Trump responds to backlash for view pro-life candidates, voters need exceptions on abortion to win

Abortion became a major issue in the midterms after the Supreme Court in June 2022 struck down Roe v. Wade
Trump speaking at WH

Former President Trump said that if pro-life candidates and their voters want to win elections they'll have to make some exceptions for abortion.

"I think without exception that Ronald Reagan, myself and others – (and) probably most of us – believe in exception because if you don't have it, I think it's very, very hard, frankly, to get elected," Trump said Monday on "The Water Cooler" show on the Real America's Voice TV network. 

Trump's comment was in response to a question from show host David Brody about the former president's New Year's Day social media post about how he thought GOP midterm candidates mishandled the abortion issue, which resulted in backlash from pro-life, or anti-abortion, voters.

Abortion became a major issue in the midterms after the Supreme Court in June 2022 struck down Roe v. Wade, ending roughly four decades of women having the constitutional right to have an abortion.

Democrats then argued on the campaign trail that electing a Republican could effectively result in a nationwide, no exception ban on abortion since the high court returned the matter to the states. 

Trump said in his Jan. 1 post on Truth Social: "It wasn’t my fault that the Republicans didn’t live up to expectations in the midterms. It was the 'abortion issue' poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters."

The former president said in response to Brody's question: "With that being said, you have to go with your heart. You have to go with what you feel. But when you have rape, incest and the life of the mother, I think that's something that a lot of people happen to agree with. I don't want to force anybody to do it. I think it's much harder to win elections."

Among those that took issue with Trump's view was Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, the group whose stated mission is to "end abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders."

The group said one day after Trump's social media post: "The approach to winning on abortion in federal races, proven for a decade is this: state clearly the ambitious consensus pro-life position and contrast that with the extreme view of Democrat opponents. We look forward to hearing that position fully articulated by Mr. Trump and all presidential candidates."