Exclusive: Trump Is Telling Allies His Record on Abortion Could Hurt His 2024 Chances
donald-trump-roe.jpg Former President Trump attends the American Freedom Tour in Austin, TX - Credit: Brandon Bell/Getty Images
Donald Trump is poised to achieve the most enduring and impactful part of his presidential legacy as the justices he appointed to the Supreme Court prepare to pronounce Roe v. to overthrow Wade and cement the former president's status as a hero of the social conservatives. But for a man who rarely opens his mouth without discussing his own accomplishments (real or alleged), Trump has been all but silent on the abortion since it became clear Roe was going under.
Instead, Trump has privately worried about what the impending abortion rights collapse will mean for his own political prospects, telling those close to him that the issue of "suburban women" could hurt him should he try to retake the White House in 2024. “Suburban women were a constant concern for [former] President Trump, including during the 2020 campaign when his wiser advisors alerted him that he was losing suburbs. He's … worried that one day the women in the suburbs might [also] punish him for it,” said a person familiar with the matter.
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In the weeks since a draft advisory on Roe's ouster was released, Trump has barely addressed the issue in interviews, at political rallies, and on his social media posts. It is indeed a deliberate and calculated silence, according to two sources familiar with the matter. In recent days, Trump has told some of his allies and advisers that "suburban women" and other key constituency groups don't like hearing about this issue because they are simply more pro-election than the mainstream Republican Party and conservative movement. He's also told several associates that if he gets too harsh on the subject of Roe's fall now, it would give his enemies the opportunity to use it against him - the strong implication, according to the two sources, is that eventually it will Trump would have run for the White House again in 2024 if it could be more of a political liability than an asset.
And of course, Trump has recently requested printouts of the latest polls on the matter, according to the two people familiar with the situation.
"'Suburban women - some who voted for me - they don't like it when we talk about it. That's a problem sometimes [and that's] important to remember,'" Trump said at a small gathering earlier this month, the second source shared.
However, there are some conservative die-hards close to Trump who are personally trying to persuade him to embrace — or at least firmly acknowledge — the expected victory, which would inevitably set the pro-choice movement back decades. "I encouraged him to get bigger on the life issue [after the leaked draft opinion]," said a third person who said they've spoken to Trump about it in the past two weeks. "He said [something like] 'maybe,' which sounded more like 'not now.'"
Trump has remained conspicuously dovish since Politico reported earlier this month that five conservative judges had approved an advisory opinion on Roe's ouster. On Truth Social — his apparent social media home since he died last year after the Jan. 6 riots in Washington, D.C. thrown out by other major platforms — Trump has been busy telling the truth about the 2020 election conspiracy theories, the PGA Tour, the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial, the Durham Inquiry, Elon Musk's "probably illegal purchase." a lousy company with fake accounts” and the Republican primary on Tuesday. But since the draft statement was leaked, not once in the roughly 120 posts Trump has made on Truth Social has Trump tapped his thumb on a post related to abortion, according to a review of his report by the Rolling Stone.
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