There he goes again: Once again, Donald Trump has made an emphatic statement of what his policy would be if he is elected president and once again he has been forced to retract it.
How long will Trump get away with shoving his foot in his mouth before he starts losing Republican Party primary elections?
During an interview last week, Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination for president, was asked what his policy would be if, at some time in the future, abortion is made illegal. Specifically, his position on whether women obtaining illegal abortions should be punished was sought.
Yes, he said. Such women should face “some sort of punishment,” he said.
Only after organizations on both sides of the abortion debate, both pro and con, criticized Trump for the statement did his campaign issue a “clarification.” Trump doesn’t want to punish women who have abortions, only those who perform them, his aides insisted.
But that is not what he said in answer to a very clearly-worded question.
Both the other Republican presidential contenders, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz emphasized quickly they have no such position on punishing women. Both said they view women who obtain abortions as victims, not criminals.
The real issue is not so much about abortion. Until the Supreme Court redefines the Roe v. Wade ruling, there’s little any sitting president is going to do about it. The issue is whether Trump puts much thought, if any, into the statements he makes, or the policies he would make and administer. Whether you agree with a candidate or not, it is nice to know that the positions the candidate espouses are based on careful consideration.
Why, then, do Trump’s vague, often inflammatory, pronouncements appeal to some voters? We couldn’t tell you.
Neither can about two-thirds of Republicans who have voted in party primaries or caucuses this year.