Asked by David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network if he thought Trump was “soft” on abortion, given his framing of the Heartbeat Protection Act (SB 300) as “too harsh,” DeSantis exploited the opening in an interview airing Friday on the “700 Club.”
“I think so. I mean, I was really surprised because he’s a Florida resident and I thought he would compliment the fact, you know, that we were able to do the heartbeat bill, which pro-lifers have wanted for a long time. He never complimented, never said anything about it,” DeSantis recounted.
“Then he was asked about it and he said it was ‘harsh’. But, you know, these are, these are children with detectable heartbeats. And I think to do that was very humane and I think it was something that every pro lifer appreciates that we were able to get that done.”
DeSantis also noted that though he appreciates “what the former president has done in a variety of realms, he opposes that bill.”
“He said it was ‘harsh’ to protect an unborn child when there’s a detectable heartbeat,” DeSantis said, describing the bill as “good pro life protections, whether it’s Florida or Iowa under Kim Reynolds.”
Trump contended that DeSantis was “losing women voters like crazy” and “has a big problem with women voters” because the law was “too harsh.” DeSantis’ super PAC has bought ads spotlighting the former President’s equivocation on the issue.
Interestingly, DeSantis seems to have a states’ rights position on this issue, based on what he said in a previous interview.
During a May 25 appearance on “Fox News Tonight,” DeSantis said that after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, “there’s a role for both the federal (government) and states” to play going forward.
But without clearly laying out what that federal role may or may not be, he implied that states should primarily handle the issue.
“I think at the end of the day, fighting for life and protecting life really is a bottom up movement. I think we’ve been able to have great successes at the local level,” DeSantis told interviewer Trey Gowdy.
The Governor’s fear, now that he is running for President officially, is that Democrats could federalize abortion protections.
“I am concerned about a Democratic administration with a trifecta trying to nationalize abortion all the way up until birth,” DeSantis continued.
The Governor seemed to accept that some liberal bastions will not offer severe restrictions on the procedure, thus creating abortion destination jurisdictions.
“I think that there’s just a practical reality that the country is divided on the issue. And so the question is, you know, how are you going to be able to save, you know, more lives?” DeSantis said.
“Some of this is a matter of strategy, some of it is a matter of, you know, what could you do to be able to advance the ball forward?” he added. “Clearly in California, you know, you are going to have very, very hostile views.”