National pro-life leader Marjorie Dannenfelser is reacting to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial comments about abortion.
The president of the Susan B. Anthony List says, in a statement sent to Breitbart News:
Last summer, Mr. Trump said he supported our top federal legislative priority. He said: “I support the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and urge Congress to pass this bill. A ban on elective abortions after 20 weeks will protect unborn children. We should not be one of seven countries that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks. It goes against our core values.”
“Today he said, ‘The laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way,’” she asserted on Friday. “He has completely contradicted himself. If this is his position, he has just disqualified himself as the GOP nominee.”
Both of Trump’s comments were clarified by his campaign, as Dannenfelser also observed: “It seems each pronouncement Mr. Trump makes that comes from his gut must be corrected by someone 15 minutes later.”
“At some point, the candidate’s words must stand on their own,” Dannenfelser added. “What do you believe, Mr. Trump? No one knows.”
Though many establishment Republicans are fond of dismissing the issue of abortion as insignificant, the topic was front and center this week after Trump’s remarks on the topic. On Wednesday, he said that if abortion became illegal in the United States, women who had one should experience some form of “punishment,” while two days later he made the comments cited by Dannenfelser that abortion “laws are set.”
In her column at the New York Times, Maureen Dowd reports that Trump avoided her question about whether he has ever been involved with anyone who had an abortion.
Dowd’s exchange with Trump went this way:
Given his draconian comment, sending women back to back alleys, I had to ask: When he was a swinging bachelor in Manhattan, was he ever involved with anyone who had an abortion?
“Such an interesting question,” he said. “So what’s your next question?”
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) April 2, 2016
Breitbart News attempted to reach out to the Trump campaign to ask if he intends to meet with members of the pro-life base of the Republican Party, but received no response.
Trump’s confusing comments on abortion have led to further commentary about his judgment and even some reflections on his character.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – who has generally been a fan of Trump’s campaign – seemed perplexed by some of the candidate’s actions and statements recently – including his tweets about Heidi Cruz.
Gingrich, says the New York Times, noted that Trump had “made a series of bewildering and irrational mistakes. Mr. Trump’s campaign, he said, had failed to evolve beyond the ‘personal gunslinger, random-behavior model’ characterized by the candidate.”
“None of the mistakes have been forced, and nobody forced him to react negatively,” Gingrich said. “It’s almost as though he is so full of himself that he can’t slow down and recognize that being president of the United States is a team sport that requires a stable personality, that allows other people to help him.”
At CNN, Trump’s character was under the microscope in a piece that highlighted “how Donald Trump sees himself” as it explored his writing, speeches and interviews over the past three decades.
The GOP candidate has relentlessly mocked his opponents, lashed out at reporters and scorned the status quo. He has trusted his instincts, refused to apologize amid controversy, stood by his allies and sought to destroy his foes. He has focused on the big picture (“Make America Great Again”) rather than on details such as abortion policy.
CNN quotes some of Trump’s lines from several of his self-help business books such as The Art of the Deal (1987), Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need To Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life (2004), and Think Big (2008).
“The day I realized it can be smart to be shallow was, for me, a deep experience,” Trump wrote in Think Like a Billionaire.
“When people wrong you, go after those people, because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it,” Trump wrote in Think Big. He added in the book, “I used to say, ‘Go out and get the best people, and trust them.’ Over the years I have seen too many shenanigans, and now I say, ‘Get the best people and don’t trust them.’”
A chapter of Think Big is devoted to Trump’s theme of revenge. “I always get even,” he writes.
As CNN reports:
To illustrate his point, he tells of a woman “making peanuts” in her government job before Trump recruited her to work for him in the 1980s.
“She was a nobody in her government job and going nowhere,” Trump wrote of the unnamed woman. “I decided to make her into somebody.”
Under his mentoring, Trump wrote, the woman became powerful in real estate and bought a beautiful home.
When Trump was under intense financial pressure in the early ’90s, he asked the woman to make a phone call to “an extremely close friend of hers who held a powerful position at a big bank who would have done what she asked.”
“Donald, I can’t do that,” she told Trump.
So Trump “got rid of her,” he wrote.
“She ended up losing her home. Her husband, who was only in it for the money, walked out on her and I was glad,” he continued. “Over the years many people have called asking for a recommendation for her. I only give her bad recommendations. …This woman was very disloyal, and now I go out of my way to make her life miserable.”
Trump punctuated the anecdote with several bullet points at the end of the chapter, including:
“When somebody screws you, screw them back in spades” and “Go for the jugular so that people watching will not want to mess with you.”
Trump continued on the same theme in 1997’s The Art of the Comeback.
“I believe in an eye for an eye — like the Old Testament says,” he wrote. “Some of the people who forgot to lift a finger when I needed them, when I was down, they need my help now, and I’m screwing them against the wall. I’m doing a number…. And I’m having so much fun.”
Trump’s advice continues now that he is on the campaign trail. In Wisconsin on Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reports, the candidate advised his supporters while speaking about success, “Always be around unsuccessful people because everybody will respect you.”