Donald Trump had a chance to score big with social conservatives, and he missed.
Ever since the boisterous New York businessman entered the 2016 political fray, he has come under fire for his position on social issues. In the not-too-distant past, Donald Trump has self-described as “very pro-choice”, pro-partial birth abortion, and maintains a questionable position on gay marriage. Even though he claims to have changed on the issue of abortion, Trump has voiced weak support for Planned Parenthood.
Needless to say, it should come as no surprise that Trump has had a lot to prove when it comes to grabbing a key component of the GOP base: the social Conservatives.
This past Friday, at Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit (VVS), Donald Trump had the perfect chance to put doubts about his pro-life positions to bed, and put the nail in the coffin on his wavering support with social conservatives.
In Trump’s speech to several thousand Social Conservatives at Family Research Council’s DC event, he spoke about a wide range of issues, including the Johnson Amendments, Obamacare, and NAFTA .
He even read a bible verse to the crowd.
But somehow, Donald Trump managed leave a massive wedge issue for Republicans out: abortion. Not one mention from the GOP nominee to a massive pro-life crowd.
Trump has yet to discuss abortion at #VVS16, currently discussing NAFTA
— Kate Scanlon (@kgscanlon) September 9, 2016
What Trump mentioned: SCOTUS, school choice, trade, refugees, Syria, Iraq…
What Trump didn’t mention: Abortion, same-sex marriage.
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 9, 2016
What does this mean for the 2016 election? While there is little doubt that Donald Trump is more pro-life than Hillary Clinton, he needs to “talk Social Conservative” to win over doubtful, disheartened, or on-the-fence voters. He missed his chance at VVS 2016, but will he make a stronger appeal to pro-lifers down the road?
More importantly, is Donald Trump’s silence on abortion indicative of wavering support for the pro-life cause? In an election where Supreme Court Appointments matter more than ever, we desperately need a president that will stick to pro-life values when we need it the most.