Trump Body-Slams Lindsey Graham For Insisting On Nationwide Abortion Limit

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Apr 09, 2024 - 06:10 PM

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham dared to criticize Donald Trump's new stance advocating that abortion law should be left to individual states -- and was promptly subjected to withering fire from the former president. 

On Monday morning, Trump posted a video in which he implicitly rejected the idea of creating a federal limit on abortions, saying that, in the wake of the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v Wade, abortion is now a state-by-state issue:

"States will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land; in this case, the law of the state. Many states will be different...many will have a different number of weeks, or some will [be] more conservative than others, and that's what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people." 

The announcement disappointed proponents of a federal ban who had been encouraged by February media reports that Trump had told his advisors and others that he favored a 16-week federal limit on abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest or to save the mother's life. 

Graham quickly posted a tweet-thread declaring his "respectful" disagreement with Trump's new stance, saying that a states' rights rationale against a federal limit "will age about as well as the Dred Scott decision," which helped perpetuate slavery.   

Trump responded via Truth Social, writing that "Senator Lindsey Graham is doing a great disservice to the Republican Party, and to our Country." He elaborated on the political realities: 

"[Democrats] love this Issue, and they want to keep it going for as long as Republicans will allow them to do so. Terminating Roe v. Wade was, according to all Legal Scholars, a Great Event, but sometimes with Great Events come difficulties.

Many Good Republicans lost Elections because of this Issue, and people like Lindsey Graham, that are unrelenting, are handing Democrats their dream of the House, Senate, and perhaps even the Presidency…"

A few hours later, Trump was back for more, this time chiding both Graham and Marjorie Dannensfelser, who leads SBA Pro-Life America. Dannensfelser had issued a statement saying her organization was "deeply disappointed in President Trump's position." 

With that particular scolding message, Trump took a more philosophical tack, saying Graham and Dannensfelser "should study the 10th Amendment." A cornerstone of federalism, that final component of the Bill of Rights states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

By deferring to the states on abortion, Trump is taking the truly "conservative" position on the issue, compared to those who advocate for national regulation. As James Madison summed up the federal system:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. [Federal powers] will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce…

The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people.”

In a third Truth Social posting, Trump threw in another jab at Graham while also boasting about the power of a Trump endorsement: "I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!"

Trump and Graham's relationship has blown hot and cold over the years: 

  • After losing to Trump in the 2016 primary, Graham said the GOP should have "kicked him out of the party." He'd earlier called Trump "a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.
  • On Jan. 6, Graham said, "Trump and I, we’ve had a hell of a journey” but “all I can say is count me out. Enough is enough.”
  • In September, Trump stuck up for Graham at a South Carolina campaign rally, telling the crowd that Graham is "[A] man who's always there, I tell you what, when I need help on the left, he's great. And he's my friend too—Lindsey Graham." The crowed booed.