Former President Donald Trump was victorious in 2016 because he won over culturally conservative Catholics and Protestants due to his affirmation that he would appoint judges to overturn Roe v. Wade. He did just that. Now his comments against laws banning early-term abortions has even some of his staunchest allies shaking their heads.
“I mean, ‘DeSanctus’ (DeSantis) is willing to sign a five-week and six-week ban,” Trump said. “I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”
His comments to new NBC News host Kristen Welker has given his opponents an opportunity to create a wedge between him and his core constituency.
“We’re going to agree to a number of weeks or months or however you want to define it,” Trump said. “And both sides are going to come together and both sides — both sides, and this is a big statement — both sides will come together. And for the first time in 52 years, you’ll have an issue that we can put behind us.”
Transactional Politics Equals Trumpiness
It exposes Trump as being a purely transactional figure who has no real convictions other than getting the most votes. Trump accused abortion opponents in the Republican Party of being “inarticulate” with their position. Since the 2022 midterm elections, Trump has backed away from openly supporting a hardline stance against abortion after it was widely believed the overturning of Roe cost Republicans at the ballot box.
“I watch some of them without the exceptions, et cetera, et cetera,” he said. “I said, ‘Other than certain parts of the country, you can’t — you’re not going to win on this issue. But you will win on this issue when you come up with the right number of weeks.”
Trump in ’99: ‘I’m Very Pro-Choice’
Trump’s statement marks a return to his original position on abortion that he made on NBC’s Meet the Press in 1999.
“I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject. But you still – I just believe in choice,” Trump said. “I was raised in New York … I am strongly for choice and yet I hate the concept of abortion.”
The then-future president said he would not ban abortion.
“I am pro-choice in every respect and as far as it goes I just hate it,” Trump continued.
DeSantis Takes Advantage of Donald Trump Misstep
The DeSantis campaign has taken advantage of Trump’s misstep by pointing out that 70% of GOP voters in Iowa support a ban on abortion, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll. Sixty-nine percent of white, evangelical voters in Iowa likewise support a ban.
“Trump says he will compromise with Democrats on abortion so that they’re nice to him: ‘Both sides are going to like me,’” the DeSantis War Room account said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Then he says it’s ‘a terrible thing’ babies with heartbeats are protected in Iowa, Florida and South Carolina. Ron DeSantis will never sell out conservatives to win praise from corporate media or the Left.”
The candidate himself weighed in saying that Trump would sell out anti-abortion voters.
“Anytime he did a deal with Democrats, whether it was on budget, whether it was on the criminal justice ‘First Step Act,’ they ended up taking him to the cleaners, and so, I think if he’s going into this thing, he’s gonna make the Democrats happy with respect to the right to life. I think all pro-lifers should know that he’s preparing to sell you out,” DeSantis said.
Liberals Not Impressed
Trump’s erstwhile Manhattan liberal friends are not impressed and are not forgiving him for getting Roe v. Wade overturned.
“If you cannot get an abortion, if you fear leaving your state to get an abortion, if you are afraid to text your loved ones or type abortion into a search bar, if you are scared to ask a friend or loved one to help you get an abortion, if you know someone coerced into remaining in an abusive relationship because they fear prosecution, if you cannot find an obstetrician in your state, if you have a relative who was left at the edge of death by doctors afraid to risk prosecution by violating an abortion ban—you have Donald Trump to thank,” Atlantic columnist Adam Serwer wrote.
About the Author
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.