Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently sought to clarify how he believed women should be punished in the U.S. for having an abortion, a legal medical procedure that he opposes with some exceptions.
Trump told The New York Times: "I didn’t mean punishment for women like prison. I’m saying women punish themselves. I didn’t want people to think in terms of 'prison' punishment. And because of that I walked it back."
Trump was asked by MSNBC host Chris Matthews March 30, "Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?"
"The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment," Trump replied.
"For the woman?" Matthews asked.
"Yeah, there has to be some form," Trump answered.
Trump wouldn't say what that punishment would be and told Matthews that he wasn't going to "play that game."
Later that same day, Trump said in a statement: "This issue is unclear and should be put back into the states for determination. Like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions, which I have outlined numerous times," noted Mediaite.
Trump, who plans to defund Planned Parenthood if it provides abortions, also told The New York Times:
I’m going to be better to women on women’s issues than Hillary Clinton and everybody else combined.
Frankly, for the general election I think that’s a very good issue for me. Structurally, it’s very hard, almost impossible, for a heavily conservative Republican to win, because of the Electoral College. Whereas I bring in Michigan. Look at what I did in Michigan — I won it in a landslide, it wasn’t even close. So I bring in Michigan. I maybe bring in New York. Republicans don’t even go for the general election to campaign in New York, because there’s no chance.
Trump went on to explain how well he would do with African-Americans and Hispanics as well:
By the way, I’m going to do great with the African-American vote. One poll [September 2015 SurveyUSA poll] came out saying Donald Trump’s going to get 25 percent of the African-American vote. And I said, Huh — why not more? I’m going to do great with the African-Americans. I’m going to bring back jobs. And I’ve had good relations with them.
I’m going to do far better with Hispanics than anyone thought. I have thousands working for me. When this is over, one of my first pictures is going to be me at the Doral [Trump's golf resort near Miami] with a thousand of my people working there, most of whom are Hispanic and all who love Trump.