Trump versus DeSantis on abortion

Reporter: Emma Heaton
Published: Updated:

The heavyweight battle of the 2024 presidential election heats up every day.

The disagreement centers on Florida’s heartbeat bill, which bans an abortion after six weeks. On Sunday, Former President Donald Trump took his latest shot at Governor Ron DeSantis, calling the policy “a terrible thing.”

“I think what Trump is trying to do is position himself for the general election because he knows the six-week ban is not very popular among all voters,” said Aubrey Jewett, UCF political scientist.

To be clear, Florida’s heartbeat law is on hold. There’s a court challenge that will determine if the restrictions ever take effect, but when asked if he’d support a national 15-week ban on abortion, Trump said “no.”

Jewett was asked why Trump would risk offending those against abortion, voters who helped elect him in the first place.

“Maybe that’s a way to try to diffuse the anger among Democrats,” Jewett said.

Governor DeSantis doubled down in his response to Trump’s latest criticism.

“I’m pro-life. I’ll be a pro-life. I’ve been a pro-life governor. I’ll be a pro-life president,” DeSantis said.

That message plays well in Iowa.

Governor Kim Reynolds, who supports DeSantis tweeted “It’s never a terrible thing” to protect an innocent life.

She also signed a heartbeat bill into law there. Trump is campaigning there on Wednesday.

Did he create a problem for himself in a state he leads in by double digits?

“I assume DeSantis is leaning very strongly into this issue because he’s trying to create some space between him and Trump and trying to finally peel away some of those Trump voters because so far, nothing he has done has worked,” Jewett said.

DeSantis hopes to change that, banking on the fact that 80% of likely Republican caucus-goers describe themselves as “pro-life.”

The Trump campaign responded saying, “Ron Des-antimoni-ous and his campaign are in a tailspin amid devastating poll numbers that show he’s crashing down every single day.”

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.