NEW YORK CITY — Donald Trump’s latest comments on abortion drew the ire of conservative and pro-life leaders across the country over the weekend.
In an interview that aired on Sunday, NBC’s Kristen Welker pressed the former president on the issue of abortion restrictions – asking if he would sign a federal ban that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
“I’m not going to say I would or I wouldn’t,” Trump said. “I mean [DeSantis] is willing to sign a five-week and six-week ban. I think what he did [signing a six-week ban] is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake.”
“We’re going to agree to a number of weeks or months or however you want to define it,” Trump added. “And both sides are going to come together and both sides – both sides, and this is a big statement – both sides will come together. And for the first time in 52 years, you’ll have an issue that we can put behind us.”
“I think they’re all going to like me,” he said. “I think both sides are going to like me.”
Trump indicated he thinks those who don't support any exceptions for abortion will fail in their mission, insisting a compromise is necessary to “win.”
“Other than certain parts of the country, you can’t – you’re not going to win on this issue. But you will win on this issue when you come up with the right number of weeks.”
PRO-LIFE LEADERS SPEAK OUT
Clips of Trump’s comments racked up millions of views just hours after NBC aired the interview. Not all conservatives agreed with the former president.
Live Action President and Founder Lila Rose called Trump’s comments “pathetic and unacceptable.”
“Trump is actively attacking the very pro-life laws made possible by Roe’s overturning,” Rose wrote in a tweet. “Heartbeat Laws have saved thousands of babies. But Trump wants to compromise on babies’ lives so pro-abort Dems ‘like him.’ Trump should not be the GOP nominee.”
Not all pro-life leaders repudiated Trump’s position, however. Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser issued a statement that neither mentioned Trump nor criticized his position.
PUNDITS, INFLUENCERS WEIGH IN
Conservative pundit Matt Walsh posted a lengthy Twitter thread criticizing both the moral and strategic implications behind Trump’s response.
“There is nothing terrible about stopping the satanic abortion industry from mass murdering human children,” Walsh wrote. “Also stupid politically. There is no compromise on abortion that everyone will like. It’s delusional to think otherwise.
“You can’t win over Democrats by going squishy on this issue. Republicans have tried that brilliant strategy for decades and accomplished exactly nothing by it,” Walsh continued. “Defend life clearly and powerfully and unequivocally. That’s the only way.”
Walsh’s Daily Wire colleague Michael Knowles opted for brevity in his reaction, writing on Twitter: “The only thing terrible about a six-week abortion ban is the six weeks.”
After denouncing Trump’s stance, Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon implied the former president’s conciliatory approach proves he would have compromised on the issue of slavery if he had lived in 19th century America.
Cernovich pointed to Florida’s six-week ban as a compromise in and of itself – arguing that Trump’s critics were being hypocritical.
“Today has been an incredibly dishonest day,” he tweeted. “No one running for office is 100% NO COMPROMISES pro-life.”
Popular pro-Trump account MAGA originalist declared the former president’s stance on the issue is altogether irrelevant to his candidacy.