2024 presidential contenders weigh in on how Supreme Court leak may impact midterm elections
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EXCLUSIVE: Potential 2024 presidential hopefuls are weighing in on whether the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade will impact the November midterm elections, with some GOP leaders saying it will lead to a red wave, while others are skeptical that it will have a major impact on voters.
A draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issue of abortion to individual states was leaked to Politico on Monday.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Alito wrote in a February draft opinion for the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that the leak will lead to an “utter tsunami” of GOP wins in the upcoming November midterms.
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“I believe, if anything, this will increase the Republican victories in November. I believe Republicans, we’re going to win both the House and the Senate with historic majorities,” said Cruz.
“By any measure, the Joe Biden, left wing agenda has been a disaster. It’s been a disaster for people across Texas and across the country. We have skyrocketing inflation. We have 5,6,7 dollar a gallon gas. We have crime out of control. We have chaos at our southern border. People are angry and frustrated. I believe this election in November is going to be historic. It’s not just going to be a wave. It is going to be a complete and utter tsunami,” Cruz told Fox News Digital in an exclusive statement.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., also views the Supreme Court’s anticipated decision as a rallying point for conservative pro-life voters.
“For decades, pro-life Americans have worked to end one of the darkest chapters in American history, Roe V. Wade. If it is in fact overturned, that incredible victory will galvanize pro-life and conservative voters around the nation,” Cotton told Fox News Digital.
However, some lawmakers are less convinced the Supreme Court’s draft decision is as good for Republicans heading into the midterms, and see it as an opportunity for Democrats to rally their own base.
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Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told Fox News Digital in an interview that she thinks Democrats’ “knee-jerk” reaction to politicize the issue of the leaked draft ahead of the midterms is an effort to “energize their base.”
“I found it very interesting that a knee-jerk reaction of the Democrats was to immediately politicize this and to try to use this to push people to go vote because they did not like what they anticipate will be an action of the court. This is just unprecedented,” Blackburn said, also noting that Democrats use “their cheerleaders in the media” to force a change in policy without going through the appropriate channels.
“Typically what the Democrats do is overreach, and they did that immediately when it came to the leaked opinion. And bear in mind, this is not a final opinion. This is a work in progress. And what they did was to tip their hand to show that they intend to politicize this issue. And it is a way they are intending to energize their base,” continued Blackburn.
Blackburn also said that Republicans going into the midterms must make certain that voters realize that the anticipated Supreme Court decision “does not ban abortion.”
“What we need to do is make certain that people realize this does not ban abortion” ahead of November, said Blackburn.
“What this would do is send the issue of abortion back to the various states. It would allow the states to weigh in on what they want the abortion restrictions to be in their state. And that’s an appropriate discussion to have. But I think when people realize it’s not a ban on abortion, that it is simply giving the state the authority that is theirs to decide how they want to address the issue of abortion in their states with their citizens. This is giving power back to the people with a capital P. That is where the power is to rest,” she said.
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Former President Trump told Fox News Digital Tuesday that he does not think the court’s ultimate decision will have a “tremendous effect” on November’s midterm elections.
“I don’t think it is going to have a tremendous effect,” Trump said in an exclusive interview with Fox News, referring to the midterms. “I will say, I have seen more passion on the right, at least up until this point, I can’t say what is going to happen now.”
He added: “There is passion both ways. It is too early to tell.”
Trump, during his presidency, appointed three conservative associate justices to the Supreme Court: Justice Neil Gorsuch, Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Former Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told Fox News Digital that Republicans will have to “work twice as hard” in the midterms to protect the right to life through elected representatives.
“I’m pro-life because I believe every life is a gift from God. That’s why it’s so important to protect the most basic right there is — a baby’s right to live. We can’t celebrate yet. We need to work twice as hard to make sure the people have the power to protect that right through their elected representatives.”
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News in a statement that in light of the leak “now more than ever” conservative leaders need to be elected in the midterms.
“The Dobbs leak was an egregious attack on the rule of law and a wake up call. There is no limit to Democrat’s efforts to protect the abortion industry, and the media is complicit in this effort. I pray Roe is overturned, but that will be the beginning, not the end of our fight. Joe Biden is already calling for legislation to protect the abortionists. Now more than ever, we need conservative leaders who truly believe in the God-given dignity of the unborn,” said Pompeo.
President Biden on Tuesday reacted saying in a statement that he believes “a woman’s right to choose is fundamental,” and arguing that “basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that [Roe] not be overturned.”
He also said any potential final decision on the case by the high court should push voters “to elect pro-choice officials” during November’s midterm elections.
“And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November,” Biden said in the statement. “At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.”
However, when asked by reporters later Tuesday if the decision would have an effect on the midterms, Biden said: “I haven’t thought that through yet.”
A joint statement on the leaked brief by numerous Democratic campaign arms, including the Democratic National Committee (DNC), states that abortion will be a key campaign issue in the midterms.
“The Republican attacks on abortion access, birth control and women’s health care have dramatically escalated the stakes of the 2022 election. At this moment of crisis, Democrats are standing shoulder to shoulder with millions of Americans in this fight. And in November, we must elect Democrats who will serve as the last lines of defense against the GOP’s assault on our established and fundamental freedoms.
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The Supreme Court in a statement Tuesday acknowledged that “a copy of a draft opinion in a pending case” was published Monday night and the Supreme Court marshal will be investigating the origin of the leak.
“Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court’s confidential deliberative work,” the high court said in a statement. “Although the document described in yesterday’s reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case.”
Former Vice President Pence, an outspoken critic of abortion and pro-life leader, said in a speech ahead of oral arguments in Dobbs that “Nothing has done more to destabilize our society in the last 50 years than legalized abortion on demand.”
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A Pence aide told Fox News Digital Tuesday that he plans to address the topic during a pro-life speech at Carolina Pregnancy Center’s Spring Gala on Thursday in South Carolina. It will be the former vice president’s second trip in a week to South Carolina, a state that holds the first southern primary and votes third in the GOP’s presidential nominating calendar.
Other potential 2024 GOP candidates, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have both said previously they personally oppose abortion, but have not championed the issue or weighed in on the leak. Hogan is the latest potential 2024 presidential contender to speak at the Reagan Library’s speaker series Tuesday.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has raised over $100 million in the 2022 cycle sparking further 2024 speculation, described the leak as a “judicial insurrection.”
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.