I am thrilled that Donald Trump eviscerated Bill Clinton. I am pleased he elevated border security to the level of attention it deserves. But his record on values issues legitimately raises serious concerns.
Trump published an op-ed in the Washington Examiner on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade declaring that he was pro-life with exceptions. That has not always been his view, and last year he stumbled on funding for Planned Parenthood.
But on ABC’s “This Week,” he seemed stumped when asked about the courts imposing a new definition of marriage on every of state of the union, just as they did with abortion in 1973. Trump appeared to suggest that the issue was settled and then struggled to formulate a clear position. Consider this exchange:
TRUMP: It has — it has really been determined and we will see what happens. We’re going to look at judges. They’ve got to be great judges. They’ve got to be conservative judges. We’re going to see how they stand depending on — on what their views are. But that would be my preference.
STEPHANOPOULOS: See, that’s what I mean. Where do you want them to stand?
TRUMP: I would prefer that they stand against it, but we’ll see what happens. It depends on the judge.
I do not understand what Trump means when he says, “It depends on the judge.” With all due respect, it depends on the person nominating the judge. For some reason, Republican presidents have struggled with Supreme Court appointments, while Democrats never get theirs wrong.
Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor.