When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, he promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who were certain to overturn Roe v. Wade. And he did just that.
More than anyone in Republican politics, Trump reshaped the court so that the landmark abortion rights ruling was bound to fall. Yet the former president, always eager to tout his every accomplishment, has been uncharacteristically quiet about his own decisive role.
His silence may be evidence of his changed political fortunes and the extent to which he’s commandeered the party. In 2016, Trump faced a sprawling primary field and doubts about whether he even opposed abortion. He needed to reassure a skeptical GOP electorate that he would be a reliable ally.
But looking ahead to the 2024 GOP primary, Trump is a more formidable candidate. Polling shows him comfortably atop the potential field. If he decides to run again, he’d likely win. So he no longer needs to court anti-abortion voters who’ve already seen him deliver. They’re locked in.
“I don’t think that the Supreme Court decision will be the determinative factor of people supporting Trump in the primary if he chooses to run,” said Corey Lewandowski, a former campaign manager to the former president and a longtime Trump confidant. “What we’re going to see is if Donald Trump runs again, he’s going to be the Republican nominee.”