RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel’s response to the GOP’s thumping during Tuesday’s elections was to attack Democrats for not coming around to their 15-week abortion ban before lying once again that Democrats support abortion up to the moment of birth.
She actually got some mild pushback from CNN’s Dana Bash over the late-term abortion lie, and she came out firmly in support of a national ban. So much for their “leave the issue” to the states messaging:
BASH: One of the big takeaways from this past Tuesday’s election, from the Democrats’ point of view, is that making abortion front and center in elections wins.
And you said this week that — quote — “Our candidates have lost their messaging on abortion.”
What should Republicans’ message be on abortion?
MCDANIEL: Dana, I have been talking about this with you. I have been on your show talking about this since 2022.
I am a suburban woman. I get this. We actually put a memo out before the elections in 2022. It’s up to the candidates if they take those suggestions. As I always say, if I give my husband directions in the car, it doesn’t mean he’s going to take them, right?
But we have to talk about this. I’m going to point to a candidate in Virginia that did a fantastic job, Danny Diggs. He won a Senate race. He put his daughter in an ad, and she was compassionate. She understood women. She wasn’t coming at them as criminals because they have different — differences of opinion.
And she articulated her dad’s position.
BASH: Which is?
MCDANIEL: His position was, we should have commonsense limitations.
I mean, why can’t the Democrats come to that? Why can’t they say, listen, we now know through science from 50 years ago a baby feels pain as its life is being taken at 15 weeks. Can’t you at least come here? Why are Democrats continuing to double down on 39 weeks, 38 weeks?
MCDANIEL: What is an abortion they’re against?
BASH: Ronna, that there are — most Democrats don’t support abortion until — until the end.
MCDANIEL: But why don’t they say it? But they don’t say that.
BASH: And that — and if there is, if something like that happens that far along, it means something is really wrong. And you know that.
MCDANIEL: Yes, but that’s life of a mother, which is an exception.
But there are states, five or six, that have it until 39 weeks.
MCDANIEL: So why don’t you say, you know what, if we don’t support that, let’s come to this consensus position? And that’s what this candidate in Virginia did. And he did an excellent job. And he won that race.
BASH: So what you’re saying is, it’s a little bit of a position question, but it’s also a message problem.
But if you look at the actual results on Tuesday — just take Ohio, which is effectively a red state right now — it wasn’t a message problem. It was a policy problem. People voted overwhelmingly to allow abortion rights. They wanted it embedded in the constitution.
MCDANIEL: I think there was a message problem. The way that bill was framed was, like, disingenuous to the voters. And there’s a spending issue.
This has galvanized money on the left. It was a 2-1 ratio in Ohio of spending. In Virginia, Democrats spent nine times more on abortion ads than Republicans. My point is, as Republicans, we cannot let Democrats fearmonger on this issue.
We, of course, want lifesaving care for miscarriages. We support lifesaving care for ectopic pregnancies and IVF. And they are going on TV and using Roe to scare people and misrepresent Republicans on this issue.
And I think our candidates have to get out in front of it.
BASH: Well, also, when you talk about what went on in Ohio, that it was misrepresented, you could argue that the Republicans misrepresented it too by saying that there were rules on that measure that weren’t actually there.
But on just the bigger picture, are you saying that you believe it is a messaging problem? You don’t believe Republicans have a problem with the overall policy? That, over and over again, not just public opinion polls, but actual votes, seven states have voted overwhelmingly, including very red states, to allow for abortion.
So why aren’t Republicans just looking at that and saying, we’re just on the wrong side of this policy-wise?
MCDANIEL: I think commonsense limitations is where the country is. I do.
I think most Americans do think that there should be a limitation when you know a baby feels pain as you’re taking its life at 15 weeks. I think that’s where — Republicans are saying this. They’re saying this is a consensus position. You’re seeing many of the candidates for president saying that.
And they’re welcoming the Democrats, why don’t you meet us here? It is a personal issue.
BASH: So, just one last question on this. You’re saying 15 weeks.
There are candidates who are running for president who say six weeks. Is that too far?
MCDANIEL: There’s candidates who are doing different things in their states, and that’s what their state will allow.
But I think everybody’s saying to the Democrats, listen, I’m pro-life.
BASH: What about…
MCDANIEL: I’m proud to be pro-life, but how about you come meet us?
BASH: What about a federal ban?
MCDANIEL: That’s a policy issue, and that’s going to be up to the politicians to decide that.
I don’t think that you can just say it’s a states issue. I think we’re going to have to talk about this.
We had a compromise with some “commonsense limitations” Ronna. It was Roe v Wade, and your party is the one that ran for ages on overturning that compromise. Now they’re the dog that caught the car and have no idea how to deal with the backlash. Keep pushing for that national ban and see where it gets you.