A conservative Catholic activist who was at Donald Trump’s meeting with Religious Right leaders in New York last week said on Saturday that while he wasn’t convinced of Trump’s sincerity in opposing abortion rights he was confident that Trump will “let our side do exactly what we want to do” on the issue.
Austin Ruse, who through his group C-Fam works to oppose reproductive rights advances at the United Nations, discussed the meeting with fellow conservative Catholic leader Deal Hudson, who was also at the Trump meeting, on Hudson’s program on Ave Maria Radio on Saturday.
Hudson asked Deal what he thought of Ralph Reed and others saying that Trump is “sincerely pro-life, that it’s not something that’s been an add-on for this election.”
“I’m indifferent to his sincerity,” Ruse said, “because I think that at the end of the day, he will do the right thing because it is what we want. And that gets back to constituencies that he wants to please.”
Ruse said that just as he trusts conservative allies to guide him on issues like economic policy that aren’t his area of expertise, “with regard to the life issues,” Trump will “let our side do exactly what we want to do.”
“These are things that he doesn’t care about,” he said, “and therefore he will let our side have what we want. For instance, if a bill comes to his desk to defund Planned Parenthood, he’s not going to shut the government down to avoid it. I think he’ll sign it because he doesn’t care. That’s what I mean, is that he will step aside on things that — now you say and Ralph Reed says that it’s something that he really does care about. That’s even better news. But even if he doesn’t, as long as he lets us have our way, then that’s fine.”
The anti-abortion movement has largely lined up behind Trump thanks in part to his repeated promises to nominate “pro-life” justices to the Supreme Court. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony list and a former Trump critic, is now defending Trump’s anti-abortion bona fides . Troy Newman, the head of the radical group Operation Rescue, came out of the recent meeting with Trump saying that “the general consensus was he’s our man, and we’re going to work for him.”
Hudson also revealed on the program that Trump is planning to announce a Catholic Advisory Board, similar to his Evangelical Advisory Board, which naturally both he and Ruse hoped that they would be on.