Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appeared on Fox News last night, where he fielded a question from a viewer who wanted him to “name one specific thing he would do to protect the sanctity of human life.” The GOP candidate quickly turned his focus to judicial nominees:
“I will protect [life] and the biggest way you can protect it is through the Supreme Court and putting people in the court. And actually the biggest way you can protect it, I guess, is by electing me president.”
Trump added that he expects to name “as many as five” high court justices in the coming years, adding, “I will appoint judges that will be pro-life, yes.”
I think there are two broad angles to keep in mind with a quote like this one. The first is the extent to which Trump’s position relates to his party’s Supreme Court blockade. Senators like Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and others don’t like to see it framed this way, but Republican lawmakers aren’t just holding open a court vacancy for a year in order to empower Trump, they’re also doing so to help guarantee the confirmation of “judges that will be pro-life.”
Or put another way, GOP senators are operating from an informal plan: partner with Donald Trump so the Supreme Court can roll back the clock on reproductive rights.
The second is Trump’s apparent plan to make the gender gap between the parties much, much worse.
Let’s not forget, the presumptive Republican nominee has an ugly history of misogyny, which appears to be getting worse. As recently as a few days ago, for example, as Rachel noted on Monday’s show, Trump held Hillary Clinton responsible for Bill Clinton’s adultery, blasting her for being “the total enabler.”
Also over the weekend, Trump told a group of supporters, “I mean all of the men, we’re petrified to speak to women anymore. We may raise our voice. You know what? The women get it better than we do, folks. All right? They get it better than we do.”
It’s against this backdrop that the GOP candidate is vowing to appoint five “pro-life” justices to the Supreme Court.
In 2008 and 2012, women voters preferred President Obama to his Republican rivals by 11 percentage points in each contest. It’s a safe bet that Trump will do vastly worse in November.