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Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp
S.E. Cupp
Republicans aren't usually this honest about what they want their candidates to do, but this sums up the real intent of all those "rebranding" efforts:
“We, of course, want to make abortion illegal,” said S.E. Cupp, a conservative commentator and co-host on CNN’s Crossfire. “We can’t be afraid to talk about that, but I think politically right now it’s probably more beneficial for our candidates to say, ‘Look, I’m not going to Washington to overturn decades-old legislation. I’m going to fight to keep abortion safe and rare.’ That’s how we get pro-life candidates elected and in positions of power to actually do something about abortion, to roll it back.”
This can't be easily dismissed as just one commentator freelancing on message. After all, the 2012 Republican Party platform included adding "a human life amendment to the Constitution" and applying the Fourteenth Amendment's protections to "unborn children." So they definitely want to make abortion illegal, but most Republican candidates also definitely claim their own views fall short of criminalization of abortion.

Cupp wasn't the only one making such suggestions at the Susan B. Anthony List's Campaign for Life Summit:

“We’ve got to be compassionate,” said Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) at Wednesday’s donor conference. “Let’s face it, there is no easy answer. For a woman that faces an unplanned pregnancy it is a difficult situation. And I think that’s what our guys need to do—since they can’t be in a situation of actually carrying the child—is empathizing with that woman, to say, right up front, ‘I am pro-life.’ Just acknowledge it; get it out there. ‘But I understand, this is a really, really tough situation, and I want to help you. I want to help you to make the best decision.’”

“And now you’ve gone all the way from all that rape and incest stuff,” she concluded.

Sound compassionate, and change the subject from the actual legislation you support, in other words. Luckily for Democrats, there's usually a Todd Akin—or, for that matter, an S.E. Cupp—around to make the real Republican agenda crystal clear.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 09:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Pro Choice.

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