A glaring omission from Trump's Pennsylvania rally speech for Dr. Oz: Abortion

A glaring omission from Trump’s Pennsylvania rally speech for Dr. Oz: Abortion

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In a nearly hour-and-a-half speech at a political rally in Pennsylvania on Friday night, former president Donald Trump made only a passing reference to the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn a landmark ruling establishing the constitutional right to abortion across the country.

Trump’s decision not to opine on the news that dominated headlines this week followed days of Republican reticence to engage on the issue, directing their ire at the leak itself rather than celebrate the draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. wadethe pivotal 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.

Near the end of his speech, Trump rattled off a litany of Republican promises, among them “to protect innocent life.” He then mentioned his appointment of three judges to the US Supreme Court and added as an aside, And they’re making a very big decision now.”

During his presidency, Trump, who once described himself as “very pro choice,” won over social conservatives with his hardline rhetoric against abortion and assurances that he would adjunct judges opposed to abortion. In 2020, he was the first sitting president to attend the March for Life rally in Washington, telling a crowd of antiabortion activists: “Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House.”

Instead of heralding the news as a political win, Trump chose to ignore it, focusing instead on rehashing the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns, claiming falsely that he won both and sneering at President Biden, Democrats and the “fake news media.”

Other Republican politicians who have long seen ending abortion rights as one of their party’s most integral policy goals have stayed quiet this week, deflecting questions on the implications of the decision. Instead, many Republicans voiced outrage that the leak breached the sanctity of the Supreme Court.

This week, Trump took a similar stance. “Nobody knows what exactly it represents, if that’s going to be it,” Trump told Politico in an interview. “I think the one thing that really is so horrible is the leaking … for the court and for the country.”

Trump was in Pennsylvania to campaign for Mehmet Oz, the celebrity television doctor running for the US Senate in a competitive primary, who, like Trump, once espoused abortion rights beliefs.

Oz is in a neck-and-neck race against businessman David McCormick with 10 days until the May 17 primary. Trump called McCormick a “liberal Wall Street guy” and “the candidate of special interests and globalists and the Washington establishment.”

“He may be a nice guy, but he’s not my guy. He’s not MAGA. He’s more Toomey than he is MAGA,” Trump said, referring to the retiring Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, one of a handful of Republicans who voted to convict Trump over his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

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