Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Sanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan MORE (I-Vt.) on Friday criticized Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden sends 'best wishes' to Clinton following hospitalization The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle MORE for twisting his words on abortion.
“What Secretary Clinton did is take things out of context,” he said of the former secretary of State on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Sanders was reacting to a comment from Clinton responding to his own criticism of Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE.
Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner, sparked outrage on Wednesday by suggesting that women would deserve punishment for getting an abortion if the procedure were illegal. Sanders quickly blasted Trump’s remarks as “shameful,” adding that they distracted from “a serious discussion about the serious issues facing America."
Clinton on Thursday suggested that Sanders’s response means he is dismissive of the abortion rights battle.
“To me, this is a serious issue,” she said in Purchase, N.Y., according to ABC News. "And it’s a very serious discussion.
“Look, I know Senator Sanders supports a woman’s right to choose, but I also know Planned Parenthood America and NARAL endorsed me because I have led on this issue,” Clinton added, referencing prominent abortion rights organizations. "I have fought on this issue. And I know, given what’s happening in states across our country, we need a president who is passionate about this.”
In response to Cliknton, Sanders on Friday said he did believe it was a serious issue.
"I’ve been spending my entire political life fighting for the right of a woman to control her own body. I have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record," he said. “If elected president, not only will I continue to defend a woman’s right to choose, I will take on those Republican governors all over this country who trying to restrict or take away that right.”
Actress Rosario Dawson, a Sanders supporter, slammed Clinton’s suggestion that Sanders is not fully committed on the issue Thursday evening.
“Today I heard some obfuscating of facts,” she said in New York. "Shame on you, Hillary.”
Trump, meanwhile, has dialed back his initial comments, arguing he would only punish doctors if abortion is once again outlawed.