Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is picking a fight with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) on abortion.
At an event in New Hampshire on Monday, Clinton deflected from a question on GOP candidate Donald Trump. She instead took aim at Rubio over his recent declaration that he does not support abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk.
“When one of their major candidates — a much younger man, the senator from Florida — says there should be no exceptions for rape and incest, that is as offensive and as troubling a comment as you can hear from a major candidate running for the presidency,” Clinton said at the event, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
“So the language may be more colourful and more offensive, but the thinking, the attitude toward women is very much the same. It is just delivered in a different package.”
Rubio is among several Republican presidential candidates — including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — who oppose abortion in all circumstances.
In an interview on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Rubio suggested that survivors could use over-the-counter morning-after pills, “not to mention medical treatment that’s now available immediately after the assault.” He did not, however, present a solution for survivors who do not immediately report being raped or immediately act to prevent a potential pregnancy after being raped.
Rubio responded to Clinton’s attack on Monday by calling her “radical” on abortion.
“Hillary Clinton supports abortion even at the stage when an unborn child can feel pain; she has defended partial birth abortions as a ‘fundamental right;’ she opposes requiring parents to be notified that their minor daughter is having an abortion; she supports funding Planned Parenthood even after they have been exposed for their role in selling the organs of unborn children; and she supports using taxpayer money to pay for abortions overseas,” Rubio said in a statement.
“Hillary Clinton holds radical views on abortion that we look forward to exposing in the months to come.”
Clinton has focused the majority of her attacks on Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Rubio over the last several weeks, perhaps indicating that she views the trio as her most likely opponents in next year’s general election.
On Monday, she tried multiple times to link Trump’s widely-criticised comments about Fox News host Megyn Kelly with the Republican Party at large.
Every time one of us asked about Trump, Clinton was eager to pivot to GOP rhetoric broadly — &, particularly, Marco Rubio’s abortion comments.
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) August 10, 2015
It’s unclear whether Clinton’s play to tie Trump’s controversial statements to the Republican Party will work to her benefit — already, most of the GOP candidates have condemned the reality-television star’s comments and asked him to tone down his rhetoric.
Still, Clinton has proven that she will aggressively confront Republican presidential candidates about any perceived misstep on women’s health issues.
Last week, Clinton seized on Bush’s comments that he was “not sure we need a half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” Bush almost immediately apologised, though Clinton has worked the comments into her stump speech.
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