Donald Trump angers right with abortion comments – Former President Donald Trump’s relationship with the anti-abortion movement is a complicated one.
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On the one hand, Donald Trump gave no indication, in his entire life up until he began running for president in 2015, that he had any particularly strong feelings against abortion. He even declared “I’m very pro-choice” when he first flirted with running for president in 1999.
However, as president, Donald Trump appointed the three Supreme Court justices who provided the decisive majority in last year’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, a decades-long goal of the anti-abortion movement.
He also became the first sitting president to address the March For Life, in the summer of 2020.
After Donad Trump left office and Roe was overturned, there was another political effect: There were strong indications that the end of Roe helped the Democrats a great deal in the midterm elections, and was a big reason why the expected “red wave” never materialized.
Trump, in a recent post, said exactly that.
In a post on his Truth Social account, Trump stated that “it wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the MidTerms,” as reported by Jezebel. “It was the ‘abortion issue,’ poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters.”
This put Trump, as he launches another presidential campaign for 2024, at odds with the Christian right, a key part of his base.
Fox News contributor Ben Domenech wrote on Twitter in sharp disagreement with what Trump had to say.
“Hard to express how many false things Trump says in this one “Truth,” Domenech said on Twitter, arguing that none of the losing candidates Trump backed was in favor of “no exceptions even in the case of rape incest or life of the mother.” One Trump-backed candidate, Herschel Walker, was even accused of having instigated multiple abortions.
“Trump claims the pro-life position moved large numbers of voters against Republicans. Yet the most pro-life R incumbent candidates all won! DeSantis, Kemp, Abbott, DeWine, go down the list. And all the Senate candidates who won were super pro-life too,” Domenech added. “Third, Trump says pro-life voters got what they wanted from SCOTUS then ‘disappeared never to be seen again.’ There is no evidence for this whatsoever. The GOP maxed out its voters, so that makes it impossible. Increased young women pro-abort voters doesn’t decrease other side.”
New York magazine looked at the political implications, noting just how “purely transactional” the relationship was between Donald Trump and the anti-abortion movement, which it called a “cynical bargain.”
“Nobody in the former camp ever really thought of Trump (who was unambiguously pro-choice back in the day) as a true believer in either its cause or that cause’s conservative religious underpinnings. And Trump always made (and kept) his promises to the anti-abortion movement as a sort of cash-on-the-barrel proposition, notably in 2016 when he broke all precedent by bluntly promising a Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade at the very moment he needed to consolidate conservative support for his presidential campaign.”
The analysis added that Trump may very well find himself outflanked on the right by other candidates in the 2024 presidential primaries, especially if former Vice President Mike Pence ends up seeking the presidency. Pence, on Twitter, praised an anti-Trump statement by the antiabortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.
Journalist Josh Barro predicted that Republicans, in general, will have trouble with the abortion issue in 2024.
“One notable thing about this statement is how clearly it shows Trump views pro-life voters as an “other.” “The people” who wanted Roe overturned “got their wish” and then ‘disappeared.’ Doesn’t he count himself as one of those people who wished for Roe to be overturned?”
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.