GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Sunday that it is “not realistic” for candidates to pledge their commitment to a federal abortion ban. She continued, explaining any Republican who says they will enact one is “not being honest with the American people.”
Haley commented in a CBS interview on “Face the Nation” Sunday after the host, Margaret Brennan, pressed her to clarify where she stands on abortion. The former governor of South Carolina and U.N. Ambassador called for the country to reach a “national consensus” on abortion last month but has not expressed a specific cut-off period from which the procedure would be banned.
“For a national standard, I think we have to tell the American people the truth,” said Haley. “In order to do a national standard, you would have to have a majority of the House, 6o Senate votes, and a president. We haven’t had 60 pro-life senators in 100 years.”
“So, the idea that a Republican president could ban all abortions is not being honest with the American people,” she added.
Brennan noted GOP Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina is another possible presidential hopeful who pushed a 20-week federal abortion ban, the legal cut-off in the state of South Carolina. Haley signed the measure into law when she governed the state in 2016.
Haley: “I’m not going to lie to the American people”
“I’m not going to lie to the American people,” responded Haley. “Nothing’s going to happen if we don’t get 60 votes in the Senate. We’re not even close to that on the Republican or Democrat side.”
She continued saying, “Why try and divide people further? Why not talk about the fact that we should be trying to save as many babies as possible and support as many mothers as possible? I think the media has tried to divide them by saying we have to decide certain weeks. In states, yes. At the federal level, it’s not realistic.”
Former President Trump has largely avoided the topic of abortion during his reelection bid. At the same time, other possible GOP nominees have pushed strong anti-abortion records, including former Vice President Mike Pence and former Governor of Arkansas Asa Hutchison.
Haley launched her bid for the White House in February and was the first Republican to mount a challenge against former President Donald Trump.
“Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections,” said Haley in her announcement. “That has to change…It’s time for a new generation of leadership.”