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Tipsheet

'Terrible Timing, Terrible Tactics': Jesse Watters Gets Into It With Lindsey Graham Over Abortion Bill

AP photo/ Susan Walsh

Fox News host Jesse Watters challenged South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham about the timing and strategy of his abortion bill during a Wednesday night "Jesse Watters Primetime" interview.

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The bill, introduced Tuesday by Graham and Republican New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith as the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act, would prohibit most nationwide abortions after 15-weeks.

Townhall's Rebecca Downs reported on the proposed specifics:

Under such legislation, the onus is on the provider performing or attempting the abortion, who must determine the gestational age of the unborn child before performing the abortion. There are also exceptions for the life and certain health conditions of the woman, specifically if "in reasonable medical judgment, the abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, but not including psychological or emotional conditions."

While most conservatives agree that protecting life is important, many have taken issue with Republicans giving Democrats something to rally around when inflation, gas prices, supply shortages, and virtually every other domestic issue has them on their heels and lagging behind Republicans in generic congressional polling.

"I don't know what that all was," Watters said before introducing Graham as his guest and after showing footage of President Joe Biden's Rose Garden celebration of Democrats' so-called Inflation Reduction Act. "What were the Republicans doing? On the day inflation roared back, and the market crashed, I thought I'd see Republican senators holding press conferences in front of grocery stores and gas stations, you know, promising to bring prices down if you put them back in charge. But that's not what happened. Instead, Lindsey Graham called a press conference to propose a nationwide abortion ban."

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Thus began a tense back and forth between Watters and Graham.

"There's no bad time to defend the unborn," Graham told Watters, responding to the Fox News host's initial question about timing.

"No one is saying you need to sit on the sidelines, but yesterday wasn’t the day to do that," Watters responded. "Yesterday was the day they lost all momentum when this inflation thing punched them right in the face, and you gave them an out. A lot of people don’t like that. You could have done it on any other day, just like you could have delayed the whole press conference ..."

Graham refused to apologize for "standing up for the unborn," to which Watters acknowledged that most Americans are "against abortion after the first trimester." 

"But you gotta talk tactics, senator," he added. "It's terrible timing, terrible tactics. We could have shoved this down their throat on the day Americans got hammered with the inflation number and the market crashing and now all the media and the Democrats are talking about 'federal abortion ban!' 'federal abortion ban!' You know that's smart politics, right?"

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Graham seemed to ignore Watters' point about the timing while pressing his point about the abortion issue.

"If not now, when? If not me, who?" the senator said, predicting Republicans would "win this issue because we're right."

"Timing is off and timing is everything," Watters concluded. "I'm just talking raw politics, brass tacks."

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