Trump stumbles over abortion issue
April 19th, 2011
02:12 PM ET
4 years ago

Trump stumbles over abortion issue

(CNN) – Donald Trump appeared to stumble into a contradiction in an interview Tuesday - a misstep that could haunt the potential GOP presidential candidate amongst social conservatives.

In an interview with MSNBC, Trump was asked if he believed there was a right to privacy in the Constitution - a right that, while not explicitly stated in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has said can be inferred from the text.

He responded, "I guess there is, I guess there is."

Then his tone of voice changed and he followed up with, "And why, just out of curiosity, why do you ask that question?"

When NBC's Savannah Guthrie wondered how that line of legal theory "squares" with his pro-life stance, Trump said, "Well, that's a pretty strange way of getting to pro-life. I mean, it's a very unique way of asking about pro-life. What does that have to do with privacy? How are you equating pro-life with privacy?"

To answer Trump's question, the United States Supreme Court equated the right to privacy as grounds to legalize abortion in its controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.


Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Donald Trump
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. barnacle

    the guy wears more face make-up than most women?
    oh,, and he's an idiot.

    April 19, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Da Donald Says He Went to Best Schools . . .

    Yet he knows nothing about the interplay of the right of privacy, Roe v. Wade and government intrusion into the bedroom.
    You would think with all of his marriages, he would be an expert.

    April 19, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Will

    Political INCOMPETENCE, need I say more?

    April 19, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. NothingNew

    It's all about the ratings...

    April 19, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. JV

    Ha ha ha! Good job, Savannah!!!

    Now, let's hear the cries of liberal media

    April 19, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Gary

    While I would never vote for Trump for any office, I fail to see how this constitutes "stumbling" over an issue. It may well be true that he was not aware of this linkage. But, doesn't the fact that the author of this article feel the need to explain the linkage to us "ordinary citizens" simply prove the point that this is not a fact that a huge majority of citizens are aware. So what if Mr. Trump wasn't aware...... No news story here I think.

    April 19, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. StrategicBob

    Once again proving that Trump knows little to nothing about important fundamental issues, such as what the Constitution means and whether or not its meaning has to be taken as fixed, based on the needs of a largely agrarian society in which owning slaves was OK and in which one had to be a white land-owningmale over 35 to be able to vote, or if the meaning of the Constitution can be interpreted anew as society's circumstances and needs change.

    This guy makes being an ignorant clown look good. Which makes him pretty much like the rest of the GOP Parade of Dwarves. Will the Republicans ever again give us someone worthy of the Presidency? It's not looking likely...

    April 19, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. supernautk1

    I feel like this was a gotcha question and kind of a lame article in general. Why is CNN giving Trump any time anyway? It's pretty apparent this guy doesn't have a chance in the world. Move on. Just don't go back to more Palin.

    April 19, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. rhumba

    Boycott Trump's reality show.

    April 19, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. jOHN

    That was a trick question. The question had nothing to do with money or rich people, so of course he would not know the connection between right to provacy and abortion.

    April 19, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Sid Prejean

    The reported should have replied, "I'm surprised that you don't know that. Do you not know that the question of whether the Constitution contains a "right to privacy" is fundamental to the 40-year long national debate about abortion?"
    The guy is playing the national media like a banjo.

    April 19, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. jim

    I ask the asme question....what does privacy have to do with abortion...... nothing ! and just because the supreme court says it does, does not make it so......if the supreme court was the source of truth then slavery would have been OK when it was illegal and wrong when it was illegal.....but all with reason know....it was always wrong, Therefore, the supreme court saying there is a right to privacy and therefore it means its ok to end a life once begun is ludicrous. The first step of those who wish to change the constitution without going through the enumerated process is to ge tthe court to put things in that are not there (legalize ending life once begun) .......the next step is to take out stuff that is in there ( 2nd amendment, etc)

    April 19, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. big~smelly~tuna

    Say it ain't so ~ Donnie isn't a moron? Now we have to back lizard face.

    April 19, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Rosslaw

    He's definitely the man for the right-wing-multiple bankruptcies, lectures us on the US Constitution while having not the vaguest idea what it says or means, laughably sleazy-he has it all. Where do the Tea Baggers send their contributions?

    April 19, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    Although I think Trump is not equipped to be the POTUS, I suspect precious few of the candidates would have known about that particular link between privacy an abortion. Knowledge or lack thereof of minutia does not necessarily translate into political acumen, the possession of which which is how people get elected in this country.

    April 19, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Tom Hagen

    So what is that FUMBLING the abortion issue? So there is a right to privacy arising from the penumbras of other rights secured in the BILL OF RIGHTS that protects from state intrusion in to contraceptive choices...things consenting adults to in the bedroom...DOES THAT RIGHT TO PRIVACY MEAN YOU GET TO KILL AN UNBORN CHILD?

    REMEMBER DRED SCOTT...THE SUPREME COURT GETS IT WRONG SOMETIMES!

    April 19, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Republican Robber Baron

    Yes well to Don's credit, most "Conservatives" stumble on this question and get exposed for the hypocrisy of their agenda. In fact it divides the Republcan party and keeps Libertarians and moderates out of the party.

    Liberals are the only "Real" Freedom and Civil Liberty advocates. Conservatives whines about "BIg Govt" yet think it's okay for the very same government to control our basic rights or dictate what we do in our personal lives.

    April 19, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. Josh

    I have to admire that Donald Trump answers questions directly. He doesn't need to consult with a publicity advisor first. He doesn't need test polls to be conducted first. He doesn't need phone survey results first. He simply answers.

    Yea, you (and many times myself) don't like this answers, but as I said, he answers directly and without any reservation.

    April 19, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. Achill3s

    Really? Is his PR stunt not over yet? I wish he would make a run at the White House. It would the Dems job easier in winning another term. Although, I doubt he will do so. He would struggle just to get past the Republican primary. The "Birther" issue does nothing for solving the real problems that this country faces (national deficit, unemployment, oil prices, etc).

    April 19, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. Chas in Iowa

    riinnnggggg,.....................It's time to wake up now Donald!

    April 19, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. diridi

    this dude does not know he is a joker...

    April 19, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Poor Savannah. She just might be the next target for the The Wrath of Don.

    It appears that the more Trump talks, the more he exposes his flaws. NO, I do not mean this "stumble" about privacy. When are getting a glimpse into how his mind works. "Might makes right." He is a blunt and straight-shooting personality that tries to come at you from what he percieves to be your weak spots.

    His weak spot seems to be reverse psychology. The fact that he has thus far been so predictable is another weakness. Get him mad, and the man goes brain dead.

    April 19, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. urbantexan

    He is a complete arrogant ,ignorant ,racist , jack arse who will never get my vote, or any one if my entire family for that matter.!!!

    April 19, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. Citizenny

    You have a right to privacy when you have an abortion, which is legal, and you don't want anybody else to know about it. Pro Life is not about "spilling the beans" on those who do have an abortion, Pro Life is about not having one in the first place. In that respect, I tend to agree with Trump.

    April 19, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. Dave

    Most Americans, and contrary to the media's opinion, most WOMAN, agree with Trump.

    April 19, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
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