Politico suggests Graham abortion bill saved Biden from day of embarrassment over economy

By | September 14, 2022

A Tuesday piece from Politico suggested that Sen. Lindsey Graham’s, R-S.C., 15 week abortion ban bill offered Democrats a “political lifeline” on a day when President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act celebration was marred by a plunging Dow caused by bad inflation numbers.

According to Politico, many observed that Republicans, by changing the subject of the day with the abortion bill, helped save Democrats from having to defend a sinking economy. 

“A higher-than-expected inflation report was threatening to black out President Joe Biden’s big celebration Tuesday of party-line legislation designed to bring down prices. The subsequent plunge of markets seemed to ensure a painful head-meets-wall day inside the White House,” the Politico report began. “And then, Sen. Lindsey Graham offered an unexpected soft landing. The South Carolina Republican’s 15-week national abortion ban immediately diverted and divided Republicans and left Biden’s aides shocked at the political lifeline they’d just been handed.”

The bill, called the “Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act,” comes into play as Democrats think abortion will be a winning issue for them in the midterms. 

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The piece suggested that many Biden supporters took the opportunity to change the conversation from skyrocketing inflation to condemning anti-abortion Republicans.

“Administration officials and presidential allies — including some anxious about appearing jubilant on a day when markets were crashing — leaned hard into the split screen,” the piece recounted. “Denouncing Graham’s bill in increasingly harsh terms while Graham’s Republican colleagues pronounced themselves downright vexed over his decision to offer up a plan more conservative than his previous proposals.”

Politico claimed that many Biden allies have been joking that Graham was working for the Democratic Party.

“So obvious was the apparent ill-timing of the bill’s introduction that one White House aide said a Republican lobbyist friend joked that Graham appeared to be working for the Biden administration,” Politico claimed. “Other aides suggested that the comments continued a Democratic winning streak that started mid-summer and began to imagine holding onto both houses of Congress.”

The piece quoted another unnamed Democratic official who reportedly told the outlet, “Dems might need to send gift baskets and champagne to Graham and other Republicans for their selfless act of service today.” 

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The piece also warned that Graham’s legislation would have massive implications for the United States.

“The immediate response to Graham’s legislation, which would not just establish a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy but also allow states to keep and pass more restrictive laws, was a microcosm of the way abortion politics has wholly upended the midterm sprint,” Politico summarized. 

Graham’s bill limits abortion far later than recent state “heartbeat bills” and includes several exceptions for women who have been victims of rape, incest, or when her life is in danger.

The piece did not shy away from describing how precarious the day initially appeared for Biden and his administration.

“It’s not as if the images out of the White House were pristine. Live TV coverage of Biden’s speech was bracketed by large red arrows signifying the stock market’s downward trajectory,” the article explained. “The more Biden talked about how the legislation would help the economy, the more the markets tumbled. By the closing bell, Wall Street had suffered its worst day since June 2020, with the Dow dropping more than 1,250 points.”