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Trump suggests 'punishment' for women who get abortions

30 March 2016, 21:18

Wisconsin - Women who get abortions should receive "some form of punishment," Republican front-runner Donald Trump said Wednesday, without indicating specifically what the punishment should be.

The comments came in a heated exchange with MSNBC's Chris Matthews during the taping of a town hall in Wisconsin, which holds its primary next week.

"There has to be some form of punishment," Trump told Matthews in the exchange over whether abortion should be banned.

Pressed by Matthews on the nature of that punishment, Trump responded: "I haven't determined what the punishment should be."

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton quickly responded on Twitter, noting Trump's comments and adding, "Just when you thought it couldn't get worse. Horrific and telling."

Also read: Obama: Stigmatising Muslims 'plays into hands' of jihadists

Trump also described himself as "pro-life with three exceptions," but didn't provide details as to what those exceptions should be.

The New York billionaire arrived in Wisconsin fending off another controversy. His campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with misdemeanor battery in Florida on Tuesday over an altercation with a female reporter earlier this month.

Wisconsin's April 5 primary looks pivotal in the Republican race. If Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wins, it would narrow Trump's already tight path to the nomination and raise the prospect of a contested party convention. Delegates there might turn to other candidates if the billionaire fails to win on the first ballot.

Cruz has picked up support from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a former Republican presidential contender.

Trump heads into Wisconsin with 739 delegates to Cruz's 465. Kasich lags behind with 143. Wisconsin has 42 Republican delegates, with 18 going to the statewide winner and 24 divided among the winners in each of the state's eight congressional districts

Trump would need 1,237 delegates by the end of the primary season to capture the nomination and avoid a contested convention.

All three Republican candidates now say they aren't committing to supporting whomever the party chooses as its nominee for the November election.

Trump on Tuesday said he was rescinding his promise because "I have been treated very unfairly," and he listed the party establishment among those he believes have wronged him. On ABC on Wednesday, he added, "I only want the people to support me. I will take my chances with the people."

Cruz said if Trump were the nominee, that would hand the election to Clinton.

Based on primaries and caucuses to date, Clinton has 1,243 delegates to rival Bernie Sanders' 975. Including superdelegates, party leaders who are free to support any candidate, Clinton has 1,712 delegates to Sanders' 1,004, leaving her shy of the 2,383 it takes to win the nomination.

- AP


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