A six-week abortion restriction was just passed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, but the former president has been mum on the issue.
His criticism of DeSantis’s late Thursday bill signing was muted. At two rallies on Friday, including one at conservative Liberty University, he didn’t even mention the topic once, and he didn’t poke fun at him for avoiding it.
DeSantis has been attacked on both sides of the abortion issue by Trump’s advisers. It is unclear where Trump, a Floridian, stands on the issue of whether or not abortion should be prohibited beyond six weeks.
Republican consultant David Urban, a prior Donald aide who is nonpartisan in the 2024 primary contest, explained why both DeSantis and Trump have been silent on the issue: “There is a quiet because there’s a sense that this is definitely not going to be helpful for a general election.”
Donald Trump Seldom Keeps Silent
Trump’s unusual hesitancy in expressing support for a ban on abortions beyond six weeks demonstrates the political danger of taking such a stand.
While many Republicans’ core voters support the new Florida legislation, the GOP as a whole hasn’t been able to present a cohesive view on abortion after the Supreme Court invalidated the landmark case Roe v. Wade and an entire century of precedence on the topic last year.
When Republicans failed to win the midterm elections they were expected to easily win in November, President Trump directly blamed abortion politics.
An aide to President Trump said Monday that the restriction on abortions beyond six weeks has been discussed inside the administration since the moment it became evident that the bill was going to be implemented.
Trump’s allies, though, insist on staying mum on the issue, with a spokeswoman claiming, “He is going to talk about it if he is questioned about it.”
Since he started his campaign for 2024, Trump has mostly avoided talking about abortion. This may be a topic of discussion on Saturday however.
Steve Scheffler, president of the Faith & Freedom Coalition and member of the Iowa Republican National Committee, said that Trump will phone in to the organization’s spring event and accept questions from attendees.
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Trump’s Silence Has Been Used By A Super Pac Supporting Desantis
“Governor DeSantis has an excellent record of accomplishment in protecting unborn babies and infants with beating hearts from the horror of abortion,” Erin Perrine, spokesperson for the Always Back Down mega PAC, told the news outlet NBC in a statement on Monday.
“Donald Trump’s newest gift to the pro-life cause has been criticizing pro-life supporters for 2022 election losses rather than his backing burying candidates who should have won,” says one political commentator.
Allies with DeSantis, who hasn’t spoken publicly about the measure he signed, have criticized Trump, highlighting the political sensitivity of the subject even inside the Republican Party.
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The Trump administration is more at ease discussing abortion of terms of the president’s actions as president, particularly those that paved the way for states to limit abortion, than discussing the president’s opinion on the recently passed law in his own state of residence.
A Trump spokesperson, Steven Cheung, stated, “The thing we’ve been pointing out is he has a very immaculate record when it regards being pro-life and preserving life.” This includes, but is not limited to, the nomination of the supreme court justices prior to the overthrow of Roe v. Wade.
When it comes to the six-week period, I don’t want to prejudge his comments or proposals. In my opinion, he will provide a well-defined plan for that purpose.
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According To Several Of Trump’s Advisers, He Has Always Struggled With The Issue Of Abortion
It comes as no surprise, according to independent pollster Mike Noble, who often surveys southwest states, including the swing state of Arizona, that Trump is avoiding talking about the issue for as long as possible. Experts think the abortion issue has been a problem for Trump for a long time.
According to Noble, Trump believes that the Dobbs verdict made things worse for Republicans in the 2016 election. He does not desire the six-week problem to become a campaign issue for him.
When discussing the unpopularity of a six-week ban among women, swing voters, and independents, Noble cited national polling that indicates overwhelming support for some sort of legal abortion.
Highlighting the importance of these groups in the next midterm elections. The inaction of DeSantis as well as Trump is emblematic of the greater dilemma the GOP faces.
Noble characterized this dilemma as the “great issue” the GOP faces at the moment. Not even close to an explanation has been found. That’s why the Democrats keep putting this issue on the golf course. A rift has opened up among the Republican Party.
At six weeks, abortions are illegal in Florida, with exceptions made for cases of incest and sexual assault up to week 15.
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Trump’s connection with anti-abortion activists, according to GOP strategist Brad Todd, has been “in the form of an alliance” rather than in a common cause, since since Trump’s political rise to prominence in 2015.