Despite assuring evangelicals last week that he would appoint anti-abortion judges and cares deeply about the anti-abortion cause, Donald Trump has so far been silent about the Supreme Court’s major abortion rights ruling on Monday. And conservatives are not happy.
Just minutes after the high court struck down a pair of Texas abortion restrictions, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton praised the ruling and used it to attack Trump, who said earlier this year that women who have abortions should face some sort of “punishment” if the procedure ever becomes illegal.
“This fight isn’t over: The next president has to protect women’s health,” Clinton tweeted. “Women won’t be ‘punished’ for exercising their basic rights.”
Everyone held their breath for Trump’s counter-jab — but instead, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee stayed mum.
Trump’s silence on the ruling is odd, considering his monthslong struggle to assure skeptical anti-abortion activists that he’s on their side. Just last week, Trump accepted the endorsement of Troy Newman, the president of the extremist anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, who has said that the murder of abortion providers is justifiable.
Conservative pundits are now skewering Trump for his silence on the ruling. Leon Wolf, the managing editor at RedState.com, wrote a scathing tweet mocking the real estate mogul.
Hi @realDonaldTrump. Question: if Ruth B. Ginsburg had insulted your hat, would you have issued a statement on the TX abortion decision yet?
— Leon Wolf (@LeonHWolf) June 28, 2016
RedState’s Joe Cunningham called Trump a “coward.”
“Trump is unqualified to lead Republicans if he can’t stand up for one of the most fundamental parts of the Republican Party platform,” he wrote.
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson also slammed Trump in an op-ed.
“Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a decision propping up the abortion industry in America and giving it special rights against regulation,” he wrote. “And Donald Trump, supposed champion of the unborn, said nothing. … Can the leader lead or must he be led on this issue? If he must be led on an issue about which he is supposedly committed, I would submit he really is not that committed to the cause.”
Some anti-abortion leaders are being a bit more careful about condemning Trump, knowing that he may be the GOP’s only alternative to Clinton — the strongest abortion rights champion the Democratic Party could ever nominate for president. Clarke Forsythe, senior counsel for Americans United for Life, told The Huffington Post that Clinton’s record is still in “stark contrast to whatever Donald Trump does or doesn’t say.”
“Donald Trump and his campaign are learning the issue,” he said. “I have no reaction to his reaction. It’s a process.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
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