Tags: 2016 Elections | Abortion | Donald Trump | GOP2016 | republican | operatives | donald trump

Critics of Trump on Abortion Have Been Pro-Choice Advocates

Image: Critics of Trump on Abortion Have Been Pro-Choice Advocates They want your vote: Pro-life activist. (Getty Images) 

By Joe Schaeffer   |   Wednesday, 24 Feb 2016 10:40 PM

The new anti-Donald Trump Our Principles PAC has made waves recently spending millions attacking the billionaire.

The PAC was founded by Katie Packer Gage, deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.

 The PAC's website features a quote from Thomas Jefferson that reads, "In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock."

Gage issued a four-point memo Monday titled "Defeating Donald Trump and his Conservatism of Convenience."

Point One stresses the need to highlight Trump "positions" that should outrage conservative voters. Included in a list is what Gage says is Trump's "support for partial-birth abortion, fervent praise for Planned Parenthood, and past pro-choice positions."

After the list ends, Gage uses the word "conservative" or "conservatism" four times in two sentences in denouncing the real estate billionaire:

"This is NOT the ideology of a conservative Republican candidate working to win the nomination of the conservative Republican Party. His beliefs are rooted in a conservatism of convenience in which he ignores his long history of supporting every liberal position over his entire adult life, and now purports to be conservative because it suits his needs."

Yet Gage herself is a supporter of Planned Parenthood.

"Unmarried women, especially young or low-income, rely on Planned Parenthood for health care," Gage told U.S. News & World Report in June. "Planned Parenthood isn’t this evil thing, but turning it into the bogey man is trying to create a bogey man out of something a lot of women turn to for something good."

Another veteran Republican operative, Liz Mair, who has served at various times as an online communications strategist for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker , Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, is running her own anti-Trump PAC called Trump Card LLC.

Mair also is in charge of the Super PAC "Make America Awesome," which features a page on its website titled "Anti-Trump Talking Points." The first item listed under the subhead "Conservative Caucusgoers" reads:

"Trump has said he is pro-choice, just 'uncomfortable' with the 'procedures.' Is that how you feel about abortion?"

But on her own personal website Mair rejects the assumption a reader may have that "You're a social conservative," writing "Nope, I'm pro-gay marriage and I'm also pro-choice."

She adds that, "I do think abortion should remain legal in the first trimester."

Trump is drawing heat from some pro-lifers for saying "Planned Parenthood does a really good job at a lot of different areas" in a Sunday interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, although he added that "I would defund [the organization] as long as they’re doing abortions."

GOP operatives appear to be pulling out the abortion card as seemingly all other attempts to overcome the Trump tidal wave – he has now won three straight Republican primaries/caucuses – flounder.

A 2014 Gallup poll found that 24 percent of pro-life voters would "only back candidates who share their views" on the issue.

Republican insiders are hoping to harness that demographic against Trump, even as they support Planned Parenthood and abortion rights themselves.

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News reports this week revealed that Marlene Ricketts, whose family owns the Chicago Cubs, has donated $3 million to the new anti-Donald Trump Our Principles PAC founded by Katie Packer Gage, deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.
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