GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Sunday refused to endorse a federal abortion ban, saying it would not be honest for a Republican to promise such an unrealistic outlook to the American people.
In an interview on CBS’ “Take on the NationHaley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations and governor of South Carolina, said: «By a national standard, I think we have to tell the truth to the American people.»
He pointed to the political realities of passing federal legislation in Congress: «To make a national standard, you would have to have a majority in the House, 60 votes in the Senate, and a president. We haven’t had 60 votes for life.» senators in 100 years».
“So the idea that a Republican president could ban all abortions is not being honest with the American people, any more than a Democratic president could ban these pro-life laws in the state,” Haley said. “So let’s be honest with the American people and say: Let’s find a national consensus. Let’s agree to get rid of late-term abortions.»
CBS’s Margaret Brennan noted that Sen. Tim Scott, RS.C., who is exploring a run for president in 2024, recently backed a 20-week abortion ban, «so pick a week» gestation, before asking her to Haley, «Some of your fellow Republicans are why do you feel that’s misdirection?»
Haley argued that it would be unrealistic to endorse a specific number of weeks of pregnancy when filibuster from the Senate would likely stymie passage of a strict federal ban on abortion.
“I am not going to lie to the American people. Nothing will happen if we don’t get 60 votes in the Senate. We are not even close to that on the Republican or Democratic side,” he said.
“Why try to further divide people? Why not talk about the fact that we should try to save as many babies as possible and support as many mothers as possible? Halley added. “I think the media has tried to divide them by saying we have to decide certain weeks. In the states, yes. At the federal level, it’s not realistic. It’s not being honest with the American people.»
Haley recently called for a «consensus» on the issue of abortion and downplayed the debate over exceptions and weeks of pregnancy. She did, however, make it clear that she does see a federal role in abortion.
“My goal as president will be the same as when I was governor and ambassador: I want to save as many lives and help as many mothers as possible,” Haley said last month. «At the federal level, the next president must find a national consensus.»
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel last month urged Republicans running in the 2024 presidential election cycle to address abortion access “head-on,” noting that many Republican candidates failed to do so. in the 2022 midterm elections that yielded mediocre results for the party.
“Put them on the defensive and articulate your position, and that will be the critical message we have to get across before 2024,” he said.
Abortion access emerged as a key issue in the November election after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, a landmark decision guaranteeing the constitutional right to abortion, in June.
Republican presidential candidates, who must reckon with a base that favors banning abortion and a majority of the nation that favors keeping it legal, have struggled to find consensus on the issue.