Conservative Female Voters Disagree On Trump Tape Fallout
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
The political forecaster Nate Silver put out a hypothetical electoral map over the weekend. It shows what the electoral vote would be if women refuse to vote for Donald Trump. Instead of blue and red states, the map is entirely blue, with 538 electoral votes for Hillary Clinton. Now, that was, of course, a joke, but it is a real question how Trump's remarks about women in a 2005 video and elsewhere will affect his support. On Fox News last night, Mr. Trump showed no concern.
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DONALD TRUMP: I've had a lot of women come up to me and say, boy, I've heard that, and I've heard a lot worse than that over my life.
INSKEEP: Conservative blogger Marybeth Glenn had a different view. She has not only abandoned Donald Trump, she is denouncing Republicans who still endorse him. She spoke with our colleague, Ari Shapiro, last night.
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MARYBETH GLENN: After this tape dropped on Friday, I was like, this is the last straw. If you can actually justify voting for him in November, we have a problem.
INSKEEP: Other women are wrestling with that problem. Earlier today, we spoke with Marjorie Dannenfelser. She is the president of the pro-life organization the Susan B. Anthony List. She opposed Trump for a while during the primaries but now heads his pro-life council. And she acknowledged that the revelation of the tape from 2005 put her in an exceedingly uncomfortable position.
Has he put you in a difficult spot with these and other remarks?
MARJORIE DANNENFELSER: Oh, you - you bet. What I - what we just heard on the radio here is absolutely outrageous and unacceptable. It is not to be set aside, the assault and offense of women. And, you know, for any woman who has ever been assaulted, these - this is a trigger moment for them. It brings back a flood of memories that are horrible. And - and that's why there's no excuse.
But for any woman who has ever been assaulted and then ignored or blamed, they should be upset by Hillary Clinton's behavior in her treatment of the women that, in a serial fashion, went through her husband's life that she then blamed and destroyed, ridiculed, ignored. And when you think about the women on college campuses now who are - who often are having that happen to them, that's a trigger moment for them.
INSKEEP: Just to clarify the facts here, Hillary Clinton did publicly criticize Gennifer Flowers, although fact-checkers have found no evidence that she attacked other women who said they had relationships with her husband.
Sounds like you're still with Trump.
DANNENFELSER: Well, I am still with Trump, and you know why? It's not because they're exactly the same. It's not because they're morally equivalent on this. But they both have a lot of blame that they're carrying around. And when it comes down to that, what do you do? What do you do? Where you sit is you look at the policy choices between the two. [LB] You look at a Supreme Court that will last for generations and be changed one way or the other. And you look at taxpayer funding of abortion, which is an issue that we don't believe in and that she does, which'll be be 50,000 more kids a year. And he doesn't believe in that.
INSKEEP: What did you think when you had someone like David Brooks of The New York Times, who is a moderate-to-conservative columnist, who has criticized Republicans who are making a choice that, well, Donald Trump is making racist statements or sexist statements and other kinds of horrible statements and stands for so many bad things, but he's with me on my policy, so that's OK?
DANNENFELSER: Well, David Brooks has made a business of criticizing Republicans. He does a good job, and he has got - he's got a good point, but it's not good enough because the policy choices that are made now are not just going to be until the next administration. The Supreme Court is, again, going to last for generations. And the idea that we can ever get that back - as a - say, I don't categorize myself necessarily as a Republican, but I am a pro-life person. And I am definitely - and so next I would be a Republican. [LB] But the idea that somehow we can change things 20 years from now and that maybe we'll eventually get it back and that the constitution will be safe, from my perspective, is just deluding ourselves. And David Brooks is deluding himself to think that as well. So he's happy for all that to go out at bay and maybe never come back. Why? For a reason that - that everyone understands - that our personal moral fiber has been slapped in the face, has been - has been undermined. And so I understand it, but it's not the, I think, strong position. The strong position is the future-oriented one.
INSKEEP: Your pro-life views grow out of your religion, out of your faith, is that right?
DANNENFELSER: Well, it's complicated. It first started with philosophy and science and that - but it certainly is complimentary of my faith.
INSKEEP: You're a Christian?
DANNENFELSER: I am.
INSKEEP: And I ask that simply because Christianity Today, the evangelical publication, this week - or in the last few days - said that many Christians have been supporting Trump for strategic reasons, which it sounds like what you're saying, because that he's with you on some key issues to you, but that Christianity Today cannot continue to be blind to his behavior, that this is the wrong choice. What do you make of that?
DANNENFELSER: I challenge Christianity Today to look into again and treat seriously Hillary Clinton's covering up, belittling, ignoring of the claims of all the women who have entered her life. She, the advocate for women...
INSKEEP: I think there's a - forgive me, you've had a chance to make that point. But there's an argument here that there are other candidates in the race. Evan McMullin - the conservative blogger is supporting Evan McMullin, for example - that we heard earlier.
DANNENFELSER: Well, that's a great point, and that means Hillary Clinton will win. I mean, can we really delude ourselves into thinking that - that choosing one of the other - we could also pick the Sweet Meteor of Death who's running - you know, the 13-percent candidate. We could choose Sweet Meteor of Death, but that means that Hillary's going to win.
INSKEEP: OK, Marjorie, thanks for coming by. I enjoyed talking with you. Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List and the chair of Donald Trump's pro-life council. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.