Trump says heartbeat bills are "terrible"

Townhall Media

Donald Trump dropped a bomb or two in his interview with Kristen Welker on her first day moderating Meet the Press.

The interview totally consistent with the genre of journalists pretending to be reporters while slyly (or not) inserting their own biases into the conversation. Trump, though, is more than capable of getting his message through simply because he bulls through whatever obstacle is in his way. It is his superpower and his kryptonite, depending on the day.


NBC spent enormous efforts “fact-checking” Trump during and after the interview, about as well as anybody in the media “fact checks” things these days–repeating DNC talking points for the most part. By now “fact-check” in mediaspeak just means handing out the talking points for the people who are desperate to reinforce their Trump hatred.

Clips of the interview are floating around, and people are latching on to various moments for their own purposes. Trump’s “What is a Woman” moment has gotten a lot of attention, although to me it isn’t the “Gotcha” that a lot of people hope it is. His answer was typically Trumpian when he doesn’t want to answer, meaning people will read into it what the want to hear.

The clip that got the most attention was the exchange on abortion, which was also typical of Trump. The “Let’s make a deal” version of Trump.

It is difficult to argue that Trump’s presidency wasn’t good for pro-lifers–he managed to get 3 great justices onto the Supreme Court and in consequence Roe v. Wade was overturned. This had been a dream of conservatives for decades, and it would be churlish in the extreme not to give Trump credit for doing something Republicans have promised to do for decades and failed.

Abortion politics since the overturning of Roe have been pretty awful for Republicans. Overturning Roe was only step 1 in the battle to beat back the abortion-industrial complex, and many Americans were frightened by the prospect of radical shifts in policy–and at least some of that is due to terrible messaging on the part of conservatives, and part due to the successful gaslighting of Democrats and the MSM on the issue.



Trump, who likely never was personally pro-life, has pulled back on his support for the cause. As you can see in the interview he dropped a very Trumpish “let’s make a deal” proposal–getting everybody sitting around the table and hammering out a compromise. Everybody would be happy!

My reaction to this has gone through several iterations. First of all, as with ending the Ukraine war on Day 1, it is pure fantasy. Trump has always had more than a bit of PT Barnum in his soul, so there is nothing unsurprising about that, but on both these issues, the claim is so implausible that I don’t see how anybody takes what he says seriously here. You don’t end a war in a day, and you don’t make everybody happy on abortion ever.

For most Americans, abortion is an issue on which they could indeed compromise–I know that this fact angers people on both the Left and the Right because it seems so cut and dried morally–but because abortion is an evil to conservative and a sacrament to liberals I forsee no compromise where everybody comes out happy. Most Americans are ambiguous in their feelings about abortion, though, and Trump is speaking to them.


Trump danced into Washington with the pro-lifers in 2016, and delivered for them. Now he is switching gears. Politically he thinks it makes sense, although pro-choicers will never embrace him. But most Independents aren’t rabid pro-choicers, either. He is trying to grab a few Independents.

So what do pro-lifers who have stuck with Trump have to say? Is this a betrayal, or as with COVID is it simply Trump doing what he has to? I have been shocked at how many conservatives have defended Trump on COVID and attacked Republicans like DeSantis and Kemp, demonstrating an ability to suspend all reason out of love for Trump. Perhaps they can here.

But Trump’s attack on DeSantis’ heartbeat bill–calling it a “terrible thing” requires rejecting one of the most important pro-life victories in our lifetime. Are pro-lifers seriously willing to do that just to support Donald Trump? Trump didn’t just embrace compromise–he attacked heartbeat bills as “terrible.”

Is that a bridge too far? You would think so.

If Trump had stuck to the “let’s compromise” rhetoric it would be fairly easy to give him a pass–stopping abortions at 12-15 weeks is much better than abortion until birth and would save countless lives.

But actually attacking “terrible” an abortion restriction at 6 weeks means that Trump’s pro-life supporters have to move far to the Left. Are they willing to do that?


In 2012 or 2016 taking this stance would doom a candidate with pro-lifers. In 2024? I am not so sure.

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