Donald Trump tried to “clarify” his remarks that women should be punished for having an abortion by lying and flip-flopping to a policy that had nothing to do with his original comments. All Trump managed to accomplish was the destruction of the Republican Party and his phony image.
Here is what Trump originally said to Chris Matthews (transcript via MSNBC):
MATTHEWS: The churches make their moral judgments, but you’re running for President of the United States to become Chief Executive of the United States. Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?
TRUMP: The answer is there has to be some form of punishment.
MATTHEWS: For the woman?
MATTHEWS: 10 cents, 10 years, what?
TRUMP: I don’t know. That I don’t know.
Here is what the Trump presidential campaign says he really meant, “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.”
In the MSNBC interview, Trump said that women should be punished. The campaign followed up the interview with a statement that is not even close to what the candidate was talking about. The statement by his campaign was evidence of cowardice. Trump has fashioned himself as a political truth teller who speaks his mind, but the reality is that Donald Trump is just a cowardly politician.
What are voters supposed to believe? Do they believe the Trump in the MSNBC town hall, or do they believe the Trump in the statement? Which version of Donald Trump is telling the truth?
Trump is making Mitt Romney look like a model of consistency and an oracle of truth.
The problem for the Republican Party is that the damage has already been done. No statement from the campaign is going to fix what Trump’s mouth broke. Congressional Democrats have already pounced and are connecting House and Senate Republicans to Trump’s abortion punishment comments.
One would think that the same party that has lost elections in the past because candidates claimed that there was such a thing as “legitimate rape” might learn something, and not nominate the biggest, most empty-headed sexist they could find to be at the top of the presidential ticket in 2016. You might think that Republicans would be smarter than this, but they aren’t.
With one disastrous town hall, Donald Trump has brought the war on women front and center to the presidential campaign. The only thing that Trump’s statement accomplished was it destroyed his self-styled non-politician man who speaks his mind image.
Donald Trump is nothing more than a reality television version of the same sexist freak show that has been costing Republicans elections for years.