Fox News 2024-07-02 22:08:32


Tapper blasts Dems trying to convince public to ‘not believe what you saw’ at debate

CNN host Jake Tapper accused Democratic officials of using Orwellian tactics to spin President Biden’s debate performance.

Tapper co-moderated last week’s presidential debate, which was widely seen as a disastrous night for Biden. Many Democrats and liberals in the media have called for the president to step down and be replaced with another nominee. As for the Democrats still defending Biden, Tapper argued they are disingenuously downplaying or ignoring signs of the president’s age-related decline.

Tapper noted in his opening monologue on Monday’s “The Lead” that “there is a pattern, discernible pattern, of Democratic officials seemingly trying to convince you, the public, to not believe what you saw and what you heard with your eyes and with your ears on Thursday night.”

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After playing a montage of Biden’s most criticized moments from the debate, Tapper said, “Democratic officials have tried to spin this in many ways. They said President Biden just had a cold. They said it was just one off night, akin to when President Obama in 2012 was rusty and seemed a little huffy.” 

However, he continued, “behind the scenes, make no mistake, most Democratic officials witnessed the same shocking spectacle that you did, the difficulty that the presumptive Democratic nominee, the current President of the United States, had just articulating his basic thoughts during the 90 minutes of the debate.”

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“The spinning is all very reminiscent of the George Orwell quote from the book 1984,” Tapper said, alluding to having used the quote regarding Trump 5 years ago, “It’s relevant again today. ‘The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.’”

He promised that wouldn’t happen on his show and said he’d be talking to those “more willing to speak freely, honestly, and candidly about the candidate than the people running the Biden campaign, the people close to President Biden. And frankly, most Democratic officials across the country.”

New national poll shows red flags for Biden after debate performance

Former President Trump has gone ahead of President Biden in their 2024 election rematch in the aftermath of last week’s presidential debate, according to a new national poll conducted in the wake of Biden’s extremely rough performance during Thursday’s face-to-face showdown between the two major party contenders.

Trump stands at 41% support and Biden at 38% among registered voters nationwide in a USA Today/Suffolk University survey conducted Friday through Sunday and released on Tuesday.

The Democratic incumbent in the White House and his Republican predecessor were tied at 37% in the previous USA Today/Suffolk University poll, which was conducted in May.

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Democrat turned independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stood at 8% support in the new survey, with Libertarian Party nominee Chase Oliver, independent Cornel West and Green Party candidate Jill Stein each registering at around 1% support.

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Biden, who at age 81 is the oldest president in the nation’s history, is facing the roughest stretch of his bid for a second term in the White House. This, after his halting delivery and stumbling answers at the debate, sparked widespread panic in the Democratic Party and spurred calls from political pundits, editorial writers, and some party politicians and donors for Biden to step aside as the party’s 2024 standard-bearer.

While Trump’s advantage in the new survey is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, there are other warning signs for Biden.

In numbers from the poll released on Monday afternoon, 41% of Democrats questioned said they wanted Biden replaced at the top of the Democratic Party ticket.

Only 14% of Republicans surveyed said they would like to see Trump replaced at the top of the GOP ticket.

“There’s no question the debate sent out shock waves across the political landscape,” Suffolk Political Research Center director David Paleologos said. “Democrats in the poll are offering tough love to President Biden by saying to him, ‘You’ve served us well, but try to see yourself last Thursday night through our eyes. Hold your head up high, it’s time to go.'”

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The poll also indicates that Trump now leads Biden 25% to 17% as the second choice for voters currently backing one of the third-party or independent candidates. That is a switch from late last year, when Biden had the edge.

“After Thursday night’s debate, the Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll measured Biden’s poor debate performance and the resulting landscape shift that has essentially prevented those third-party voters from coming around to Biden,” Paleologos told Fox News. “In fact, the debate produced a group of voters who are now not comfortable with voting for Biden as either a first or second choice.”

The survey also indicates that Trump supporters – at 59% – are much more excited about their candidate than Biden backers – at 29%. Such a large enthusiasm gap, if it holds, could be consequential when it comes to convincing supporters to actually vote in the autumn election.

The survey questioned 1,000 registered voters across the country, reaching them by telephone landlines and cell phones.

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Mark Wahlberg is ‘living every guy’s fantasy’ with new onscreen romance

Mark Wahlberg is living the dream in more ways than one.

The “Boogie Nights” star is appearing alongside Halle Berry in a new Netflix movie next month titled “The Union” in which his character, a blue-collar worker, gets a second chance with his high school sweetheart who happens to be a secret agent superspy.

“… Halle, her and I have known each other for such a long time, and this movie is going to be so great because it’s every guy’s fantasy, to think that they got a shot with Halle Berry,” he told Fox News Digital.

Referring to the characters, he continued, “They were childhood sweethearts, and they come back together. He basically waited 25 years for her to come back, walk back through that door and into his life, and it happens, and there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do to prove himself to her if he got a second chance. For me, that was the whole motivation of the character: just do anything he could to not screw it up again.”

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Wahlberg, happily married to his wife of 15 years, Rhea Durham, admitted that playing romantically opposite anyone is always “a little weird,” but the couple is secure in their relationship.

“I think it’s a little weird anyway when you’re portraying some sort of romance onscreen, it’s not normal, but my wife knows that she is my everything,” he said. “She is the most special woman in the world.”

WATCH: MARK WAHLBERG SAYS WORKING WITH HALLE BERRY IS ‘EVERY GUY’S FANTASY’

The couple share four children: Ella, 20, Michael, 18, Brendan, 15, and Grace, 14. 

Last week, Wahlberg shared photos of himself accompanying Ella on a shopping trip near Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, where she attends college.

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The “Family Plan” star posted a photo of him sitting in a chair next to racks of clothes and wrote in the caption, “When you go visit your daughter at college and end up in Love Shack Fancy #family #girldad.”

He and Ella also posed together with big smiles on their faces in a photo Wahlberg shared on Instagram, writing, “So proud of this young lady.”

“Dad has only a few purposes in life, to do what they want when they want me to do it. And I don’t mind doing that, we had an amazing time down in Charleston,” he told Fox News Digital.

The 53-year-old added, “Only for her, her sister, her mom, will I go into a store like that.”

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More in line with his own taste, Wahlberg continues to expand his own brand, Municipal, which just opened its Pro Shop on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, California.

“Everything that we do is aspirational. It doesn’t matter where you come from, where you start, there isn’t anything you can’t accomplish if you’re willing to do the work. It’s how I live my life every day. Everyone who’s a part of Municipal …for us, it’s all about the dream, the plan and the hustle, making things happen,” he said of the brand.

WATCH: MARK WAHLBERG REVEALS ONE THING HE’LL ONLY DO FOR THE WOMEN IN HIS FAMILY

Municipal was co-founded in 2019 by Wahlberg and Harry Arnett.

Arnett told Fox News Digital, “I mean, this has been 15 years in the making. The very first time that Mark and I ever met, we started talking about the need to do a brand that was going to totally change the game with fashion, cool-factor style, but also the stuff you just wear everywhere.”

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He continued, joking that he and the noted fitness devotee “have very similar lifestyles,” adding, “But in a weird way, Mark’s constantly multitasking, in the gym, outside of the gym, everywhere you go, stuff that goes seamlessly and performs better than anything else, and that was kind of our dream for Municipal. And here we are 15 years later, standing in the Municipal store, it’s pretty surreal.”

Wahlberg explained that the goal for the brand is simple, “To create the most amazing athleisure brand on the planet for the everyman. … We want to create something that is very, very special. If you’re going to spend a little extra money, you’re going to spend it on quality. And everything that we do is quality, first, second and third.” 

He’s also dedicated to giving back to the community through the brand, revealing they have plans for golf courses and basketball courts, among other projects.

“When we build our first Municipal golf course, you know who’s going to get a free membership or access to the club and to the fitness component of it? All the people that work for the city and the state and work for municipalities, people who serve their community, it’s always about giving back. Those are the real heroes,” he said.

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The devout Catholic marked the opening of the store with a blessing by a priest, who told the crowd, “Mark has been my great friend for many years. I’m so grateful for him, thank you very much.”

Wahlberg had Diocese of Orange Christ Cathedral Bishop Kevin W. Vann bless his recently opened restaurant, Flecha, as well. 

WATCH: MARK WAHLBERG REVEALS NEW PLANS FOR HIS CLOTHING BRAND TO GIVE BACK

Wahlberg told Fox News Digital at the grand opening in June that he credits his success to, “my faith and my family and just finding good balance. But I have to attribute all my success to my faith.”

The Boston-born and raised star shares his Catholic faith with his upcoming co-star Mel Gibson.

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The pair stars in the new film “Flight Risk,” and Wahlberg plays a wilderness pilot who becomes a crazed hit man.

Wahlberg said he has no intention of taking charge in the air but is excited for the challenge presented by the role.

“I’m not interested in being a pilot. I don’t like flying at all, but I was very interested in playing a villain again,” he said. “I hadn’t done that since ‘Fear’ 30 years ago.”

In “Fear,” Wahlberg played a young Reese Witherspoon’s obsessive and abusive boyfriend, who terrorizes her and her family once she rejects him. 

“To be able to go back there and play somebody who is [a villain] … it’s an amazing character. I think people are going to be shocked when they see the movie. It’s going to be a good one this summer.”

Trans non-binary runner is headed to Olympics after breaking record at trials

Nikki Hiltz, a biological female who identifies as transgender non-binary, qualified for the U.S. Olympic team on Sunday after winning the women’s 1,500-meter race at the trials over the weekend.

Hiltz set the meet record with their run. Hiltz clocked in at 3 minutes and 55.53 seconds, breaking the mark set by Elle St. Pierre in 2021. Hiltz also won the 1,500-meter race at the 2023 U.S. Championships.

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“I told myself, I’m not going to think about all the love and support (I have) until 100 meters to go,’” Hiltz said, via Runner’s World. “And then, at that moment, you can let it all fill you up and push you to the finish line.’ That’s exactly what I did, and I think that’s what brought me home.”

Hiltz also noted that it was the last day of Pride month.

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“I literally can’t believe it. I mean, this is bigger than me,” Hiltz said in an interview with NBC Sports. “It’s the last day of Pride month. I wanted to run this one for my community, and yeah, all the LGBTQ folks. You guys brought me home that last hundred [meters]. I could just feel the love and support.”

Hiltz continued their celebration on Monday.

“Woke up an Olympian,” they said.

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Hiltz raced collegiately at Oregon and Arkansas in the mid-2000 and was an All-American in 2018. Hiltz won a silver medal in the 2024 World Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, and a gold in the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Woman awarded major payday after being fired for refusing COVID-19 vaccine requirement

A Tennessee woman who was fired from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) for refusing to comply with its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for employees has received a settlement worth nearly $700,000.

A federal jury found that Tanja Benton “proved by a preponderance of the evidence” that her decision to refuse the vaccine was based on a “sincerely held religious belief,” according to the settlement obtained by WTVC.

For a total of over $687,000, the jury awarded Benton more than $177,000 in back pay, $10,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages.

Benton, who worked at BCBST from 2005 through November 2022 primarily as a bio statistical research scientist, said in her lawsuit that her job did not include regular contact with people, WTVC reported. She said she only interacted with 10 to 12 clients each year and sometimes those occasional interactions were not in person.

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The lawsuit also noted that Benton never had contact with patients as part of her job.

Benton said she worked from home for a year and a half during the pandemic, and didn’t have any complaints until BCBST announced employee vaccine requirements.

She refused to get the vaccine, purporting in her lawsuit that she “firmly believes, based upon personal research, that all COVID-19 vaccines are derived from aborted fetus cell lines.” Benton said she “cannot in good conscience” receive the vaccine because it “would not only defile her body but also anger and dishonor God.”

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Following BCBST’s announcement of a vaccine requirement, Benton submitted a request for a religious exemption, but the company denied it and told her she could not keep her job unless she complied.

Benton appealed and explained she did not come into contact with people at her job, but was allegedly told there are no exceptions for anyone with her job title. It was also suggested that she start looking for another job, according to the lawsuit.

BCBST ultimately fired Benton, which led her to file the federal lawsuit.

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“The vaccine requirement was the best decision for the health and safety of our employees and members – some of whom are the most vulnerable in the state – and our communities,” BCBST previously told WTVC. “We appreciate our former employees’ service to our members and communities throughout their time with BlueCross.”

Aaron Rodgers’ wherabouts revealed after unexcused Jets minicamp absence

The New York Jets had a glaring hole in their mandatory minicamp roster, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not present before the team broke for their summer rest period prior to training camp. 

Jets head coach Robert Saleh noted that Rodgers let the team know that he was not going to make it to minicamp, but it still went down as an unexcused absence. 

Well, according to SNY TV, that absence was a pre-planned trip to Egypt. 

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SNY added that Rodgers had planned the trip during his Achilles injury recovery. 

The report goes on to say the Jets were made aware of Rodgers’ trip when minicamp dates were announced for June 11 and 12. However, despite the unexcused absence, SNY reported the Jets are not concerned that this will impact Rodgers heading into camp. 

Rodgers was not absent for the entire offseason workout program for the Jets, as he was present for the team’s Phase 1 of voluntary workouts. While he did miss a week of Phase 2, Rodgers was present for every organized team activity. 

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Despite Rodgers being there with his Jets teammates during the offseason, some critiqued his absence from the mandatory minicamp, including legendary New England Patriot Julian Edelman. 

“I think it’s a bad look for your leader, for whatever reason, to go and miss an unexcused absence,” Edelman said. 

“I was with Tom Brady in his 25th year or 23rd year, and he started missing OTAs here and there, but he never missed a mandatory minicamp. I just thought it was a bad look.”

At that time, no one knew what Rodgers’ trip was, but considering his public acknowledgment of various retreats and ayahuasca usage, fans and sports personalities alike were making their assumptions. 

However, Saleh and GM Joe Douglas did not show much qualm with this absence, especially considering Rodgers appearing throughout the summer to work with his team. 

Rodgers’ debut for the Jets last season was a roller coaster, as a sold-out MetLife Stadium was in a frenzy with him running onto the turf with an American flag on “Monday Night Football.” However, just four snaps into his opening drive, Rodgers tore his Achilles, ending his season just as it was getting started. 

The Jets have seen Rodgers recover well since that moment last September, and they are confident he will be ready for Week 1. 

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Meanwhile, the Jets seem to be more worried about Haason Reddick, the edge rusher they traded for this offseason who is holding out due to a contract dispute. 

‘Rust’ armorer serving sentence makes ‘bombshell’ accusation before Alec Baldwin trial

Hannah Gutierrez Reed is requesting immediate release from prison as the “Rust” armorer prepares to seek a new trial.

Gutierrez Reed’s lawyer accused the prosecution of withholding “bombshell exculpatory evidence,” which would have led to a “fundamentally different trial and likely a different outcome,” according to court documents filed June 27 and obtained by Fox News Digital.

The armorer’s team claimed the state did not disclose a report that found “unexplained toolmarks on critical surfaces of the trigger and sear” of the Pietta 45 Colt revolver replica used on the Western film set. Gutierrez Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, pointed out that the marks were not “the result of the damage incurred during the FBI’s impact testing.” The marks also “do not appear to be original manufacturing marks or use and abuse toolmarks based on [their] irregular orientation,” according to the report.

The state “buried this information” and it was “never disclosed” to Gutierrez Reed or her legal team, Bowles wrote.

ALEC BALDWIN’S ‘RUST’ ARMORER SENTENCED TO MAXIMUM TIME IN FATAL ON-SET SHOOTING

Additionally, Bowles claimed the state then “called the expert at trial and sat idly by as he perjured himself during cross-examination.”

The report showing the “unexplained” toolmarks would likely have “bolstered” Gutierrez Reed’s defense, according to the court documents.

“Ms. Gutierrez Reed’s principal defense theory was that no one had committed a crime and that this was a tragic accident, and if there was any negligence, it was on the part of producers, as found by OSHA,” court docs read. “This defense would have been imminently bolstered by a legally unforeseeable intervening cause – such as a firearm malfunction – that caused Ms. Hutchins’ death.”

Fox News Digital has reached out to special prosecutors in the case for comment.

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Gutierrez Reed was responsible for the firearms on the Western film set where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed on Oct. 21, 2021. Hutchins had been preparing a close-up shot when a gun Alec Baldwin was holding discharged.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer sentenced Gutierrez Reed to 18 months in prison after she was convicted in March.

“I find that what you did constitutes a serious, violent offense,” Sommer said after handing down the sentence. “It was committed in a physically violent manner. A fatal gunshot done with your recklessness in the face of knowledge that your acts were reasonably likely to result in serious harm.”

“You were the armorer, the one that’s to be between a safe weapon and a weapon that could kill someone. You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon. But for you, Mrs. Hutchins would be alive, a husband would have his partner and a little boy would have his mother. Please take her.”

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Gutierrez Reed’s trial, which began Feb. 21, saw testimony from weapons experts, FBI and Santa Fe County authorities, and crew members who witnessed the fatal shooting. The prosecution largely focused on Gutierrez Reed’s behavior as an armorer, alleging she didn’t do her job correctly.

“Hannah Gutierrez knew that Baldwin was loose. She knew it,” special prosecutor Kari Morrissey said during closing arguments. “She didn’t do anything about it, even though it was her job. It was her job. It is her job to say to an A-list actor, if, in fact, that’s what you want to call him, ‘Hey, you can’t behave that way with those firearms.’ That is her job. That is what they pay her for. That is the job that she applied for. That is the job that she accepted.”

Gutierrez Reed’s legal team had told the jury that the prosecution hadn’t presented enough evidence to convict the armorer of involuntary manslaughter.

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Costco agrees to $2M payout in class action lawsuit — and you could get a piece of it

People who purchased Kirkland Signature Moist Flushable Wipes from Costco in the past may be eligible for a piece of a $2 million class action lawsuit settlement.

The payments are for consumers who purchased the wipes between July 1, 2011, and May 31, 2017, according to Top Class Actions. 

Costco has not admitted any wrongdoing, the legal news website states. However, the company has agreed to pay $2 million to “resolve the false advertising class action lawsuit.”

“The plaintiffs claim flushing them caused damage to pipes, septic systems, sewage lines and other plumbing,” Top Class Actions website reads. “Consumers argue they would not have purchased the wipes if they knew they were not truly flushable as advertised.”

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Class members can receive $1.30 per purchased product, with a minimum payment of $7.50 and a maximum payment of $55.90, which equates to 43 products. Proof of purchase is not required to receive payment, and the deadline to submit a valid claim must be made on this website by Aug. 9. 

Alexander Kraus, a maintenance worker for Kenosha Water Utility, does not believe there is such a thing as a “flushable” wipe, considering how well intact they are when he encounters them in sewers.

COSTCO-LOVING MAN CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY LOVED ONES IN STORE FOR HIS SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY

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COST COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP. 845.67 -4.32 -0.51%

“They cling onto any small deposits or points where tree roots make their way into the sewer laterals,” he told FOX Business. “It’s just a matter of time before a backup occurs, especially from apartment complexes.”

He said most work clearing backups due to wipes can be done by flushing the pipe, which is about an hour job, but the work is a “stop gap until it clogs up, and we’re out to do it all over again.”

Sometimes, Kraus said, workers need to dig up and repair the sewer lateral for replacement, which is a full eight-hour project. 

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Costco did not immediately respond for comment, but the wholesale retailer is still selling flushable wipes. Photographs of the product on its website show packaging that states, “Never flush more than one wipe at a time.” 

VP Harris caught ‘lying’ about Trump’s position, Elon Musk immediately crushes her for it

X owner Elon Musk ripped Vice President Kamala Harris for “lying” on Monday about former President Trump’s position on a national abortion ban. 

Harris declared in a post on Musk’s site that “Donald Trump would ban abortion nationwide.” She added, “President @JoeBiden and I will do everything in our power to stop him and restore women’s reproductive freedom.”

The post was hit with a rejoinder from Community Notes, the platform’s way for readers to offer context to messages viewed as false or lacking context. In this case, users posted information from CNN, BBC, The Associated Press, The New York Times, and Trump’s own Truth Social account that went against Harris’ claim. 

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Trump has said abortion limits should be left to the states, and he recently posted a video on Truth Social detailing his position. 

“My view is now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both. And whatever they decide must be the law of the land — in this case, the law of the state,” Trump said. 

The AP report used to fact-check Harris was bluntly headlined, “Trump declines to endorse a national abortion ban. He says limits should be left to the states.”

Musk scolded Harris for “lying” on his social media platform. 

“When will politicians, or at least the intern who runs their account, learn that lying on this platform doesn’t work anymore?” Musk asked.

During CNN’s Presidential Debate last week, Trump was asked about his stance on abortion, and whether he would block abortion medication for women. 

“First of all, the Supreme Court just approved the abortion pill and I agree with their decision to have done that, and I will not block it,” Trump said, referring to mifepristone. 

Trump applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022 and return the decision on abortion access to the states. The landmark Dobbs decision did not make abortion illegal nationally but rather found that abortion was not a right guaranteed by the Constitution.

“I put three great Supreme Court justices on the court and they happened to vote in favor of killing Roe v. Wade and moving it back to the states. This is something that everybody wanted,” Trump said. “Now the states are working it out.” 

TRUMP SAYS HE ‘WILL NEVER ADVOCATE IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON BIRTH CONTROL’ OR OTHER CONTRACEPTIVES

Trump came in for criticism for claiming the decision was something “everyone wanted.” Polls have consistently shown a majority of Americans want abortion to be legal in some aspect, while differing as to how far into a pregnancy it should be.

A Gallup survey last year found 61 percent of Americans think overturning Roe was a “bad thing.”

Trump said every state is “making their own decisions right now.” 

“They’re all making their own decisions right now and right now the states control it,” Trump said. “That’s the vote of the people.” 

But Trump maintained that, like former President Ronald Reagan, he believes in “exceptions.” 

“I believe in the exceptions. I am a person that believes, and frankly, I think it is important to believe in the exceptions,” Trump said. “Some people, you have to follow your heart, some people don’t believe in that. But I believe in the exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. I think it’s very important.” 

The Biden campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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