With Abortion Comments, Trump Hands DeSantis Iowa Opportunity

Pro-life demonstrators listen to former President Donald Trump as he speaks at the 47th annual "March for Life" in Washington, DC, in January 2020. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Happy Wednesday! We hope you approach your day with the same open-minded spirit shown by New Hampshire state Rep. Juliet Harvey-Bolia, who’s been in the news this week after she appeared on separate presidential endorsement lists for both Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. No mix-up there, Harvey-Bolia told NBC News: “DeSantis has a lot of promise for the future, and Trump is great now.”

Up to Speed

  • John Durham, the special counsel appointed by the Trump administration in late 2020 to investigate the origins of the FBI’s probe into alleged connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, released his investigation’s final report Monday. The report said that federal investigators had “failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law” when they launched that investigation, and that a “lack of analytical rigor, apparent confirmation bias, and an over-willingness to rely on individuals connected to political opponents” had led investigators to “act without appropriate objectivity or restraint in pursuing allegations of collusion or conspiracy between a U.S. political campaign and a foreign power.”
  • Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron won the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday and will face Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in November. The state attorney general, who is black, held off several candidates—including former ambassador Kelly Craft, who was backed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and GOP presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy.
  • A Democrat was elected mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, on Tuesday, flipping control of what is currently the largest U.S. city run by a Republican. Former broadcaster Donna Deegan defeated Daniel Davis, head of the city Chamber of Commerce, 52 percent to 48 percent.
  • A veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will not prevent North Carolina’s new 12-week ban on most abortions from becoming state law after Republican supermajorities in the state legislature overruled the veto Tuesday. 
  • Democratic lawmakers in the House began official proceedings Tuesday to try to expel Rep. George Santos, the Republican and serial fabricator who has been charged with a raft of financial crimes. Rather than hold an immediate floor vote on the expulsion, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is expected to refer the matter to the House Ethics Committee.

Trump, DeSantis Lean Into Abortion Contrast

Last month, we filled you in on the sharp disagreements about abortion policy that are currently preoccupying the Republican Party at the highest levels. Now these disagreements are becoming a flashpoint among the party’s top presidential contenders, with implications for the Iowa caucuses and beyond.

On Monday, former President Donald Trump took a shot at Florida’s new six-week abortion ban, which was recently signed into law in Florida last month by Ron DeSantis. “If you look at what DeSantis did, a lot of people don’t even know if he knew what he was doing,” Trump told the Messenger. “But he signed six weeks, and many people within the pro-life movement feel that that was too harsh.”

DeSantis punched back at a Tuesday news conference, pointing out that Trump, a Florida resident, had declined to say whether he would have signed the same bill. “Protecting an unborn child when there’s a detectable heartbeat is something that almost 99 percent of pro-lifers support,” he said.

Join to continue reading
Get started with a free account or join as a member for unlimited access to all of The Dispatch. Continue ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT? SIGN IN