Dems slam Trump on abortion as Biden increasingly focuses on possible 2024 rematch
The party is putting up Iowa billboards as Republicans gather to campaign there.
In another sign that Democrats are focusing some of their attacks on former President Donald Trump one year out from the 2024 race, the Democratic National Committee is trying to call out Trump's record on abortion ahead of his visit to campaign in Iowa along with other GOP candidates.
The billboards, paid for by the Democratic National Committee, will run around the Des Moines area on Friday and Saturday and read "Trump's America 2025: Impose a National Abortion Ban."
The DNC will also run another billboard grouping Republican primary candidates Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy and Nikki Haley -- all of whom support abortion restrictions of various kinds, though only DeSantis embraces a national ban -- with the banner "MAGA's America 2025: Extreme Abortion Bans."
"It's important that voters know what Donald Trump and members of the MAGA GOP field have promised on the campaign trail: if elected, they'll push to pass extreme abortion bans and rip away reproductive freedom from women across the country," DNC spokeswoman Sarafina Chitika told ABC News.
Trump has waffled on whether he'd support a federal abortion ban, saying in September, "It could be state or it could be federal. I don't frankly care," though he added it was "probably better" at the state level. He also previously said at a Faith & Freedom convention that there was a "vital role" for the federal government on abortion.
On the campaign trail, Trump often touts how his naming three conservatives justices to the Supreme Court led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade's abortion access protections as well as run ads on the issue.
Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement responding to the billboards: "Joe Biden doesn’t know where he is or what’s going on for most of the day." He added, "This is another desperate attempt by a flailing campaign who can't even keep their own coalition together."
Ramaswamy's campaign responded to the planned billboards with this comment: "We never turn down free advertising."
The Iowa billboard campaign is part of a larger effort by Biden's reelection strategy to ramp up attacks on Trump and other Republicans, seeking to contrast them with Biden on issues like abortion, infrastructure and immigration, at the same time that polls show the public broadly disapproves of Biden and Trump is hypothetically running ahead of him in some swing states.
Biden has stepped up his direct criticism of Trump in recent weeks as he gears up for their potential rematch in 2024.
"Now Trump's running for president bragging about how he killed Roe v. Wade, quote. But he's trying to change that now too, you know. Now let's be absolutely clear what Trump's bragging about. The only reason there is an abortion ban in America is because of Donald Trump," Biden said at a fundraiser on Tuesday night in San Francisco.
Biden's messaging on Trump comes in the wake of internal polling from progressive-aligned groups that, these groups say, shows Biden is in trouble if he doesn't make more pointed attacks on Republicans.
"The only reason that fundamental [abortion] right was stripped away from American people for the first time in American history is because of Donald Trump. And just as all his Republican friends have found out about the power of women in America, Donald Trump is about to find out about the power of women," Biden said Tuesday in what's becoming a stump line.
Republicans have struggled to navigate talking about abortion after the Supreme Court's 2022 decision striking down Roe, with some presidential candidates saying they'd support a 15-week federal ban while others dodge the question by saying they don't think it would pass through Congress.
Voters have repeatedly supported abortion rights in elections last year and this year; in some battlegrounds, like Michigan, exit polling showed abortion access was a major issue.
Democrats have credited their support for abortion rights with helping aid those wins, including last week in Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia -- as they argue the issue is indirectly on the ballot for 2024.
"Voters have repeatedly rejected their radical anti-abortion agenda at the ballot box, but Trump and his MAGA minions are still ramping up their crusade against women's right to make their own health care decisions - and Americans will hold them accountable yet again in 2024," said Chitika.
ABC News' Kendall Ross contributed to this report.