“I didn’t mean punishment for women like prison,” he insists.
Donald Trump has added another layer to his controversial and combative campaign, waffling back from yet another previous statement upon realizing it drew unfavorable public outcry from much needed election demographics.
Speaking to the New York Times magazine in an interview published Wednesday morning, the GOP standard bearer in November’s election told the paper that when he said in March that there “has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions if the procedure were to be made illegal, he really meant that “women punish themselves” if they have an abortion.
Of course. He meant they punish themselves, so never mind the words he actually said!
“I didn’t mean punishment for women like prison,” Trump insisted, “I’m saying women punish themselves. I didn’t want people to think in terms of ‘prison’ punishment. And because of that I walked it back.”
This, of course, is patently false from the statements he made to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews at a Town Hall hosted in Wisconsin where, verbatim, the businessman said plainly that there “has to be some form of punishment for women who have abortions,” in response to the question of what President Trump would implement should he succeed in nominating enough Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade, an unspecified punishment that “will have to be determined.”
Incredulously, the comments released Wednesday additionally also contradict the statement his own campaign released following the original backlash from his insistence on punishing young mothers for unwanted pregnancies, which was released after conservative anti-abortion groups vehemently condemned his rhetoric.
At the time, he opted towards the traditionally conservative viewpoint that “the woman is the victim” and that he would seek to punish the provider or clinic who performed the procedure.
Trump, a serial non-apologizer, initially saw nothing wrong with his remark and refused to walk it back. Only when every network chief executive and over 100 media outlets besieged the Trump campaign with requests for additional comment on how women should be punished for abortions did the Trump campaign turn to an ally: Chris Christie, whose tenure as the Republican governor of the blue state of New Jersey had given him experience placating both social conservatives and the moderate voters Trump hoped to attract in the general election. A member of Christie’s political team helped draft a statement that essentially repudiated Trump’s earlier one.
“I’m going to be better to women on women’s issues than Hillary Clinton and everybody else combined,” he said Wednesday.