“First of all, I’m the one that got rid of Roe v. Wade and everybody said that was an impossible thing to do,” Mr Trump boasted.
Mr DeSantis recently signed into law a six-week ban that prevents anyone from seeking an abortion after six weeks of gestation, with the exception of cases where ending a pregnancy would save the mother’s life.
As of now, Florida allows abortions for pregnancies involving rape or incept until 15 weeks of gestation, so long as the mother can provide documentation such as a restraining order or police report.
But despite Florida’s harsh move to restrict abortion access, Mr Trump believes he should be receiving more credit for the work he’s done.
“What I’ve done is given the pro-life people, who are wonderful people and loving people, I’ve given them the power of negotiation. Because now they’re able to negotiate something that is going to be very important,” Mr Trump said.
During his presidential term, Mr Trump nominated three Justices to the Supreme Court - Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
All three Justices joined the majority opinion of Dobbs v Jackson last summer to help overturn Roe v Wade as well as Planned Parenthood v Casey. This returned the legality of abortions to each state individually.
As of May 2023, 19 states have banned abortions either fully or restricted until a certain week of gestation, including Florida.
“DeSantis, or Ron Desanctimonious as I call him, he came out with the six weeks — other people agree with and a lot of people don’t,” Mr Trump said.
The former president used Mr DeSantis’ recent ban to highlight how unpopular he is with female voters — indicating the ban is too restrictive.
“Ron, if you take a look, he’s losing women voters like crazy,” Mr Trump said before citing several news stories about Mr DeSantis’ unpopularity with women.
The former president has been comparing himself positively to Mr DeSantis in the last few months as rumours are swirling that Mr DeSantis is preparing to announce his bid for Republican presidential candidate.
“I don’t do it for the women, for the men, I do what’s right,” Mr Trump added.
It is thought that Mr DeSantis could be a leading contender for Republicans, making him a possible threat to Mr Trump’s campaign.
As of recently, any opportunity Mr Trump has to criticise Mr DeSantis, he takes it — as evidenced by the Newsmax interview. Mr Trump both credited himself with overturning Roe v Wade while asserting that Mr DeSantis was unpopular with women due to Florida’s six-week ban.
Mr Trump has changed his opinion on abortion throughout his life. In the 1990s the former president claimed he was pro-choice but by 2015 he told reporters he was pro-life.
In 2016, Mr Trump said he would have “preferred” if abortion were up to the States but accepted the federal law.
After implementing the three Justices who overturned Roe v Wade last year, Mr Trump took credit for the decision. But since then, the former president has never made it clear at what point in gestation abortions should be illegal.
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