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. Paul B

    Another "Ripped from the headlines" republican populist idealogue.

    August 17, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. Dee Snutts, Crawford TX

    So, Fred is for federalism when it comes to abortion, but against it when it comes to the right of states to decide their own marriage laws. Great, so he's for something except when he's against it. Just what we need, another guy who is going to do whatever he wants and not really care about justifying it with any sort of consistent principle, other than "God told me to".

    August 17, 2007 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Julie, Charlotte, NC

    This type of political platform makes me sick. Banning gay marriage and abortion.....If these are the items at the top of his agenda he should become a priest NOT the President of the United States. WAKE UP! We've got much more pressing issues in this country to deal with.

    August 17, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. woman on the edge

    what a jerk! there are so many more important issues than abortion and gay wonder this country is going to ruin! while the rest of the 1st world countries are offering health care, education, legal rights for everyone, policitians here only fixate on issues that do nothing for the country besides divide it even further. roe vs. wade should be left alone. good thing i got my abortion already!! and let me tell you...until a man has to make that decision with his body, he has absolutely no right to tell women what they can legally do. fred thompson-you seriously suck and you're a bad actor! find a different job!

    August 17, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. cliff jones, honolulu hi

    Here we go. He couldn't wait to play the abortion card. Now we will have to put up with this non issue for a year or so.

    August 17, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Sherri Lee, Davenport Iowa

    Oh boy, here we go!! If that's how he wants his opening headlines to read as he jumps into the presidential candidacy fray, is he ever in for a shock!! And he's the last thing the Republican party needs, though he is in line with their usual devisiveness that they spew on the rest of us!!
    I say bring him on, and those of us with common sense enough to want to keep the government out of our bedrooms will lay him down quickly, and but good. That's why I no longer vote Republican, when it began to kow-tow to the religious nuts who've been creeping into higher places in the party, and trying to hold more and more sway over candidates and the party platform. The GOPs need to re-think their strategies, cuz I know quite a few others, especially women like myself, who have been quietly voting for Democratic (and Libertarian!) candidates, going against what even their husbands would think they would vote. So let the fur start to fly, and let's start tearing it up with old Freddie boy!!!

    August 17, 2007 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. Jan, St. Louis, MO

    He's only waiting until he gets the word from Cheney that the fix is in. Takes time, hacking all those vote machines.

    August 17, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. LLL

    The callousness of the people toward the unborn is truly astonishing. What makes you assume that all these kids are going to be on welfare? There are plenty of loving adults, including myself, who want to adopt. Even if some of them were poor, isn't that still better than not existing at all? And what about giving the kids up for adoption?

    August 17, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Brian Ragle, Healy AK

    Well, that does it for Thompson. I appreciate his candor before even jumping into the race. I can now safely cross him off the list of potential next presidents.

    August 17, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Edward, Chicago, IL

    Where in there did he say "I'll ban abortion"?!?!? He wants to toss it back to the states so that LEGISLATORS in those states can write the law for themselves instead of having SCOTUS do it for them. Simple, uncontroversial Federalism. The left leaning headline writers at CNN must really be afraid that Fred will obliterate Hillary. Otherwise there's no explanation for such a backhanded report. Shameful, just shameful. Don't dare criticize Fox for being right leaning so long as you continue in this manner.

    August 17, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. Chris

    Smart people vote on issues that are NOT 'knee-jerk'issues or extremist-related issues. We all know that abortion and gay rights concerns often fall at extreme ends (esp. in the media)– so why fall victim to yet another politician's scheme to get an government seat of power? Vote for candidates whose issues are important to you day to day, (not in rare cases), like: education, healthcare, public safety, foreign policy, economics, and many others. Vote smart, not black & white (or even down party lines!)

    August 17, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. J-Rock, San Jose, CA

    Let's all be gay and kill babies! YAY! Vote Democrat and help end overpopulation!

    August 17, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Dry Heat Dave, Phoenix AZ

    Fred might ban abortion. But he would NOT stop it. Women will still have abortions. But in far less safe conditions.

    August 17, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. David, Salinas, CA

    Thompson’s record as a Washington lobbyist is truly shocking. He’s represented Westinghouse, German mining concerns, insurance companies avoiding asbestos claims, pro-abortion groups, cable t.v. and Haitian dictator Jean Bertand Aristide.

    I’m trying to post links, but they’re not going through. I don’t suspect CNN censorship. I think it’s something technical. Moderators – are my posts cached somewhere?

    August 17, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Heather, Wilmington, OH

    HM... reading these scathing comments might be enough to make me consider this guy. Obviously he's gotten under people's skin! I like a guy that can stand for what he believes, and say it with no shame or spin. I hope he officially joins the race – it might be a breath of fresh air from all the rehearsed doublespeak that we see from other candidates on both sides of the aisle.

    August 17, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    How about RON PAUL who would overturn it but ALLOW THE STATES TO DECIDE WHAT THEY SHOULD DO. RON PAUL says that the local level should decide contraversial issues such as this. The federal govt should not be intervening in matters such as these!

    August 17, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. David, Washington DC

    "Asked about critics who call him “too lazy” to put in the long hours necessary to run for president..."

    We've already got one of those (too lazy to put in the long hours) in the office of President right now, don't we? And we see how well that's worked out.

    August 17, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Joyce, Butte, MT

    Oh good, another male WASP (white, anglo-saxon, protestant – or catholic – it doesn't much matter) who wants to run the country. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the religious right (who are neither religious or right) trying to run the country. Our country has no place for religious fundamentalists – Christian, Jewish, or Muslim (nor does the world at large have room for "my god's the only god".} I can't believe there are still Republicans out there supporting this stuff. You're either males making 6 figure incomes thinking the world revolves around you or you're dumber than dirt males thinking the Republic party is great for letting you keep your guns. Get real. I'd like to see the USA once again become a world leader – trade with Cuba – what are we afraid of? – Taking a serious look at global warming. Let's show some leadership and vote for someone who believes in privacy, civil liberties, constitutional rights, affordable health care for everyone in the USA.

    August 17, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Sherri Lee, Davenport Iowa

    To those of you here who are anti-abortion and anti-women's choice - an unwanted baby SHOULD BE a baby who is never born!!! If the person who has to raise it for the next 18 years doesn't want it/can't afford it/never wanted to have children but had a husband/man in her life who insisted, then it should never be born, and I say it is a better-late-than-never decision, and the person who has to carry it for 9 months and then raise it for 18 years is the ONLY PERSON who is fit to make that decision!!

    August 17, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Who wrote the teaser on the front page? Nothing Thomspson said can be legitimately paraphrased as "I'll ban abortion."

    August 17, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Fred only thinks he's a lawyer. Writing for the Court in Roe was one of the major accomplishments of Justice Harry Blackmun, who served as counsel to the Mayo clinic. Fred probably couldn't spell "flu" if you spotted him the "f" and the "l".

    August 17, 2007 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Tammy, Tipp City Ohio

    Wow, I'd say he's out of touch with America. Perhaps he's too old to be President. Does he really think if you make something illegal that it will stop it? Drugs are illegal...does that mean there's no trouble with drugs in this country? We can't go back to the days of back alley abortions and self abortions! This is still America.....isn't it??

    August 17, 2007 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. Martin, Burlington, ON

    Love him or hate him, at least he has the courage to state exactly where he stands on these positions.

    August 17, 2007 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. Annette, Albert Lea MN

    I am a Democrat (usually) and there is always one candidate from the other side that worries me but the jokesters running for the republican nomination have me in stitches. Are they trying to give it away so they don't have to fix everything Bush as done? I think they are.

    August 17, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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