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Rep. Adam Kinzinger: In GOP, primary race success may come with 'crueler' view on abortion

WASHINGTON – Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said Sunday that especially in light of this summer’s Supreme Court ruling on abortion, “crueler” Republican candidates with extreme views on pregnancy exceptions have found success at the ballot box.

Noting that it had been “fairly common” to provide for exceptions in abortions, Kinzinger said on NBC News' "Meet the Press," “now you’ve been seeing these Republicans go, 'There is absolutely no exception,’ because somehow in the Republican Party, the crueler you are, the more likely you are to win a primary.”

Kinzinger said the emergence of abortion as a campaign issue since the Dobbs ruling has “changed the complexion of the midterms some.”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds a hearing at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2022.

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Kinzinger referenced the campaign website of Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters, which changed in recent days to include a less strident view of abortion, according to reports. Masters’ website, according to CNN and NBC News, previously had said he was “100% pro-life” and said he backed a “federal personhood law.”

Other GOP candidates, such as Doug Mastriano of Pennsylvania, ran primary campaigns that included embracing abortion laws without exception.

But there have been other Republicans who agree with Kinzinger on abortion exceptions and have won a primary race. Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said on NBC's "Meet the Press" earlier in August that the Republican Party should accept legislation that includes exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.

August primaries:Primary fallout: Trump candidates did well in August; how will they fare in November?

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