DeSantis calls out Trump on ‘terrible thing’ abortion comments

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called out former President Trump during Wednesday’s Republican debate for calling Florida’s six-week abortion ban a “terrible thing” during an interview earlier this month.

Responding to a question about his own position on abortion, DeSantis said Trump was “missing in action.”

“He’s had a lot to say about that. He should be here explaining his comments to try to say that pro-life protections are somehow a terrible thing. I want him to look into the eyes and tell people who’ve been fighting this fight for a long time,” DeSantis said.

The Florida governor said Republicans should not be scared to stand up for “what we believe in.”

“I think we should hold the Democrats accountable for their extremism, supporting abortion all the way up until the moment of birth. That is infanticide,” DeSantis added.

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Trump drew swift backlash from abortion opponents following the comments he made during an interview with Kristen Welker on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I think what he did is a terrible thing and a terrible mistake,” Trump said of DeSantis signing a six-week abortion ban in April.

The former president avoided specifics about what he would do on abortion at a federal level. “We’re going to agree to a number of weeks or months or however you want to define it,” he said.

Trump sought to highlight his pro-life credentials in a Truth Social post in the days after the interview aired.

“I was able to do something that nobody thought was possible, end Roe v. Wade,” Trump wrote in the post. “For 52 years, people talked, spent vast amounts of money, but couldn’t get the job done. I got the job done! Thanks to the three great Supreme Court Justices I appointed, this issue has been returned to the States, where all Legal Scholars, on both sides, felt it should be.”

However, a number of Trump’s 2024 rivals and other Republican figures seized on the “terrible things” comments.

“It is never a ‘terrible thing’ to protect innocent life,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who signed a six-week ban in her state, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Former Vice President Mike Pence also criticized his former running mate in an interview with CBS News.

“Donald Trump even this last weekend said that a heartbeat bill passed in Florida was a terrible mistake and even blamed losses in the [2022] midterm elections on the fact that we overturned Roe v. Wade,” Pence said.

“I think the time has come for him to step forward and start talking not about the past, but about the future.”

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