I hope any Republican who has thoughts of endorsing or backing Donald Trump if he wins the nomination has been watching the news today to get a sense of what their life will be like trying to defend Trump while he's on the campaign trail. Mostly, it will involve answering a lot of embarrassing questions about whether they support the latest dumb/offensive thing Trump has said.
Today, for instance, Trump got in some hot water for suggesting, in an interview with Chris Matthews, that if abortion became illegal, there would have to be "some form of punishment" for women who got abortions. I don't have a huge problem with this stance at all, although I don't think it's necessary; punishing doctors who perform them is another way to solve the problem. Really, the only politically palatable one at all. But if Trump is just keeping with "not being politically correct," this isn't the most offensive example I've ever seen. But the media is uniformly pro-choice and so they have been busy having a collective freakout over Trump's remarks.
Trump, who has made a political career of giving the media the middle finger, chose this moment to cave (gee, I wonder why) in an extremely bizarre fashion:
Kate Snow (MSNBC): We've been listening to Donald Trump speaking in Appleton, Wisconsin. The news this hour, though, that's getting a lot of attention is what Donald Trump said just taped within the last couple of hours with our own Chris Matthews... in which Chris asked Trump about his position on abortion and was asking him whether, if abortion was illegal, women should be punished for having an abortion, to which Donald Trump eventually after going back and forth several times said, the answer is there has to be some form of punishment. Uh, now we're getting a statement from the Donald Trump campaign, uh, saying that they want to clarify this issue and they say, quote, this issue is unclear, and should be put back into the states for determination. Like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions which I have outlined numerous times. That, again, a statement just coming in from Donald Trump, and it's signed Donald Trump, a statement to NBC News.
One of the very best things about this Trump candidacy is the way it's set back virtually every conservative cause and issue we've fought for over the years back several decades. It's just spiffy that he's finally doing the same thing for pro-life issues. Boy howdy, I'm thrilled to have him as a frontrunner.
UPDATE: Via Twitchy, here comes yet another statement from Trump, which is a complete reversal of his original position.
Trump issues clarification of his abortion-punishment position - and by "clarification" I mean "complete reversal" pic.twitter.com/ZRbAxgPxVm
— Anthony Zurcher (@awzurcher) March 30, 2016
Totally believable, right?