While appearing on ABC's "The View" Thursday, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg dodged and sidestepped several pointed questions about his views on abortion, even refusing to come out against infanticide.
Co-host Meghan McCain challenged the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor repeatedly, citing a radio interview from last September in which Buttigieg justified his support for late-term abortion, saying, "there's a lot of parts of the Bible that talk about how life begins with breath, so even that is something we can interpret differently."
McCain pressed Buttigieg on his views, which she said, seemed to perhaps even justify infanticide, referring to the controversy over Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam's recent remarks about killing babies born alive.
"I think the interpretation from pro-life people, like me, was that you meant a baby actually being born ... I just wanted you to clarify because I found that statement to be pretty radical," McCain said.
In his response, Buttigieg refused to clarify his stance, instead saying he's "just pointing to the fact that different people will interpret their own moral lights" but that no one should be subject to another's interpretations.
Unsatisfied, McCain again attempted to get the candidate to clarify his position, saying, "I think people, even Democrats — and there are a lot of pro-life Democrats in the country — want to know exactly where your line is."
Buttigieg once again evaded the question, reverting to a vague and canned pro-choice talking point: that "it shouldn't be up to the government official to draw the line. It should be up the woman who is confronted with that choice."
At this point, the crowd erupted into applause (for the first time).
McCain waited for the applause to die down, then spoke in no uncertain terms to the candidate.
"So if a woman wanted to invoke infanticide after a baby is born, you'd be comfortable with that?" she asked bluntly.
In response, Buttigieg deflected answering the question yet again.
"Does anybody seriously think that's what these cases are about?" he demurred.
He then described all late-term abortion situations as ones that, by definition, indicate the woman was expecting to carry the pregnancy to term until encountering "devastating news," such as health complications. He said he wouldn't know what to tell a woman to do morally in this situation.
"I just know that I trust that her decision isn't going to be any better, medically or morally ... because the government is telling her to do it a certain way," he added.
The crowd then erupted into applause for the second time.
It is still unclear whether the former mayor supports infanticide or not, but it is safe to say that his silence speaks volumes. He was given multiple opportunities during the interview to speak out against infanticide and other late-term abortion procedures, but chose not to.
National Review noted Buttigieg's claim that late-term abortions only ever come about as a result of devastating health complications with the child is false, and, in fact, elective late-term abortions are quite common. Even so, pro-lifers would argue that killing an unborn child in or out of the womb is not a solution to the problem of a baby having health issues.
Though "The View" audience appreciated Buttigieg's responses, McCain was not impressed.
"This is going to hurt you in the middle of the country with the Republicans you're trying to win over," she said. "That answer is just as radical as I thought it was, sorry."