Democrats tiptoe around Biden’s comfort running on abortion in 2024 #Democrats #tiptoe #Bidens #comfort #running #abortion

PHOENIX — Democratic governors see a 2024 election conundrum brewing for their party: Democrats have been running hard on abortion rights (and winning a lot of races) since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

Yet the man at the top of the Democratic ticket — President Joe Biden — may not be the best messenger on the issue, several Democratic governors told reporters over the weekend.

“I think it’s widely known that this is probably an uncomfortable reality for him,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told reporters at the Democratic Governors Association’s holiday meeting in Phoenix last weekend.

It’s not that Biden has wholly shied away from the issue of reproductive rights. In his re-election campaign’s launch video in April, Biden tells viewers, “Around the country MAGA extremists are lining up to take on those bedrock freedoms … dictating what healthcare decisions women can make.”

And he has spoken about it at other times, like at an event in June: “Americans would not stand by and let the Court take away the right that’s so fundamental, that we’d fight — we’d fight to restore these protections of Roe v. Wade and make it the law of the land once again. And we’re going to do that.”

But Biden has opted instead to focus largely on issues like health care, prescription drug prices, infrastructure and the economy in his campaign’s early advertising. And he has a complex, evolving political history on abortion over the course of his lengthy career.

In 1982, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden voted to advance a constitutional amendment that would have allowed individual states to overturn Roe v. Wade. He once called it “the single most difficult vote I’ve cast as a U.S. senator.” Earlier, in 1974, Biden said that the Supreme Court went “too far” in the Roe v. Wade decision.

That was years ago, and Biden is in a different place politically now. But Murphy said that as Democrats look toward the 2024 campaign, I think we as the party that defends freedom, defends reproductive rights, a woman’s right to choose, and explicitly a right to an abortion — a decision made between a woman and her physician — needs to actually be laid out in a much more crystal clear, explicit, affirmative way. Again, in fairness, they may need a different messenger,” Murphy said.

Kevin Munoz, a spokesperson for Biden’s campaign, said in a statement that Biden “has been consistent and clear in his support to restore Roe. Unlike the Republicans running for president, he stands with the overwhelming majority of Americans — including our Democratic governors — who vehemently support the freedom for women to make their own health care decisions. It’s something we’ve said and campaigned on since day one of this campaign, and will continue to be a central part of the president’s message.”

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear echoed Murphy’s sentiment, pointing to their own experience using other messengers in their recent red-state re-election races.

Beshear’s campaign included a viral TV ad featuring Hadley Duvall, a young woman who told viewers she had been raped by her stepfather and spoke against the state’s six-week abortion ban with no exceptions for rape and incest.

“Look at me. This is, this is something that could affect people that I love, but maybe not me directly,” Beshear said.

“It couldn’t be from me. It had to be from her and everyone else that’s in her shoes, but it’s very real. Everybody can see their daughter in Hadley and then it led everybody to kind of take a breath and think about how far [the GOP has] gone,” Beshear added.

“It’s just not a conversation people want to have. They just want to vote their conscience. So, I don’t think — if I were Biden, I would not talk about it. I would let other people talk about it,” Kelly said.

One of those messengers may be Vice President Kamala Harris. She has also hit the campaign trail and has been vocal about her support for abortion rights since Roe was overturned.

And the campaign may look different in different places, depending on what the local rules are.

“I think he’s gonna have to look, state by state, specifically, because the laws are different now,” Beshear said.

#Democrats #tiptoe #Bidens #comfort #running #abortion

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