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. Ken, somewhere in Florida

    Finally, someone is running who has sanity! I think that if any Democrat gets into office we are doomed as a nation. The great works of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Handcock, Adams and other other fathers will crumble under the heavy weight of iniquity of the ilk of Bill Clinton.

    August 17, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |


    August 17, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. Ryan, San Luis Obispo, CA

    It's ironic that people talk about "pressing his moral views on others" when something doesn't mesh with their own ideas. I'm glad a potential president has strong views, whether or not their agree with mine.

    August 17, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. Ali, Phoenix AZ

    What I would love to see is a candidate that would bring the country back together instead of coming up with these hardline statements that alienate people. I dont know if they are thinking before they start to speak or if this is just a case of trying to appeal to one group. This is one reason I really dont care for the people in politics, they mainly want to get on TV. Anyone know if he can get a role on another tv series instead.

    August 17, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Cynthia

    Why is abortion the rallying flag for some people? Isn't health care or the lack there of more important for the entire population? What about the roads and bridges falling apart? Illegal immigration...what is his opinion on that touchy subject? Would he provide more money for schools overrun by extra non English speaking children? They have to meet No Child Left Behind too and there's no extra funding for that program. Gasoline or the lack thereof..why aren't candidates asked what they would do to promote our weaning from foreign oil.
    No, abortion is the first question and gay marriage the second. There are more important issues.

    August 17, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. Maria, SF CA

    Gee, I can't think of any more important issue right now than taking away a woman's right to have control over her own body. Please go away Fred, you are a DINOSAUR and you are not even in the race yet anyway. Take your bimbo wife #2 or is it #3 and go back the acting. At least you don't suck at that.

    August 17, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. Benji, Hartford, CT

    lol, thank you for the folks who shot down K... duh... eating animals is murder... and bringing a child into the world to parents who don't want it or shouldn't have had it is tantamount to murder really... it's like abuse... anyway, maybe i'm getting too far fetched, but compared to Fred Thompson, i'm totally reasonable, lol... and yeah he doesn't have an MD so he wouldn't know bad medicine if we managed to get him a date with Kovorkian... bleh

    August 17, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. Erin Denver, Colorado

    Too bad I liked Thompson, but with a stance like making abortion illegal and gay marriage being banned I will no longer be a fan or supporter. No man should ever call the shots on abortion, sorry but until a man has a uterus and truly understands the weight and responsibilty a woman takes on with pregnancy and having a child he should not be allowed to make the ultimate decision on that subject. With the growing lack of child support from men and their denail or reponsibility for childern these days, please do not tell me a man has a right to make abortion illegal. As far as gay marriage..I have nothing good to say about that stance. I think it is ignorant.

    August 17, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  9. RB, San Diego CA

    You all make it sound like it's a bad thing to be anti-gay.

    August 17, 2007 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. Erik, Austin TX

    The Republican party must be in a sad state if Rudy "I'm for family values, just ask my ex-wives" Guiliani and this clown are their top candidates.

    August 17, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. Meredith, Kansas City MO

    Until Fred Thompson grows ovaries and a uterus, he should keep his opinions to himself regarding a woman's reproductive freedom.

    August 17, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. liz, Montgomery, AL

    Fred Thompson sounds like another "life begins at conception and ends at birth" neo-con.

    August 17, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. hailey, fort worth, tx

    doesnt it figure that a man would want to put a ban on abortion? it is a womans choice. i would like to see him explain to a woman who has been raped and became pregnant that she no longer has control of her reproductive organs.

    August 17, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Lance, Monrovia, CA

    People keep saying that "This guy Fred Thompson is a straight shooter, I like that."

    Uh... what has he said. "Abortion is bad, I would ban it."

    "Terrorists are bad, I would stop them."

    This guy is Reagan, minus the passion, vision, and hair.

    He speaks in soundbites because honestly I don't think he knows or understands the issues. I think I know the last guy they said was a "straight shooter." His name was George W. Bush and he can't even shoot straight enough to kill Bin Laden, much less say what he means to the American people.

    My advice to all those interested in Thompson, actually go research his Senate career and his votes. You'll find a lot of votes where he didn't even bother to show up, and when he did, he wasn't a "straight shooter" or even a visionary. He was a party huckster who voted whichever way the lobbyists paid him too.

    Oh, and his stance on abortion? That one is classic. Go back and look over his lobbyist days, as reported by a recent newsweek. Good ol' straight shooter Fred was a lobbyist himself for abortionists. He was paid money by PACS to talk to Senators about upholding Roe vs. Wade.

    If he's so anti-abortionist, if he's so much of a straight shooter, he better reckon what he's saying now with what he was saying back then, because back then it was a whole other ball of wax.

    don't be suckered by the hound dog face and the overly simple words.

    Maybe we deserve a guy like this, but the rest of the world and our kids sure don't. He's poison, pure and simple.

    August 17, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. MK

    It is really sad that we've come to the point that offing your unborn at will is considered a "right."

    August 17, 2007 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Sonja, Calgary, alberta

    Frankly, I don't get the abortion debate. Abortion has existed for as long as pregnancy has. If abortions are not available legally, in a safe, sterile facility, there will quickly pop up an underground network that will provide the same service to women. What exactly is the goal of making this service illegal?

    August 17, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  17. M

    I love how liberals always like to justify abortion by claiming that conservatives don't do anything to help them after they are born. Why do you think people have to adopt overseas? Because all the babies here that should be getting adopted are getting aborted instead. As far as services, I have no problem paying for services for children and families, and in fact, already do. How dare you make a sweeping and ridiculous judgment about people in order to justify the barbaric practice of abortion.

    August 17, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. Greyghost, Northern MS

    Way to go, Dumbass. You aren't even in the race yet, and you've already forfeited the moderate vote. Better keep paying your SAG dues. You'll be needing more acting gigs, cause you ain;t gonna be President.

    August 17, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. fred thompson, Seattle, WA

    This guy shouldn't be president and shouldn't even be allowed to have an opinion....I think the only thing he should be allowed to do is hand out some Werther's Originals to toddlers at church bake sale. old fool.

    August 17, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  20. L7

    The ranting, nonsensical posts of the people on this board have convinced vote for Fred. Never in my life have I seen more vitriol or hate-filled speech than I have here. Aside from that, people actually believe that abortion is a God-given right up there with life, liberty and happiness. Our country is going down the toilet if we vote for a Democrat.

    August 17, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  21. VanReuter NY NY

    I am tired of gays (blacks) 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.
    Posted By KUI : August 17, 2007 4:42 pm

    If your post was about any minority other than Gays, Your bigotry would stink up the whole thread.


    August 17, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  22. LKM

    I can't believe some people. NOTHING is more important that stopping the murder of millions innocent babies. Do you really hear yourselves? What a callous and heartless country we live in. Thank God you people weren't around when slavery was legal; it probably still would be.

    August 17, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. M. Rowe, Garland, Tx.

    Let's see now;

    As President, he’ll grant himself the power to overturn Roe V. Wade, cuz it's 'bad law and bad medicine'. No, Fred, bloody wire coat hangers, fetuses, and sometimes women found in dumpsters was bad medicine. This from the man who SPENT 10 YEARS AS A LOBBYIST FOR THE NATIONAL FAMILY PLANNING AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ASSN. IN THE 90'S.

    He'll use his big booming voice and pound a big ham fist on a table or two and have gay and lesbian marriages “banned by Constitutional Amendment” – he actually SAID THOSE WORDS TODAY.

    If he'd been President during the Viet Nam years we'd still be there, but instead he won't let us run home with our tails between our legs from Iraq, his Viet Nam. And more and more will die.

    He's nearly as bad as Dubya, and anyone who even remotely resembles Dubya is the one who is fatally flawed.

    August 17, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  24. Jane

    Um, it still takes a man and a woman to make a baby, the last time I checked. A man has every d– right to have a say on abortion, particular if he is having to pay for it, either by taxes or for that of someone he got pregnant. And don't you think he should have a say in what happens to his own CHILD??? What a stupid statement by another crazy feminist.

    August 17, 2007 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  25. 789

    One more thing - I as a taxpayer am forced to pay for abortions whether I like it or not, including for women on welfare or those that are in prison. Therefore I have every right to want to end this practice.

    August 17, 2007 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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