Thomas Roberts   |  October 31, 2013

Fmr. presidential candidate debuts on Broadway

Fmr. senator and GOP presidential hopeful, Fred Thompson, joins Thomas Roberts to discuss his Broadway debut in the John Grisham adaptation "A Time to Kill." Thompson also offers some advice to Congress.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we take a look at the wall street journal poll finding the battle over obama care have not republicans any favor. the new poll finds 22% view the gop favorably, while 52% view them unfavorably. they enjoyed a 44% rating and back then, frank thompson was representing the state of tennessee in the u.s. senate . thompson who was an attorney, columnist and brief presidential contender has turned his real-life roles into memorable characters and perhaps most notably as district attorney ath you are branch on " law and order ."

>> well, now, he can add broadway to his considerable resume. thompson is currently playing judge omar noos in "a time to kill ." all of us are here for one reason, to serve justice in this case. let me make one thing real clear, i won't tolerate any monkey business , you understand?

>> former senator fred thompson is with me now. it is great to have you here and "a time to kill " was great, as i was telling you i was there on opening night. when you hear the poll numbers of the republican party now, what would you say to your friends in washington, d.c., about how to improve the brand going forward?

>> i think that everybody's numbers are down right now and the president's approval numbers are down to about 41% now. of course, republicans are much lower than that. democrats are faring a little bit better, but everybody is down right now. most people feel like the government will not do the right thing any of the time anymore, those numbers have switched over the last few years. people are down on government in general for a lot of different reasons and i think this strictly is a political matter, and i think a year is a long time. i think the conversation removed from obama care to the shutdown and the conversation is going from the shutdown back to obama care and the rollout, you know? so it's difficult to tell. most people still like their congress person, even though they don't like congress in general. isn't that funny how people can remain teflon. let's talk about a time to kill because it's a fascinating work, in a movie that is so recognizable and so many people have read this book and the play has been open for ten days and it's so amazing that it was brought to stage.

>> thank you.

>> and what do you think about this role? major movie roles and major big screen roles?

>> it's a totally different thing for me. to say the least i've never been on broadway before. i've done minor theatrical roles and nothing like this. it's based on a john grisham novel and it's a brilliant adaptation of rupert holmes and it's a wonderful cast, and it's done in a very interesting way. everybody who read the book, saw the movie knows how it end, but getting there, lots of twists and turns, a little humor and a lot of serious discussion and it was -- it's just been a wonderful experience for me, and the best part of it is the audience seemed to really get into it it and really enjoy the people who see it.

>> it's set in mississippi and you're originally in alabama. and so how do you think that the modern adaptation of this story resonates still today?

>> it's not that the ku klux klan today is back the way it was in those days, and it certainly brings issues of a broader nature that are still always with us and have been historically and that is balancing out truth and justice and when do the ends justify the means and when is it okay to take a terrible circumstances, terribly evil deeds in response to that, do something that is wrong, really murder in response to that even though it's understandable and how does the law view that? we may feel will a certain way about it, but how should the law deal with that and how will the lawyers handle that? it's a behind the scenes look at the practical sides of the lawyer getting paid and using the insanity defense and when and how you do that and when is it justified?

>> it's justice, morals, human nature is all on display. there are moments of levity which i was surprised which you were able to craft and that the writers were able to craft moments of levity where the audience does feel comfortable engaging in the laughter. it breaks the tension and once the audience understands it's okay to laugh with the funny parts and they get okay with it.

>> and do we have the law and order --

>> yeah. do you shiver when you hear that? i know i do.

>> i smile. it's a reflexive thing. fred, great to have you here.

>> appreciate it.

>> good luck as the show is on with broadway .

>> a woman from north dakota plans to tackle childhood obesity and get this, she'll hand out letters to trick-or-treaters that she thinks are overweight or obese, advising them to lay off the sugar. this is just random images of kids trick or treating. it's not the actual woman that will be passing out those information leaflets. after we saw this homorning's costume unveilings. here are some of our favorites.

>> we need help.

>> you're right, lonnie, where's c.j.?

>> is someone drowning? i brought my cans.

>> that was willie geist , matt lauer with the real-life carmen electra and yes, that is willie's chest hair . that was not fake. no animals were lost in the life of that chest hair . you can read her about these stories by heading over to my facebook page. need a tow