WASHINGTON — Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s approach to women’s issues continues to generate headlines.
On Wednesday, Trump said that women who undergo abortions should face “some form of punishment” if the procedure were outlawed, according to excerpts of an MSNBC town hall that is scheduled to air Wednesday evening.
“There has to be some form of punishment,” Trump said in the town hall.
Trump declined to specify how women should be punished if abortion were banned and they underwent the procedure.
Later in the day, Trump’s campaign released a statement to MSNBC attempting to clarify the candidate’s position: “If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman,” the statement said.
Trump is also facing criticism for standing by his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who on Tuesday was charged with simple battery of a female reporter. And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has aggressively pushed back on a National Enquirer story alleging the Texas senator had multiple affairs with unnamed women.
Meanwhile, Cruz pitched himself to women voters in Wisconsin. The “Women for Cruz” coalition features his wife, Heidi, and his mother, Eleanor, a lesser-seen presence on the campaign trail that has used his father, Rafael, as a prominent surrogate.
“This event this morning is a celebration of strong women,” Cruz said. “Listen, I have news for the Democratic Party: Women are not a special interest. Women are a majority of the United States of America and every issue is a women’s issue.”
Trump hardly came up at Wednesday’s rally, but Cruz’s team is aware that the timing helps them make a contrast with other campaigns.