Trump Attacks DeSantis From the Left on Abortion, Says He's 'Too Harsh'

In a move that I didn’t have on my 2024 bingo card, Donald Trump is now attacking Ron DeSantis from the left on abortion.

(See: DeSantis Issues Late-Night Statement After Signing 6-Week Abortion Ban Into Law)


In an interview with The Messenger, Trump claimed DeSantis didn’t know what he was doing when he advocated for and signed a six-week abortion ban in Florida. The former president also claimed that “many in the pro-life movement feel that was too harsh.”

I do not know a single person who is actually a part of the pro-life movement (i.e. someone who actually cares and fights against abortion) who believes six-week bans are too harsh. That’s just not a true statement by Trump. If you’ve read my articles for any length of time, you know that I do not play on this issue. I don’t care who the Republican is, going soft on abortion in a misguided attempt to protect politicians electorally is simply not something I will do.

And that’s exactly what this is from Trump. It’s a misguided attempt to moderate a paramount issue for shallow political reasons. One, he doesn’t want to be seen as directly agreeing with DeSantis, which is a really stupid way to decide one’s policy positions. Two, Trump has bought into the lie that if Republicans pass restrictive abortion laws in their own states, that will somehow cost Republicans the 2024 election.


I don’t buy that for a second. The answer at the national level remains incredibly simple. All any national politician, whether it be for Senate or the presidency, has to say is that Dobbs made abortion a state issue and that it will stay there. Preemptively surrendering in red states by only doing 15 to 20-week bans is ridiculous. 20-week bans were already being allowed by the Supreme Court before Dobbs. If Republicans are going to retreat back to that point, then overturning Roe was pointless.

Besides, giving in on abortion is a losing messaging battle at the national level anyway. There is no scenario where Democrats will not label Trump, if he’s the nominee, as a rabid anti-abortion candidate. Trump is the reason that Roe v. Wade was overturned. He is the godfather of the issue for the left. There is no position moderate enough that he can stake out that allows him to escape that scrutiny and those attacks. So why even give in? The attacks are going to happen regardless. Come up with a way to win the argument instead of looking to duck it.

The entire point of overturning Roe was to give states the ability to pass a variety of different laws, including bans in states that want them. Republicans should not be undermining that fight in fruitless attempts to protect themselves electorally. Brian Kemp signed a six-week ban and went on to beat Stacey Abrams by eight points in the most purple state in the country. You can win the argument if you actually try, and Trump should reconsider his strategy here. You can’t become Democrat-lite on major issues (whether it be abortion, entitlement spending, or criminal justice reform) and think it’s going to buy goodwill. It’s just going to backfire.


Right now, we aren’t in a general election. This is the time to fight for what you believe in without compromise. A general election may present different binary choices, but we aren’t there yet.


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