Pete Buttigieg was cornered over the weekend by a pro-life Democrat who wondered if there was room for people like her in the Democratic party.
On Sunday, the Democratic presidential candidate participated in a town hall event on Fox News, where he fielded a question from Kristen Day, a pro-life Democrat wondering how her party could make room for progressive voters like her.
“Do you want the support of pro-life Democrats, pro-life Democratic voters?” she asked Buttigieg. “There are about 21 million of us, and if so, would you support more moderate platform language in the Democratic Party to ensure that the party of diversity and inclusion really does include everybody?”
“I hope to earn your vote,” the 37-year-old candidate replied, “but I’m not going to try to earn your vote by tricking you.”
That is a big step from a candidate who has spent months avoiding even entertaining the question of abortion, often telling his questioners the morality of the procedure is simply “unknowable.”
Buttigieg told Day that while they couldn’t come to a consensus on “where to draw the line” when it comes to abortion, he hoped they could maybe agree “on who should draw the line, and in my view, it’s the woman who’s faced with that decision in her own life.”
Unsatisfied with Buttigieg’s answer, Fox News moderator Chris Wallace gave Day a second shot at her question. She asked the former mayor if he would be “open” to making the Democratic Party’s platform on abortion more “diverse and inclusive,” particularly for pro-life progressives, because, as she said, they “have no part in the party.”
Buttigieg toed the party line.
“I support the position of my party,” he said, “that this kind of medical care needs to be available to everyone, and I support the Roe v. Wade framework that holds that, early in pregnancy, there are very few restrictions, and late in pregnancy, there are very few exceptions, and again, the best I can offer is that we may disagree on that very important issue, and hopefully, we will be able to partner on other issues.”
Last spring, Faithwire spoke with Jacob Lupfer, lead strategist for a PAC hoping to drum up enough support to draft a pro-life Democratic presidential candidate. At that time, he said such a candidate would be “the best way to force a conversation that the Democratic Party, the media, and the pro-life movement are currently avoiding.”
Aware a pro-life candidate likely wouldn’t succeed in the primaries, Lupfer explained that “at a minimum,” their presence on the campaign trail could force the Democratic Party to — as Day desires — moderate its language on abortion.
“The Democratic Party should have a better message to pro-life Democrats than, ‘Sit down and shut up,’ which is all they’ve been saying for my whole life,” he said, later adding liberal voters opposed to abortion often feel “ignored and pushed aside” by their political party.
While I can applaud Buttigieg for not pandering in hopes of gaining a vote — after all, I can’t imagine a conservative candidate admitting a willingness to change his or her party platform for a pro-choice voter — it is disheartening to see how inculcated abortion has become in American society.
Like the rest of his competitors on the campaign trail, even with his kinder language, Buttigieg echoed the words of Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez: support for abortion “is not negotiable.”
Day’s question and Buttigieg’s answer comes on the heels of President Donald Trump’s address last week at the March for Life, an annual pro-life rally in Washington, D.C. Trump was the first sitting president to speak at the event in-person.