Trump Camp: 2020 Dems' Silence on Abortionist is 'Deafening'
Pete Buttigieg didn’t want to talk about it, but he finally opened up.
After authorities discovered more than 2,000 fetal remains, each carefully and medically preserved, in the Illinois home of the late Indiana abortionist Ulrich “George” Klopfer, the mayor from South Bend, Ind., didn’t say a word. Five days later, when confronted on camera (and after failing to respond to repeated requests for comment from RealClearPolitics), the presidential candidate briefly discussed the doctor who operated a clinic in his city for decades.
“Like everyone, I find that news out of Illinois extremely disturbing, and I think it’s important that it be fully investigated,” Buttigieg told a local camera crew, before noting that he hopes the case “doesn't get caught up in politics.”
While each of the Democratic candidates offered an opinion on gun violence at the last primary debate, Buttigieg is the only one so far to publicly address the fetuses found last week in Klopfer’s home. Despite his hope that the situation remains apolitical, the Trump campaign saw reason to put the matter in context.
“The silence from the 2020 Democrats on the finding of 2,000 fetal remains in the home of abortionist George Klopfer is deafening,” Trump National Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told RCP.
Particularly galling to the Trump team is that Democrats pounced on a flawed story about Brett Kavanaugh to call for the Supreme Court justice’s impeachment, but stayed silent on the Klopfer finding, which was covered in newspapers around the country.
“In the immediate aftermath of a fake New York Times hit piece on Justice Kavanaugh, the 2020 Democrats found the time to immediately speak out and fan the flames of a story later delegitimized by its own authors,” McEnany argued. “And yet the 2020 Democrats have not made time to condemn the gruesome hoarding of the remains of innocent children.”
The story about Kavanaugh, alleging sexual misconduct during his time at Yale, eventually required an editors’ note from the Times. The note clarified that the alleged victim in the story, a female student at the time, “declined to be interviewed and friends say she does not recall the episode.” But the retraction came a day after publication and after presidential hopefuls pounced upon it.
At least six candidates — Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, Buttigieg and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke -- called for impeaching the newest justice. None have backed down.
Only Buttigieg has called for an investigation into Klopfer so far, and his campaign declined to tell RCP whether he’d partner with Republicans, such as local congresswoman Rep. Jacki Walorski, in that effort.
This is more evidence, the Trump camp asserted, that Democrats would rather turn away from the issue than deviate from their pro-abortion positions.
“Perhaps we should not be surprised. After all, these same Democrats have blocked Keep Alive bills in the Senate to keep babies alive outside of the womb and failed to condemn the Democrat Governor of Virginia who vocally advocated for infanticide,” McEnany continued.
The governor in question is Ralph Northam, whom critics accused of backing infanticide earlier this year when discussing a state bill allowing abortion in some instances even during delivery.
Trump made the Northam comments a highlight of his last State of the Union address, and the thrice-married president has, against expectations, made his White House the most stridently anti-abortion administration in decades.
Whether because of conviction or through calculation, Trump won over many evangelicals in the 2016 general election by attacking Hillary Clinton over her support for abortion rights. The Trump campaign clearly wants a repeat of that dynamic.
“This is not a pro-life, pro-choice matter,” McEnany told RCP. “It is about treating the most vulnerable among us with dignity. 2020 Democrats have failed to stand on the side of human decency and America will take notice.”