“Because he’s the guy with the six-week abortion ban, so it is the most relevant to his political problems right now,” Reid said during a post-debate panel discussion on the network.
“And his answer was to say: Well, it’s not a problem, because I won a landslide victory in my reelection, like, years before I did the six-week abortion ban,” she added. “It’s irrelevant that you got reelected — they reelected you not thinking you were gonna do a six-week abortion ban!”
Fellow panelist Rachel Maddow said it was a “classic moment of political cowardice.”
“It’s not just lying in your face, and pulling off this sort of timeline switcheroo that makes what he’s saying just plainly false,” she said. “It’s actually bad for his party that he is telling them that something that’s really hurting them is not hurting them.”
DeSantis in April signed into law a bill to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy in Florida.
It was introduced in the state’s Republican-dominated legislature in March; DeSantis was reelected in November.
DeSantis was asked at Wednesday night’s debate about his stance on abortion, given it’s been a losing issue for the party.
“Next year, abortion will likely be on the ballot in Arizona. That is a must-win state,” Fox News’ debate moderator Dana Perino said. “Governor DeSantis, how are you going to win over independent pro-choice voters in Arizona?”
DeSantis replied: “Same way we did in Florida. We won the greatest Republican victory in a governor’s race in the history of the state.”
He also said he “rejects this idea that pro-lifers are to blame for midterm defeats” and called out former President Donald Trump for saying earlier this month that DeSantis’ ban was a “terrible thing.”
He wrapped up by falsely claiming Democrats support abortion “up until the moment of birth,” or “infanticide.”
Watch the panel discussion below on MSNBC.