Harris in Arizona: Trump ‘gaslighting’ on abortion

Vice President Harris on Friday repeatedly knocked former President Trump during a campaign stop in Arizona where she also warned against another Trump presidency just days after the state’s Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law that made performing abortion a felony.

Harris brought up Trump’s announcement earlier this week in which he said abortion laws should be left up to the states, while also appearing to say he would not sign a federal ban.

“Enough with the gaslighting. We all know if Donald Trump gets the chance, he will sign a national abortion ban,” she told a crowd in Tucson.

“He basically wants to take America back to the 1800s,” Harris added. “But we are not going to let that happen. Because, here’s the deal, this is 2024 not the 1800s and we’re not going back. We are not going back.”

Harris’s trip was announced soon after the Tuesday ruling, which includes an extremely narrow exception allowing for an abortion “when it is necessary” to save a pregnant person’s life.

In the critical battleground state of Arizona, Harris called the Supreme Court’s June 2022 overturning of Roe a “seismic event” adding that the Arizona ban that came down this week “is one of the biggest aftershocks yet.”

The vice president, who noted the 1864 law was made before Arizona was a state and before women could vote, said the state court’s decision “now means women here, the women here, live under one of the most extreme abortion bans in our nation.”

She placed the blame squarely on Trump, which President Biden’s reelection campaign has used as a strategy for months to warn about what a second term for the former president could mean for reproductive rights.

“It has demonstrated once and for all that overturning Roe was just the opening act, just the opening act of a larger strategy to take women’s rights and freedoms. Part of a full-on attack, state-by-state, on reproductive freedom,” Harris said. “And we all must understand who is to blame—former President Donald Trump did not.”

“Donald Trump is the architect of this health care crisis,” she said, adding that he “brags about it” and noted Trump has said he is responsible for overturning Roe for boasting that the law was overturned by conservative justices he appointed during his first term.

While Harris was in Arizona, Trump held a joint press conference with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) at Mar-a-Lago. Harris noted in her remarks that Trump said the collection of state bans are working the way they are supposed to be.

In the wake of the Arizona ruling, the Biden campaign has relentlessly attacked Trump, launching an ad blitz in Arizona highlighting the court ruling. The campaign for months has been hitting Trump and Republicans over reproductive rights in an attempt to appeal to independents, women, and other key voting blocs by highlighting restrictive state laws since Roe was overturned.

Trump on Friday urged Arizona lawmakers to act “as fast as possible” to adjust the state’s abortion policy. On Wednesday, he told reporters he thought the Arizona law went too far and expected it to be “straightened out.”

Harris, during her remarks, also called Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) the next Arizona senator. Gallego is running for the Senate seat that will be left vacant by Sen. Krysten Sinema (I-Ariz.) against Trump ally Republican Kari Lake. Harris also said she was thinking of Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) as he begins his treatment for cancer.

Biden and Harris won Arizona in 2020 with extremely tight margins — 49.4 percent compared to Trump’s 49 percent.

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