By his own admission, Donald Trump screwed up his answer in an MSNBC town hall meeting hosted by Chris Matthews. In the event, Trump said he believed abortion should be banned, and that if such a law had come to pass, women who had abortions should be “punished.”
Trump was immediately condemned not just by pro-choice groups, but by conservative Republican groups, who push for making abortion illegal but don’t like to deal with the unpopular fallout that would come with making those laws (if abortion is murder, both women and their doctors would be committing a crime).
Trump walked back the statement soon after. Perhaps he was too intoxicated with wrapping up the nomination on Wednesday morning, but MSNBC’s Willie Geist asked him about the abortion question and his response, and absolute gibberish came out:
TRUMP: He was asking me a theoretical, or just a question in theory, and I talked about it only from that standpoint. Of course not. And that was done, he said, you know, I guess it was theoretically, but he was asking me a rhetorical question, and I gave an answer. And by the way, people thought from an academic standpoint, and asked rhetorically, people said that answer was an unbelievable academic answer. But of course not, and I said that afterwards. Everybody understands that.
He would have probably been better off with his deeply unpopular answer in the first MSNBC interview, or even the subsequent apologies and tapdancing. Instead, as he so often has during the campaign, Trump tries to sound smarter than he is and gets tied up.
Of course, especially 0n the very Trump-friendly Morning Joe, he wasn’t asked to clarify his comments or even tell viewers what planet he beamed them in from in order to make heads or tails of it.
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