Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, who chairs Donald Trump’s Pro-Life Coalition, gave her assessment of Trump’s outreach to evangelical and pro-life voters on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.
“I went from being critical to being very pleasantly surprised and encouraged,” she said. “He’s doing a really good job of that. I think, first of all, and the only thing that really matters, is his policy commitments compared with hers, and they are great. They’re huge.”
She spoke highly of Trump’s September letter to pro-life leaders, calling it “better than any candidate letter I think I’ve ever seen.”
“It’s not just because of Kellyanne,” Dannenfelser added, referring to Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. “He really cared a lot about how he worded this, compared with hers especially, meaning Hillary Clinton. I mean, what you just said before I came on here, about living in a very different America if she is elected, is really true.”
“His outreach has been important, and we’ve recruited co-chairs from all over the nation, and we’re getting ready to unveil who our state chairs are, in the battleground states,” she revealed. “They know what these commitments are. They know what the choice is. And they can’t be fooled by listening to the mainstream media all day long. They’re smart enough to tune that out, and look at what his commitments really are.”
Dannenfelser acknowledged that Trump “has changed his mind” on the abortion issue. “So did I,” she noted. “There are a lot of people who have flipped from pro-choice to pro-life.”
She explained how Trump’s pro-life position as a candidate is more important than past comments he made on the abortion issue as a private citizen:
When you run for office, or you lead an organization, you have a much higher standard. You have to make solid commitments. Yes, he said he’ll appoint pro-life judges, but also that he will, in the Oval Office, in his words, pass and sign that late-term bill – which ought to be an easy lift for any human being, a five-month pain-capable bill – but also defund Planned Parenthood, and make sure that the Hyde Amendment is made permanent law. So there are some things, there are many things, that a president can do, but not if the courts overturn every single action that he takes.
Do I worry? Well, I’ve worried about every single candidate in whose election we’ve ever gotten involved. And so we don’t just sit around and worry. We reach every single voter. We make sure that candidate knows every single voter is hearing those commitments, over and over and over again in the battleground states. That’s what’s happening today and tomorrow, and about a million people, or over a million people, in battleground states will hear that from our canvassers.
And then, all along the way, reminding him of his commitments within the staff around him – I think that his commitments are reflected in the people that he has brought onto the campaign, as well. I don’t know what else he could possibly do. There really isn’t anything else that he can do, at this point.
Marlow brought up a recent Washington Post column on Dannenfelser that said it was Trump’s selection of Mike Pence as a running mate that brought her aboard the “Trump Train.”
“I just have to say, the Post got it mostly right,” she replied:
It is certainly Pence, but it’s all those other things, too. In the end, this is a prudential judgment, and you have to look at the whole picture. Mike Pence was working to defund Planned Parenthood before it was cool. Okay, I can’t say it’s really all that cool now, but it is definitely something that is heard of, and it has definitely taken on great momentum.
He’s a true believer. He’s a great articulator of the issue. It’s in his DNA. It’s not just something he took on under duress. Donald Trump chose him, and they had discussions about this. I just don’t think you do that to yourself, if you’re a guy running for president and you really just honestly wish this issue would go away. Why would you recruit Mike Pence to run alongside you?
It could not be a stronger team. I kind of get tired of people saying, “Trust me: look at all these people around me.” But all you can really do, in the end, is get solid, definite, specific commitments, compare them with hers, look at the people around, see how he handles it when he’s on the stump. So far, so good, and this decision to really dig in, in the pro-life community in the battleground states, which we were doing already, but his ability to amplify – that is enormous. It makes an enormous difference in our ability to reach the people we need to reach.
Marlow said conservatives concerned with social issues have been surprisingly effective at reaching young people, even as the younger generation seems to be moving away from religious faith.
“I think that’s right,” Dannenfelser agreed:
Young people, and many other demographics, there is something going on. Young people, Hispanics, Democrats, and independents, who have only been communicated to by the Left on this issue, poll very, very high. Not only do they poll very high, but they indicate in the battleground states where we are, especially Hispanics and independents, that they don’t like Hillary Clinton’s position on abortion. Their first reaction is they can’t even believe it. They can’t even believe it’s true that she would accept any abortion up until the hour before birth. And it really is true.
Often we find that the young people marching, and the young people we hear from, they might be liberal on everything else. And they might be conservative on everything else. There is a strong libertarian streak that still leads to pro-life. So it kind of cuts across a lot of things, and that is a really healthy sign for a human rights movement because it can never feed from one pool. A successful one can’t just feed from one party or one demographic. There has to come a point where it becomes universally reviled, or at least mostly reviled, by a large demographic swath of the population.
Think of the child labor laws changing, or becoming into being. Abolition, civil rights – there came a point where you couldn’t predict – you see a smart woman walking down the road, and ten years ago, I think most people in D.C. would say, “Oh, yeah, she’s definitely going to be pro-choice.” Maybe twenty years ago. But that’s just not the case now. The same is true for young people, as you point out.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.