Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump's Abortion Flub Shows Risks of 'Winging It' on Policy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump's Abortion Flub Shows Risks of 'Winging It' on Policy

Article excerpt

APPLETON, Wis. * It was a question sure to come up at some point in the Republican primary campaign.

"What should the law be on abortion?" asked MSNBC's Chris Matthews to Donald Trump at a town hall event in Wisconsin.

"Should the woman be punished for having an abortion?" Matthews pressed. "This is not something you can dodge."

Trump's bungled response an awkward, extended attempt to evade the question, followed by an answer that, yes, "there has to be some form of punishment" prompted a backlash that managed to unite abortion rights activists and opponents. And it also brought an unprecedented reversal from the notoriously unapologetic candidate less than a week before Wisconsin's important primary.

The episode demonstrated the extent to which Trump has glossed over the rigorous policy preparation that is fundamental to most presidential campaigns, underscoring the risks of the billionaire businessman's winging-it approach as he inches closer to the Republican nomination. …

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