Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis says Donald Trump’s recent statements on the abortion issue show the former president’s “values” are out of step with Iowa GOP voters. Trump said during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the six week abortion ban DeSantis signed into law this spring was a terrible mistake.
“Donald Trump may think it’s terrible. I think protecting babies with heartbeats is noble and just and I’m proud to have signed the heartbeat bill in Florida and I know Iowa has similar legislation,” DeSantis says. “I don’t know how you can even make the claim that you’re somehow prolife if you’re criticizing states for enacting protections for babies that have heartbeats.”
DeSantis made his comments during an interview with Radio Iowa. (Audio below)
DeSantis suggested Trump’s remarks are :a window” into how Trump’s 2024 campaign is diverting from the promises he made during the 2016 campaign. “And I think he’s changing in a way that is not consistent with the values of the people in Iowa,” DeSantis told Radio Iowa.
Trump also indicated during his “Meet the Press” interview that he’d negotiate a deal on abortion that’s acceptable to both sides. DeSantis said that’s “the danger” of returning Trump to the White House for a second term.
“I’ve given him credit for his accomplishments, whether it’s the court appointments, whether it’s the Abraham Accords…the deregulation and I think he does deserve credit for that, but anytime he did a deal with Democrats whether it was on budget, whether it was on the criminal justice ‘First Step Act,’ they ended up taking him to the cleaners,” DeSantis said. “I think if he’s going into this saying he’s going to make the Democrats happy with respect to right to life, I think all pro-lifers should know that he’s preparing to sell you out.”
Current Florida law bans most abortions after the 15th week of a pregnancy, but a court ruling this fall could let the six week abortion ban DeSantis signed this spring go into effect. Activists in Florida, on both sides of the abortion issue are now gathering petition signatures, hoping to amend Florida’s state constitution so it reflects their views.
“Clearly, we’ll make the positive case for what we did as something that is appropriate and based on science and based on what is just,” DeSantis said.
A University of North Florida poll conducted in March found 75% of Florida residents surveyed either somewhat or strongly oppose the six week abortion ban DeSantis signed into law in April. “As a leader, it doesn’t register to me, to be quite frank,” DeSantis said regarding polling data on abortion. “I mean I think there are issues that come from your beliefs and I think that you advance those because you think they’re right.”