Trump stumbles over abortion issue
April 19th, 2011
02:12 PM ET
11 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. nazario a. gonzales

    Fumbling simple questions will doom El Trumpo. Poor Sarah Palin failed Katy Couric's show and tell test proving her lack of knowledge on some basic civic issues. Now El Trumpo fails the test and then asks the question why he was asked the question. Gotcha!

    April 19, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Steve in Denver

    Uh-oh. Here comes the "liberal medial gotcha" complaint from the right wing. Kind of like asking Palin what she reads, expecting Trump to know what the basis for the most famous SCOTUS case in history was based on . . . how dastardly.

    Expecting presidential candidates to understand major national issues, like Roe v wade. What will those darn liberals want next? Honesty about why we're going to war?

    April 19, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Me

    Oh gee, well, what's the Rebuplican stance again? I'm sorry, I was confusing my old Dem hat with my new Repub one. It's so hard to keep it all straight when you change parties as often. I mean , c'mon, it's tough to get the new hat on my oversized head.

    April 19, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Peter

    Trump is sort of the male Palin. A showboating, flamboyant figure who hurls insults and red meat to the masses, but when pinned down you find that they have a surprising lack of knowledge about how the US government works, foreign policy or the legal system. Sarah Palin didn't know what "The Bush Doctrine" was. Trump seems oblivious that Roe v. Wade was based on privacy. These are media personalities more than anything else. Maybe Regis Philbin will run for President next.

    April 19, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Dale

    Sounds like Trump is an expert on past Supreme Court Cases, like Palin was.

    April 19, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. Flavius

    I don't think Trump stubbed his toe here at all. I think the Supremes got it right when they said a woman has the right to privacy, but they got it wrong when they ruled that her right extends to killing an unborn child. That involves quite a bit more than one individual's privacy.

    April 19, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. vbscript2

    Nonsense. Abortion has nothing to do with the protection against illegal search and seizure in the Constitution. Privacy is a nonsensical argument for abortion. You don't have the right to commit a crime in private. You shouldn't have the right to kill an innocent human, whether in private or not. That's an equivalent argument as saying I can kill you, as long as I do so in the privacy of my home.

    April 19, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Kenny

    WOW....... There is something Donald "Chump" doesn't know. Now that's news.

    April 19, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. vbscript2

    I guess domestic abuse is ok, too, since it's in private, right?

    April 19, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Jim Winski

    No worries. I'm sure he'll have his people explain exactly what he meant, as soon as he figures out what he wanted to mean. I mean, that's what politicians do all the time. Trump can't be expected to understand what he's talking about. He's a busy man.

    April 19, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. TM

    Is Trump taking interviewing lessons from Sarah Palin?

    April 19, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. sean

    Actually, the Court found that the existence of a right to privacy in the Constitution meant that states were not permitted to OUTLAW abortion.

    April 19, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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