FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio responded to GOP consultant Kellyanne Conway’s abortion advice by urging lawmakers to expose Democratic extremism.

Last week, Conway urged Republicans to stop highlighting that their Democratic opponents support unfettered abortions of unborn babies, though Democratic Party leaders and most Democratic politicians have repeatedly refused to specify any protections for the unborn that they would support.

Her advice is a marked shift from what the pro-life movement has focused on as of late—prominent pro-life groups, such as Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, encourage Republicans to highlight Democratic extremism on abortion.

Rubio had similarly urged Republicans, in a January memo first reported by The Daily Signal, to engage a three-pronged approach: to fight for a pro-family agenda, to highlight Democratic extremism on the issue, and to tell the truth about the horrors of abortion.

He also emphasized to his colleagues that Republicans have the moral high ground on the issue, one that deals with the killing of an unborn child.

“Pro-lifers should recall that protecting unborn human beings is the moral center and purpose of our movement—and we cannot be shy about saying so,” he noted. “No pro-life strategy deserves the name without advocating just limits on abortion.”

On Tuesday, Rubio reiterated this stance.

“Protecting life is the moral center and purpose for the pro-life movement,” the Florida Republican told The Daily Signal.

“We should not shy away from exposing the extremism of Democratic lawmakers and abortion advocates, who believe it should be legal to kill babies until the moment of birth,” the senator added.

Conway had laid out an abortion-related political strategy during Politico’s Health Care Summit last week, where she also touched on her support for both TikTok and in vitro fertilization.

Conway emphasized that she is “100% pro-life” and encouraged Democratic lawmakers and commentators to “stop being science-deniers” and “stop pretending you don’t know what you see on a sonogram.” She pointed out that Americans, when polled more granularly on abortion, are both supportive of abortion exceptions and supportive of protecting unborn babies that can feel pain.

But Conway, who formerly served as Donald Trump’s senior adviser, also said that she does not encourage Republicans to point out that their opponents support abortion up until birth.

“Notice how I did not say, and counsel clients against saying, ‘Democrats are for abortion up until the moment of birth.’ You know why that’s not the best way to say it?” she asked. “Nobody knows anybody … who is about to give birth and says, ‘You know what? I don’t really like stretch marks. I’m not really ready to have another person in my life. I changed my mind.’ Nobody knows anybody like that.”

Conway then went on to imply that Trump was speaking metaphorically when he said to failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: “If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”

“That’s sort of a metaphor for who is really extreme here, and people reflexively said, ‘Oooh, could that be true?’ And I think it changed a lot of the conversation,” Conway explained.

In a statement to The Daily Signal following publication of this story, Conway accused The Daily Signal of “barking up the wrong tree,” praised Rubio’s efforts exposing abortion extremism, and back-tracked on her suggestion that Trump was speaking metaphorically about born-alive abortions.

“Senator Rubio and I agree on the importance of defending Life and exposing the extremism of pro-abortion Democrats, and have been doing so for decades,” Conway said. “His leadership on the issue, including on the debate stage against a female Democrat in 2022, is part of why I recommended him in a recent NYT oped (LINK) to be on President Trump’s short list for Vice President.”

“President Trump spoke unequivocally, not metaphorically, leading  the way for the professional politicians who had shied away from saying it,” Conway added. “We changed the conversation and gave courage to others to speak out against the no-limits, no-shame Democrats. Our Administration lodged significant, historic gains for Life.”

She also explained:

“Our pre-Dobbs polling in February 2022 showed that a Republican who opposes abortion with the three exceptions beats a Democrat who support allowing abortion ‘for any reason, up until the moment of birth’ (56% – 34%). I’ve used the phrase ‘up until the moment of birth’ dozens of times publicly and privately. Yet, we have found that alone has not and will not move hearts and minds and expand a culture of Life. All the lesser-included offenses, e.g., sex-selection abortion, taxpayer-funded abortion, fetal pain abortion, late-term abortion, are widely unknown and deeply unacceptable to a majority of Americans. We are actively encouraging leaders to add these facts to their “all f the above are onerous” appeal, finish their sentences and not limit themselves to  ‘up to the moment of birth.'”

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