RNC chairwoman calls on GOP candidates to adopt ‘common sense’ messaging on abortion

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tried to paint the GOP as the “commonsense” party on abortion and suggested Republican candidates ought to adhere to that message in order to win future elections.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Dana Bash pressed McDaniel on what the GOP messaging should be on abortion — in light of McDaniel saying after the elections this past week that “our candidates have lost their messaging on abortion.”

“I have been on your show talking about this since 2022,” McDaniel told Bash. “I am a suburban woman. I get this. We actually put a memo out before the elections in 2022. It’s up to the candidates if they take those suggestions. As I always say, if I give my husband directions in the car, it doesn’t mean he’s going to take them, right? But we have to talk about this.”

McDaniel pointed to newly elected Virginia State Sen. Danny Diggs (R), who McDaniel said “did a fantastic job.”

“He won a Senate race. He put his daughter in an ad, and she was compassionate. She understood women. She wasn’t coming at them as criminals because they have different — differences of opinion,” McDaniel said. “And she articulated her dad’s position.”

“His position was, we should have commonsense limitations,” McDaniel said when pressed. She then pivoted to asking why Democrats can’t agree to the same “commonsense limitations.”

McDaniel’s language echoes much of the rhetoric that GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley has used in her softer approach to restricting abortion.

While Haley said during the debate this past week that she would sign any abortion ban that comes to her desk as president, she has repeatedly insisted that would never happen — arguing the Senate’s filibuster threshold appropriately prevents such divisive legislation from passing. Haley has also said Americans should not demonize or prosecute those with differing opinions on abortion.

Ohio, a state that Trump won in both 2016 and 2020, voted to make abortion access a protected right under the state’s constitution — a move that many Democrats have hailed as a victory. Democrats similarly won many tough races at the ballots this past week, prompting GOP strategists to express concern over the durability of an anti-abortion position going into the 2024 election.

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