Your Defender of Life, Ladies and Gentlemen

by Jonah Goldberg

There are some in the pro-life movement who think it’s very important that a Republican president be an articulate spokesman for, and defender of, the pro-life position. Here is Donald Trump this morning defending his abortion “gaffe” from last March (via Slate):

WILLIE GEIST: What about what you told Chris Matthews a few weeks ago, which is that women who get abortions should be punished? Do you still believe that to be true?

TRUMP: No, he was asking me a theoretical, or just a question in theory, and I talked about it only from that standpoint. Of course not. And that was done, he said, you know, I guess it was theoretically, but he was asking a rhetorical question, and I gave an answer. And by the way, people thought from an academic standpoint, and, asked rhetorically, people said that answer was an unbelievable academic answer! But of course not, and I said that afterwards.

Here is the crux of what Trump claims “people” said was an “unbelievable academic answer”:

MATTHEWS: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?

TRUMP: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.

MATTHEWS: For the woman?

TRUMP: Yes, there has to be some form.

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