Republican candidate Donald Trump stumbles once again: in an interview set to air this Wednesday night on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews doggedly questioned Trump’s stance on abortion, to which the front-runner stated that women who participate should face “some form of punishment” if Republicans can successfully ban the method of birth control.
According to a transcript released by Bloomberg, Trump referred to the hot topic as a “very serious problem” that “we have to decide on.” Matthews continued to press for a specific method of enforcing an abortion ban, to which Trump responded he is “pro-life” and that the solution would be to “go back to a position like they had where [women] would perhaps go to illegal places”.
When Matthews questioned whether Trump believes a punishment should be enforced, he responded that some type of punishment for the woman would “have to be determined”, but overall punishment would definitely be in order.
Meanwhile, the other Republican hopefuls are expressing their opposition to Trump’s statements, yet none are offering a legitimate reason as to why there should not be punishment. As John Kasich told Chuck Todd of MSNBC, “No, absolutely not. And I mean, I do have exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. But of course women shouldn’t be punished…I don’t think [Trump’s answer] is an appropriate response, and it’s a difficult enough situation to try to punish somebody.” Instead, he suggested that “you build some restrictions around it, but…you have to be very careful in the way you do it.”
Ted Cruz has yet to respond publicly, though his campaign’s rapid response director Brian Phillips tweeted that Trump is a fraud on the issue; essentially, he argues that individuals should not think too much about the idea because Trump “doesn’t understand the pro-life position because he’s not pro-life.”
Don’t overthink it: Trump doesn’t understand the pro-life position because he’s not pro-life.
— Brian Phillips (@RealBPhil) March 30, 2016
Cruz’s campaign chairman Chad Sweet announced on CNN that the candidate’s position “shares the views of the pro-life movement, which for years has focused on punishing those who perform the abortions – not the women who get them.” He, too, shames Donald Trump for misstepping, even going so far as to call him a “charlatan…a man who for the vast majority of his life didn’t just embrace abortion – he embraced extreme forms of abortion, all the way to partial-birth abortion.”
In just a few short hours, Trump has already made attempts to backpedal on his earlier comments. Amidst the backlash he has received from his GOP rivals, Trump released the following statement:
“If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed — like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.”
While this answer may be what pro-life supporters actually wanted to hear, Trump’s continued pattern of inconsistent responses to pressing matters and inability to articulate precise policy changes he intends to implement begs the question of how he will be capable of running this country if elected.
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