RFK Jr.’s Campaign Says He ‘Misunderstood’ Abortion Question That He Clearly Understood

The suspiciously right-wing Democratic presidential candidate said he would support a federal cap on abortion after the first trimester, then backtracked.

RFK Jr.’s Campaign Says He ‘Misunderstood’ Abortion Question That He Clearly Understood
Photo:Michael M. Santiago (Getty Images)

Climate denier, anti-vaxxer, issuer of antisemitic remarks, and confused Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has stepped in it yet again.

On Sunday, while in attendance at the Iowa State Fair, RFK Jr. told an NBC reporter that, if elected, he would sign a federal abortion ban that would kick in after the first trimester of pregnancy. Now, his campaign is trying to walk back that statement (which would put him further at odds with the entirety of the Democratic party), claiming he “misunderstood” the question because it was asked “in a crowded, noisy exhibit hall.”

Luckily, NBC reporter Ali Vitali has the receipts: a transcript of the interview in which she repeatedly asks the question of whether he would support a federal ban after three months.

“I believe a decision to abort a child should be up to the women during the first three months of life,” RFK Jr. said in that exchange on Sunday. When Vitali pressed him to specify whether that would be a federal restriction on abortion starting at 15 or 21 weeks, he replied, “Yes, three months.” (The math isn’t math-ing, but OK!)

“So three months, you would sign a federal cap on that?” Vitali clarified.

RFK Jr.’s response: “Yes, I would.”

The candidate then goes onto discuss the fetal viability standard, which suggests that he may actually think fetuses are viable around 12 to 15 weeks and have no idea what he’s talking about. (Science generally deems fetuses to be viable around 22 weeks of pregnancy.)

But his hearing seemed to be working just fine, according to the transcript and a video of the exchange. It wasn’t until notorious anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America praised Kennedy for his comments, according to CNN, that the campaign began to panic. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the group, applauded the pseudo-Democratic candidate as “one of the few prominent Democrats aligned with the consensus of the people today…[whose position on abortion stands in] stark contrast to the Democratic Party’s radical stance.”

It’s interesting that Kennedy himself didn’t “clarify” or walk back his comments; his campaign did, probably after being horrified by seeing them reported and understanding that it is impossible to win a Democratic primary as a forced birther. “Today, Mr. Kennedy misunderstood a question posed to him by a NBC reporter in a crowded, noisy exhibit hall at the Iowa State Fair,” the campaign clarified in its statement released Sunday evening. “Mr. Kennedy’s position on abortion is that it is always the woman’s right to choose. He does not support legislation banning abortion.”

Hm. Whatever y’all say!

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