MSNBC, CNN, ABC’s ‘The View’ slam Lindsey Graham over 15 week abortion ban, call it political ‘suicide’
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. elicited confusion and condemnation from media figures on CNN and MSNBC after the conservative lawmaker announced a bill to ban abortion federally after 15 weeks.
The announcement of the “Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act” comes as Democrats continue to hammer Republicans over state laws that restrict access to abortions, believing it to be a winning issue for the party.
CNN political commentator Alyssa Farah Griffin said Wednesday that Graham’s decision to go “rogue” against the “Republican orthodoxy” on abortion was frustrating, suggesting that the Senator’s announcement helped provide cover for the Biden administration’s “terrible” inflation numbers.
“The question is why Lindsey Graham is walking across the street to punch himself in the face,” CNN’s John Avlon chimed in. “”He’s hanging a lantern on the fact that there’s complete hypocrisy on the issue of states rights. This is the opposite of states rights. This is the entire argument that the Republicans have been making for a long time, this shouldn’t be decided by the courts, it should be decided by state to state. A position we saw Lindsey Graham himself made in August and now he’s reversing it.”
Indeed, Graham on more than one occasion has been vocal that abortion laws should be determined on a state by state basis. Last month, Graham said this on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “I’ve been consistent. I think states should decide the issue of marriage and states should decide the issue of abortion.”
Graham’s sudden announcement also drew criticism from ABC’s The View, which again saw self-proclaimed conservative Farah Griffin question the senator’s political strategy. She hypothesized Graham was attempting to get “goodwill” with some parts of the Republican base, but said she disagreed with the approach entirely. Farah Griffin instead pushed the more common Republican position of leaving it up to states.
“How about let the women make that decision, to h— with these states,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg chimed in.
Much of the discussion surrounding the proposed federal abortion ban was found on MSNBC, with hosts and reporters pointing to the senator’s announcement as a massive political blunder, and proof of how important abortion will be to voters in the upcoming elections.
Labeling Graham “the most cravenly opportunistic politician in America,” far-left MSNBC host Joy Reid called his proposal a “dangerous, ugly and desperation move” to bolster support ahead of the midterms.
[Graham’s announcement] is the most definitive evidence you are ever going to get that Republicans know that abortion, not inflation, not crime, abortion, will be the most important issue for voters in November,” Reid added.
Meanwhile, MSNBC political analyst Juanita Tolliver suggested that Graham’s abortion bill was less about his strategy as a politician, and more about the larger aims of the Republican Party.
“They’ve shown that they’re hell bent on controlling women and pregnant people,” she said in part.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Al Sharpton said that Graham was successful in energy the base in the abortion fight for the midterms, just perhaps not the base he intended.
“It couldn’t have been better for the Democrats,” Sharpton added. “I remember growing up I had a mentor that told me Al, if you see a guy on the edge of a cliff about to go over, give him room. Don’t turn a suicide into a homicide. So, I say to Democrats, back up and let him go over the cliff.”
The rise in support for abortion could affect the November midterm elections with voters viewing abortion as a more important issue than it has been in previous elections.
A recent Wall Street Journal poll found that support for abortion increased five percentage points, from 55% in March, before the Supreme Court reversal on Roe, to 60% in August among all likely voters.
Furthermore, a vast majority of Democrats (83%) said the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization would make them more likely to vote in the midterm elections, while 53% of independents said the same.
A number of Republicans were quick to distance themselves from Grahams’ bill, with some openly dismissing the plan, and others choosing instead to redouble their midterm efforts on concerns about the economy and inflation, rather than abortion.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters on Tuesday that he believed the issue should be left up to the states and suggested many other Republicans agreed. Senator John Cornyn of Texas similarly told CNN that states should handle matters related to abortion.
But, Graham appeared to disagree, arguing that the bill could help Republicans in the midterms and provide an “alternative to the very radical position by Democratic senators.”
Fox News’ Tyler Olsen and Hanna Panreck contributed to this report.