In swing states, numerous Democratic midterms candidates have been hammering their GOP rivals relentlessly over the abortion issue. But when GOP strategist Matt Gorman was part of a panel discussion of MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning, September 11, he insisted that abortion wasn’t a high priority for female voters — a claim that inspired blowback from others on the panel as well as from a long list of Twitter users.
Gorman, former communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd and fellow panelists — who included former Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill and PBS’ Yamiche Alcindor — “I don’t think it’s an issue in the 2022 elections at all. I mean, I talk to Republicans every day who see these internal polls; it is not in the top four of issues.”
Alcindor disagreed, interjecting, “I can just say that as someone who has been out on the campaign trail, even if you ask a voter right now about health care or about the state of democracy, abortion comes up 90 percent of the time. And to say it’s not issue, I think, is very interesting to hear because just as someone who’s out there reporting, abortion is absolutely an issue, along with inflation.”
McCaskill, who served in the U.S. Senate from Missouri, was even more forceful in her comments and told the panel, “I hope Matt keeps saying that everywhere he goes: that abortion really isn’t an issue in this election. I think it is exactly what infuriates women when they hear that…. If you say to a woman, we are now in your state — like they are in my state— forcing incest victims to give birth. When you are having doctors having to make life and death decisions around whether they go to prison or whether they take care of their patient, that is motivating voters. And it will in November.”
When University of Alabama law professor and former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance tweeted that “Meet the Press” segment, it didn’t take long for Twitter users to lambast Gorman for his comments. Twitter user Louis R. Bridgeman, @LouisRBridgema3, posted, “@mattsgorman mansplaining to women what is obvious to everyone. he's a twit who knows squat and a patriarchal tw*t.”
Rachel Bitecofer contradicted Gorman with actual data, tweeting a Detroit News poll showing that that abortion is at the top of the list of issues motivating Michigan voters. “The Roe data is clear,” Bitecofer posted.
Twitter user Sachi Grace, @sachigracen, slammed Gorman as “tone deaf,” writing, “Abortion is not in the top four of *men's* issues. While women still have the right to vote, we'll soon let you know our top issue, @mattsgorman. You're tone-deaf, even for a man.”
George Hahn slammed Republicans for a variety of issues, writing, “Roe v Wade is gone because of Republicans. Marriage equality & gay rights are being threatened because of Republicans. Our Capitol was attacked because of Republicans. We have to register and #VoteBlue like never before - to save this country - because of Republicans.”
Twitter user @mistergizmo posted, “As a white man in my dotage, abortion is the primary reason for my vote this year, for two reasons: — The abortion issue in itself. The GOP is finally getting its comeuppance for its extremist policies. — To send a msg to SCOTUS about its illegitimacy, despite Roberts’ denial.”
Another Twitter user, Timothy Johnson, @buzzerj, warned, “If reproductive rights can be upended by the Court, what about interracial marriage, same sex marriage or availability of contraceptives? Who would choose to have less rights today than yesterday? And who among us would seek to deprive others their rights by government edict?”
@TNendzone wrote, “They keep trying to pretend it’s not an issue so they can push their own messaging about what this election is about, but they’re the ones who made it such an urgent issue. Especially when it was so clear so many of them don’t even give a damn about victims of rape and incest.”