Trump on abortion: ‘The laws are set, and I think we have to leave it that way’

CBS’s “Face the Nation” previewed a snippet of host John Dickerson’s Sunday interview with the nuclear war-obsessed GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, who once again backpedaled on his position on abortion.

“A question was asked to me,” Trump reasoned, “and it was asked in a very hypothetical, and it was said, ‘Illegal, illegal.’ I’ve been told by some people that was an older line answer and that was an answer that was given on a, you know, basis of an older line from years ago on a very conservative basis.”

In the excerpted clip, Dickerson continued to push Trump for a more solid answer, given that, two days prior, Trump suggested to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that there should be “some form of punishment” given to women who have abortions once abortion laws are banned under a would-be Trump administration. These comments caused outrage on both the right and left sides of the aisle. Right-wing blog The Daily Caller, for example, criticized Trump’s extremist view because “these political compromises are necessary in order to cobble together a palatable and defensible (if admittedly inconsistent) public policy position that might someday actually be able to win the argument in mainstream America.” Two hours and 47 minutes later, the reality TV star’s website issued a press release that reversed his position and stated that the doctors should be punished, not the women.

So you might say at this point it’s sensible on Dickerson’s part to have Trump provide a clearer response. “The laws are set now on abortion and that’s the way they’re going to remain until they’re changed,” Trump answered. “I would’ve preferred states’ right. I think it would’ve been better if it were up to the states. But right now, the laws are set … At this moment, the laws are set, and I think we have to leave it that way.”

Then there’s this amusing exchange between Dickerson and Trump, which shows, if you weren’t convinced prior, how little the candidate has read up on pro-life politics:

Dickerson: Do you think abortion is murder?

Trump: I have my opinions on it, but I’d rather not comment on it.

Dickerson: You said you were very pro-life. Pro-life means that … abortion is murder.

Trump: I mean, I do have my opinions on it. I just don’t think it’s an appropriate forum.

Dickerson: But you don’t disagree with that proposition, that it’s murder?

Trump: No, I don’t disagree with it.

Three hours after “Face the Nation” released the video clip, Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks issued a statement to CBS in the hopes of clarifying whatever was flapping out of her boss’s food hole:

Mr. Trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must stay that way now — until he is President. Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. There is nothing new or different here.

OK, so I know one of our writers asked this somewhat sardonically back in October, but for true does Donald Trump have dementia?

[Face the Nation | video mirror via]