John King, USA

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April 19th, 2011
02:40 PM ET

Trump stumbles over abortion issue


(CNN) – Donald Trump appeared to stumble into a contradiction in an interview Tuesday – a misstep that could haunt the potential GOP presidential candidate amongst social conservatives.

In an interview with MSNBC, Trump was asked if he believed there was a right to privacy in the Constitution – a right that, while not explicitly stated in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has said can be inferred from the text.

He responded, "I guess there is, I guess there is."

Then his tone of voice changed and he followed up with, "And why, just out of curiosity, why do you ask that question?"

When NBC's Savannah Guthrie wondered how that line of legal theory "squares" with his pro-life stance, Trump said, "Well, that's a pretty strange way of getting to pro-life. I mean, it's a very unique way of asking about pro-life. What does that have to do with privacy? How are you equating pro-life with privacy?"

To answer Trump's question, the United States Supreme Court equated the right to privacy as grounds to legalize abortion in its controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

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  1. john

    All the more egregious when you consider that Sarah Palin tripped over the exact same question with Katie Couric.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  2. PD

    Right to privacy may have been equated as grounds to legalize abortion in the past, but that is as stupid as saying the right to privacy means you can murder someone in your own home.

    Your rights end when they infringe on the life of another. Abortion stops a beating heart, that heart is not yours.

    And that is why "your body" or "privacy" is not a valid arguement for pro-choice. Fetal heartbeat can be detected at 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 weeks gestational age (thats 4 weeks fetal age). Extremely early in pregnancy.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  3. George W

    Whadaya bet he can see Russia from his penthouse?

    April 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  4. Marlin Vrbas

    I am with Trump on this one, and I don't really care much for the guy! If he does not agree that there is any connection between a right to privacy and the Roe v. Wade decision, then that is consistent with a position that the decision was wrong because the basis is wrong. I am rather opposed to most of the current so called conservative positions, except on abortion. So I hate to see liberals use colateral attacks to oppose their positions. It makes us liberals look like them.

    April 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  5. freps

    Oy....and I bet he reads all of the papers, too. while the pro life folks will be calling this a "gotcha" question, the fact is that any first semester law student or any scholar of any merit knows that the Roe decision hinged on the founding of a right to privacy. The guy is not fit to serve as a school teacher, no less president.

    April 19, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  6. John P. Adams

    Congress has screwed-up so many things…No wonder we’re in such a mess! Two different issues that are NOT equal, at all! Donald’s not at fault for stumbling! Congress is at fault for sleeping on the job again! They need to be spending their Spring Break filling out job applications! I hear that McDonald’s is hiring 50,000 new employees…Good luck, Congress!

    April 19, 2011 at 7:21 pm |