declared leader of the Christian Taliban.

    August 17, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Trish, Greeneville TN

    In seven years George W has nearly destroyed America. Now Fred wants to finish the job. At least on TV we had a handy OFF button! What a jerk!!

    August 17, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. tina, healdsburg, ca

    I've always said that if men got pregnant, termination would NEVER have been an issue. The republican party still uses the "under my thumb" tactics.
    Grow up with the rest to of the country.

    August 17, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. Simone, Fort Lee, NJ

    Thompson disparages the Supreme Court vote on Roe v Wade, calling it undemocratic and without opinions from the American people. Does he feel the same way about the Supreme Court decision, which did not consider or reflect the opinions of the American people, when the Supreme Court decided George W Bush won his first election even though Al Gore won the popular vote?

    August 17, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  9. Paul, Tampa, FL

    To answer your question Mike from Virginia, the Ninth Amendment states: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Since Congress and the states can't define these rights because they cannot abridge the people's constitutional rights, by default, it has to be the Supreme Court. In Roe, the Court was not making law, it was interpreting the Constitution. And for you so-called strict constructionists, please identify the constitutional provision that gave Karl Rove the right to ignore a Congressional subpoena under a claim of executive priviledge? I couldn't find that right in Article II.

    August 17, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. Stefan, Rhode Island

    When are people finally going to get tired of many Republicans open bigotry? if they were trying to prevent some other minority from marrying their loved ones they would (correctly) be described as racists and such, but because its gay people discrimination is ok? besides, to quote george carlin, 'who has less abortions than gay people? youd think they would be natural allies'

    August 17, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. YuWanna No

    Whoever said Abortion is murder is fact is sorely mistaken. It's not fact if it were fact everyone would believe it. Don't vote for the man because of one opinion take his opinions as a whole! He wants us back in the late 1800's no rights for women or minorities, only old rich white guys should have their say so! It'll be a sad sad day if Fred Thompson wins!

    August 17, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. Joe B, Wichita Falls TX

    Thompson needs to stay on "Law and DISorder". What a dimwit!

    With their miserable slate of candidates the Republicans are going to find it impossible to win in '08 even if they rig the voting machines!

    August 17, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. PvT, Eatonville, WA

    Banning gay marriage and abortion? While I am a HUGE fan of L&W, this man won't be getting MY vote! I'm not gay and neither have I ever had an abortion in my 40+years on this planet (and I am of the female persuasion), but I support the "right to choose" on both issues.

    August 17, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Matt, Tallahasse FL

    These pronouncements are proof positive that he will continue the arrogant Republican platform of telling Americans what to do, not asking them what they want to do.

    August 17, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. Miami

    What? Are you joking! What is wrong with this republicans(american Taliban). This guy is just another Bush. God help us all.

    August 17, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Sarah, Scottsdale, AZ

    How about we set up a time line for the government to stop interfering with personal freedom? Or maybe we could focus on real issues like education, health care or all the money we are wasting in Iraq? My idea of "bad medicine" is the disgustingly inflated prices on prescription medication. Perhaps we should focus on things that actually affect all American's rather than just a few people who feel they have the right to dictate morality to everyone based on their own religious beliefs...go back to the 1950's and stay there Thompson!

    August 17, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. ashley, Tallahassee, Florida

    Allowing the government to make a decision to take away womens rights is rediculous. I will be ashamed to be part of a country that takes the rights of women away.

    August 17, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. Luis Miami Florida

    here we go... men should stay out of these women issues and stop using Roe VS Wade for political points...

    next it will be the "gay" issue...
    the GOP play book... it get's so sickening and so old.... we have real problems we need to fix in this country and these jerks just love the politics of divide... stop for god sakes stop.. stop ...
    we only need solutions not the old GOP bull crap...please

    August 17, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. Brandon, Austin, Texas

    while we are at it lets just ban guns, free speech, and 8 year term limits.. why not just get rid of the constitution all together since everyone just wants to keep changing it..

    August 17, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. Kim Midland, MI

    I really wish that the Democrats would wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to abortion. If they modified their position to allow some limits and oversite of this procedure, this could take this issue right off the table and the wind out of the holier than thou sails of this unproductive debate.

    I really do not understand the conservative viewpoint on abortion. The state does sanction the killing of innocent people, when it serves the greater good. What the heck is a war? A lot of innocent people get killed in a war. Or how about when the EPA needs to set guidelines? They have policies that deal with acceptable risks – its a nicer word than saying how many people will die as a result of their decision. The state DOES NOT require people to donate their organs upon death, a situation that kills hundreds of innocents every day. Abortion is horrible, but so is the long, agonizing death from liver or heart failure. Death is bad. Period.

    So the state does set limits and deals with issues that result directly in death to someone. It would be so much better for this country if everyone would just give a little on this issue.

    PS – Fred, we just don't need another guy who has to learn on the job.

    August 17, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Iris, Williamsburg, VA

    As a woman who was unable to naturally miscarry a failed fetus, the ability to have a safe medical procedure to remove this was an absolute necessity. (It is possible to carry a dead fetus, make no mistake of that.) If not for Roe vs Wade, my life would have ended a year ago.

    It is appalling that anyone in a country that prides itself on equality and acceptance would support someone filled with such hate. Abortion & Homosexuality are persecuted by religion. The option must be permitted on a government level. Every American does not share the same religious beliefs. That is exactly why the Constitution supports “separation of Church & State”. The options must be within government so that the People may decide as they believe. Tolerance is the essence of this country. The Federal Government as well as the State Government has absolutely no right to create laws that force inequality, bigotry, and segregation.

    It's the 21st Century. I thought we had evolved beyond such hatred.

    August 17, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. Janeen Steer Midvale Utah

    As far as Womans Reproductive Rights, If you have willingly engaged in unprotected sex, you should bare the results if conception occurs.

    To say you have the right to wipe away the results of a decision you made, you're a hypocritical cheater of the gift you abuse by your own own flip-flop in not accepting the consequences of your choices and actions.

    If your health or that of the baby are in jeopardy, or if the engagement was not consentual or legal, then you have the right to reconsider the terms of the resulting outcome. Otherwise – accept the consequences of your choices and actions.

    The results are a likelihood, not an OOPS!

    August 17, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Jayson, Beale AFB, CA

    Abortion for all is just an easy out for not having the common sense to use protection in the first place. If you can't deal with the consequence don't do the deed.

    I am not totally against abortion, only when it is a matter of convenience. I also don't think the state should pay to end a life when the state won't pay to help a couple with fertility problems.

    But hey leave it to all you Democrats to be all about being reliant on the government to do everything, including whiping your butt for yah. It is why certain groups of people are thankful for your willingness to re-distribute wealth and act like the constitution doesn't specifically address equality in taxation.

    August 17, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Kathy, Elkhart Indiana

    As a Democrat, I would really like to see Fred run for President. It would be let's say, a gift from God and the Republicans!

    As their fearful leader has said – "Bring Fred on!"

    August 17, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. C Baggett, North Little Rock, AR

    he has my vote...

    August 17, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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