Donald Trump’s no good, very bad week talking about abortion


Let’s be clear: If Donald Trump is talking about abortion, he’s losing. He and his campaign would much rather be playing offense, slamming President Joe Biden on issues like immigration and the economy as the 2024 presidential race heats up.

But when he’s talking about abortion, Trump is playing defense. So at the outset of the week, Trump tried to put the issue to rest. Here’s a very brief recap of how that worked out.

Monday: After months of obfuscation, Trump finally stated his position on abortion: Individual states should decide the issue. Electorally speaking, Trump’s states’ rights stance seemed like his least bad play in a crappy hand. The worst option, it seemed, would be endorsing a national ban of any kind.

The Biden campaign ran with it, hanging every horrific statewide abortion ban around Trump’s neck.

Tuesday:  Arizona’s extremist Supreme Court upholds a near-total abortion ban that dates back to 1864, without exceptions for rape, incest, or the health of the mother (unless her life is in jeopardy).

Biden again saddles Trump with another Draconian ban.


Wednesday: Trump, asked whether Arizona went too far, says “Yeah, they did,” adding, “That’ll be straightened out. And I’m sure that the governor and everybody else are going to bring it back into reason and that will be taken care of, I think, very quickly.”

Nope, responded Arizona Republicans, who instead killed Democrats’ repeal efforts and abruptly ended the legislative session.

Friday: Trump urgently tweets that the Democratic governor and Republican-led Arizona Legislature “must” repeal the law. (Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs has repeatedly called for its repeal.)

“The Supreme Court in Arizona went too far on their Abortion Ruling, enacting and approving an inappropriate Law from 1864,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “So now the Governor and the Arizona Legislature must use HEART, COMMON SENSE, and ACT IMMEDIATELY, to remedy what has happened.”

“Remember,” he added, “it is now up to the States and the Good Will of those that represent THE PEOPLE.”

And by “States,” Trump really means “me.”

Trump deferring to the states must have seemed like a good option Monday, but by Friday that wasn’t so clear. Trump is now on the hook for every lunatic move made by GOP state lawmakers—as Arizona so exquisitely proved. And Trump has resorted to begging them to take the issue off the table for him, while the Biden campaign hammers one simple message: “Trump did this.”

All in all, a stellar week for Trump, who heads to trial Monday in New York to defend himself against a criminal conviction on 32 counts of fraud—for making hush-money payments to an adult film star.

Trump’s lose-lose situation on abortion somehow got worse this week after he released a video attempting to spin a position on the polarizing issue. What does this mean? Bad news for the Republican Party, already in disarray.

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