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. Ed B., Nashville, TN

    So, CNN throws a slam-article out there with the idea of making Thompson look bad, and every one of the left-wing CNN-ites jump on it like a live grenade (oh, if only it were).

    The hypocrisy in all these "comments" is overwhelming to the point of sickening. Courts don't make laws, congress does. Presidents don't make laws, although WJClinton certainly thought he could.

    The real problem in the US right now is a population that refuses to read, learn, apply critical thinking, and examine issues without all the flag-waving (or -burning) hyperbole.

    Anyone who commented here and included the idea that they'd rather move to another country: do it. Do it now. Don't wait to see how the vote goes. Just pack up and move to a better place. Don't let the screen door hit ya on the way out.

    August 17, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. CJ in Santa Barbara, CA

    gee, i guess all those unwanted pregnancies that turn into unwanted children that turn into welfare recipients have something to look forward to – let's get his home address and send him some kids to take care of – what an idiot. i am never watching a Law & Order show again.

    August 17, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Ryan, Orlando, Florida

    On the CNN homepage the link reads that Thompson would 'Ban Abortion', when in fact, he would not ban it at all! He would simply work to overturn Roe v. Wade, and when that happens the issue simply becomes one that the States can decide for themselves. But most people are uneducated to the extent that they believe that overturning Roe v Wade would ban all abortions, which simply isn't true. It is a State's rights issue, not a Federal one. Let the people decide and over turn Roe v Wade! More power to Thompson

    August 17, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Linda, Wentzville, Missouri

    I hope that we the people are not stupid enough to elect another moron to the White House.

    And all you pro life people out there – if you are so pro life then go out and adopt a black child. And I say black child because black and older children are less likely to ever be adopted. So save a kids life if you are so eager to. And get your face out of abortion rights. Its not your business what I chose to do.

    August 17, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    I agree with some of my fellow posters who assert that Thompson would be the BEST thing for the democrats.

    He would do the same thing for Democrats that Hillary Clinton is currently doing for Republicans.

    Talk like this (Roe) would also preclude the Republican candidate from getting ANY independent support.

    It would be VERY bad for Republicans if this guy were to get the nomination.

    Fortunately for them, he has NO chance to get the nomination.

    August 17, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Brittany Middletown, NY

    So besides the fact that this guy is a joke, cant we worry about issues that are actually effecting the country? How does a woman having an abortion, or let alone even the right to have one, solve terrorism? How will that lower the crime rate? Why are sex offenders out on the street to harm other children and women? Gay marriage is not affecting me in anyway, Im sleeping just fine at night. No one has lost there job or gotten sick over till! I just dont understand! Lets try to fix the things that are actually bringing thid country down, how about that?

    August 17, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Lisa ~ San Diego

    You wrote, "I really don't understand the conservative agenda. They want big government to stay out of people’s affairs by taking away from Medicare and privatizing social security and health insurance, but they want to be all up in my uterus and in my bedroom. Why is that? Who gave this guy the right to judge what is good or bad for me? Stay out of my bedroom and my reproductive system, Fred!"

    Lisa, I don't think Fred, or any of us want to be "all up in your uterus". I'm not speaking for the whole conservative agenda (I don't think there really is an agenda unless your husband is being pursued for an elicit affair in the White House... then there is a VAST agenda) – but what most conservatives espouse are courts, which simply decide whether laws are good (constitutional) or bad (unconstitutional). Conservatives do not want courts, which legislate (create new laws) from the bench. Congress should create new Laws.

    Why is this important?

    Hypothetically – what would happen if the US Supreme court reversed Roe V Wade? (suggesting abortions are not legal). There would be an outcry. Congress would draft and pass some type of legislation supporting a woman's right to choose. THAT's how it's supposed to be done – through congress.

    People on these blogs always cite "the Constitution" as the source for allowing all kinds of choices (abortion, gay marriage, etc) – but that is flat wrong. The Constitution SIMPLY names a few basic rights and then says the rest it up to the will-of-the-people (democratic legislation).

    If the majority of Americans do not agree with Gay "Marriage" (as many states have already passed legislation) then Gay Marriage will not be legalized/recognized. If the majority of Americans do not support abortion (which clearly more DO support some type of choice) then things would change.

    Everyone gets so hyped up when a conservative voices their opinion about social issues. It's ok, Lisa. You and your uterus are safe.

    PS – many fiscal conservatives want to change social security (not Medicare) because it's going broke and can't sustain the aging retiring population. If your car is on empty you don't keep driving and think ignoring the warning light somehow makes the problem go away.

    August 17, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. mama of 4 beautiful babies, Monessen, Pa

    Just because you want to ban gay marriage does not mean you are a "gay basher" it can simply mean that you feel marriage is between a man and a woman. It doesn't mean you are trying to pass laws against someones sexual preference.
    And for the abortion issue- I just cant understand why people think that if the mother and the mother alone-no say so from the father- wants to kill her unborn child than thats just fine as long is the child is still -or just a part of the childs body to be exact- is still in the mothers body -partial birth abortion- but once the baby is totally out we call that murder? Whats wrong with you people! Your outraged -as you should be- when a mother kills her newborn or when some crazy husband kills his pregant wife and child but you want to keep it perfecly fine and legal for her to have it done by a "doctor". The father should be able to press murder charges cause he sure would have to pay if the woman decided to keep the baby. Where are his rights? Why does he only have them once the child is born? Womens rights my rearend- by abortion your killin off half the future population of women.

    August 17, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Roger, Sugarland, TX

    These phony GOP hopefuls (one and all) don't have anything to say other than abortion, gay marriage, religion, or faith. They are more worried about preserving an unborn life (not conceived) than the human genocide taking place elsewhere in the world. And, the loss of these innocent human lives is due to Bush's arrogant policies. If these hypocrite bunch call themselves as true christians, then they should care for the welfare of millions of unisured children, and do something about the massacre that is going on elsewhere than to talk about these irrelevant issues. No wonder this country is considered as backward in its policies and welfare of its nation. If you elect these idiots, then there is no difference between us and the sponsorers of Taliban like government.

    August 17, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    It's so funny how some conservatives blame CNN for anything negative about their political idols.
    The far right (complete idiots) claim the "liberal media" and the far left (also idiots) complain about the media being totally part of the corporate agenda. Maybe there's some truth to these arguments, but you people are no worse than feeble-minded who see a conspiracy behind EVERYTHING.
    Oh, and Fred Thompson...whatever buddy.

    August 17, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. Brad, Los Angeles, CA

    Jess...actually Giuliani has recently withdrawn his support for civil unions for homosexual couples, saying that he favors a much more limited set of protections for same-sex couples than for heterosexual couples. Any way you slice it, Giuliani is now (sadly) pandering to the right as well.

    August 17, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Ali G - Minnesota

    Another few important questions to ask the "pro-life" people here are -

    (Yes, I put pro-life in sarcastic quotes because you usually support the death penalty, and do not support stem cell research that would help save existing people, and you support a war that kills many Middle Easterners as well as American soldiers (in vain))

    –Are you people going to adopt all these unwanted babies if abortion was to be deemed illegal?

    –Are you going to give money to overcrowded orphanages filled with unwanted babies?

    –Are you going to agree with the large tax increases that would be caused by the even more overcrowded prisons and orphanages filled with these unwanted, unloved babies as they grow up?

    My guess is that your answers to all of these would be no.

    This just highlights the complete hypocrisy of most "pro-lifers".

    August 17, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Stephen Picardi, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    18th Century Puritans like this are we are laughed at by all of the "civilized" nations of the world.
    Yes, he will make agreat candidate, for the DEMS!

    August 17, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Bukky, Baltimore, MD

    To: Mike, Reston, VA

    Um.. WOW.

    1) People have the Right to use drugs, the Viagra Thompson uses to keep up with is child bride is a DRUG

    2) Prostitution is legal... ever been to Nevada?

    3) Gambling is legal, ever been to the United State?

    4) What is the difference b/w a AK 47(legal)/automatic pistol (legal) and a machine gun (probably legal esp. Texas)

    5) It is not illegal (in every state) to ride a motorcycle w/o a helmet. Stupid but not illegal

    Conservatives are all about personal rights until the personal rights of others conflict with their beliefs. What is right for you MIKE is not right for all. Stay in your bubble while I live my live.

    August 17, 2007 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. SLM, Atlanta, GA

    "mayors of large cities, are the best executive heads"

    Yep ... and that's one of the reasons why Rudy will most likely get my vote ... that and the fact that he is a republican, but actually has a brain inside that head that's on top of his shoulders.

    August 17, 2007 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. liz, Montgomery, AL

    Fred Thompson would propose banning abortion???? He should add except for those who can't afford a first class plane ticket to a first class, safe, European clinic where such a procedure can be performed with absolute privacy.

    August 17, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. Pam, Amherst, Virginia

    Conservatives are no longer conservatives. A true conservative is an advocate of the federalist papers and would not attempt to override state rights. A constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage would do just that.
    This is the same rhetoric as the other republican candidates. they think they can garner the neo-conservative vote by pandering to their main issues which are a ban on abortions and gay rights. Personally, I think that an abortion should only be performed in the case of rape, incest or if the mother's life is in danger. However, I do not think the federal government should intrude upon a woman's right to choose. Nor do I think the federal government should intrude in one's bedroom.
    We have other issues that need to be addressed such as that abysmal debacle in iraq, global warming, health insurance issues among others. This "candidate"(and i use the word in the broadest context possible) is just like the rest of the Bush wantabees. Much too much time is spent on gay rights and abortion rights when there are a myriad of other issues that need to be discussed but none of the republican candidates are doing so.
    As far as I'm concerned there isn't much difference between al-quaeda and the neo-conservative republican base. they both have a very narrow definition of what they deem right and acceptable and if you deviate from their prescribed list of rights and wrongs you are castigated. one is just like the other and fred is just pandering to the neo-conservative republican base.

    August 17, 2007 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Iridius, Seattle WA

    One word: MENACE. People like him should be deported! Instead of trying to track down illegal immigrants, we should be deporting hate mongers like Thompson!

    August 17, 2007 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. bc GA

    Nice to see that Daily Kos kids are out in force.
    If he's no danger to Shrill Hill, why hammer him so hard?
    Me thinks thou(s) doth protest too much...

    August 17, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  20. dorto, Cape Coral FL

    The headline poses him as "star" of "Law & Order". He is at best a B rated actor who has a total of about 2 minutes max on any episode. Fred Thompson is a phoney who rented a red pickup to portray himself as a "good ole boy" in the Tennessee Senate race he won. He was also a Nixon "mole" in the Watergate hearings, who informed the Nixon whitehouse of evidence the committee had when they were considering impeachment, although he was supposedly the counsel to the committee considering impeachment. He is a skalawag througn and through.

    August 17, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Chris H, Portland, OR

    If Fred Thompson makes it through the primary, he will be another Bob Dole. He will lose and lose badly.

    August 17, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Tracy, chicago, IL

    Oh Lord I am praying that a lot of idiots don't vote for this geezer….Heck, you thought Bush/Cheney was bad—well hopefully we won’t have this senile old goat running the country. Someone please tell me what qualifies this man to be president besides being a lobbyist and low level actor???

    August 17, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  23. Lynda, Phoenix, AZ

    They can overturn Roe v Wade right after they make vasectomies mandatory. Vasectomies are reverseable and every male should be forced to comply with this. When they are ready to be daddies, they can have the procedure reversed. When they are done making babies it can be done again.

    UNTIL men are forced to be responsible with THEIR reproductive organs, women need to have the right to be responsible for theirs, and in cases of rape, incest, the mothers health this is important. It is ALSO important when birth control methods fail those who are being responsible to be able to terminate a pregnancy they are not prepared for.

    Lastly, the day men act responsibly when their hormones are raging is the day they MIGHT be able to try to dictate what I can and cannot do with my own body (and I can't have more children).

    And for all those perfect people out there; there is no 100% full proof method of birth control outside of abstinance. Human beings ARE sexual creatures by nature, therefore abstinence is NOT realistic, at least not for the normal average person (especially where men are concerned by my experience).

    I also don't understand this obsession with caring who loves who. If two people love each other enough to commit to each other, why not let them get married. On the other hand.......I say let's just ban "marriage" and grant everyone who is together as a couple and co-habitating, the same rights now afforded only "married" couples. A notorized letter of commitment would suffice, and a notarized notice of separation would remove those rights. This will eliminate the need for going broke paying some lawyer to produce the same results.

    August 17, 2007 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. chris litchfield IL

    Wow, can he suck up to the right wing christian fundamentalists a little harder? Thats just what this country needs is another 4 more years of neoconservative insanity!! I think the winner of the '08 presidential election is going to be the anti-bush. thompson will get the fundies money, but mainstream America wont buy into this garbage anymore.

    August 17, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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