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The Lid: Trump’s Abortion Flip-Flop in Context

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Judging from the amount of derision John Kasich got today after he ate pizza with a fork at a New York pizzeria, we assume that Hillary Clinton will soon make sure to burnish her just-like-you credentials by dropping by a local diner and eating meatloaf with her bare hands.

Trump Advocates Abortion Ban, Walks Back 'Punishment' for Women Comments 3:27

‘16 from 30,000: Donald Trump telling MSNBC’s Chris Matthews today that there should be punishment for women who undergo abortions if the procedure is outlawed is significant because it breaks from the thinking of even the most vocal members of the anti-abortion rights movement. MTP Daily producer Ed Demaria found both Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum faced similar questions on Meet The Press. “ I think you don't punish the woman,” Huckabee told Tim Russert in 2007. He added that a woman who receives an abortion hould be viewed as “a victim” and “not a criminal.”

“I've never supported criminalization of abortion for mothers, but I do for people who perform them,” Santorum said in 2011.

And along with the outrage from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and liberals, the March for Life issued a blistering statement saying Trump’s comment “is completely out of touch with the pro-life movement.” Ted Cruz and John Kasich also shot down the notion women should be punished for the procedure. (Trump later issued a full walk back of the statement.)

Trump has proven time and time again that controversial statements don’t hurt -- and in some cases embolden him -- in the primaries. But heartburn continues to grow for Republicans looking towards the general election with a possible Trump nomination. Unapologetically standing by his campaign manager after he was charged with battery of a female reporter -- combined with his comments today -- are beyond problematic for a party that needs to attract female voters.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

Donald Trump believes that there should be punishment for women who undergo abortions if the procedure was outlawed, but indicated he has yet to determine what that punishment should be.

And in other 2016 news…A new Wisconsin poll shows that Ted Cruz now leads Donald Trump in advance of the state's primary next Tuesday. Bernie Sanders also holds a slight lead over Hillary Clinton.

John Kasich told Chuck Todd that he would have fired Corey Lewandowski after seeing the video of his incident with a Breitbart reporter. And Kasich said he is still deciding if he could support a Trump nomination.

MSNBC’s Jane Timm details a full list of Trump’s changing policy positions.

And from First Read: The GOP’s move away from the so-called Loyalty Pledge

FOR THE RECORD…

"I would be the worst vice president anybody ever had. Trust me."

-- John Kasich in an MSNBC town hall with Chuck Todd

TOMORROW’S SKED

Hillary Clinton campaigns in New York, while Bernie Sanders is in Pennsylvania and the Bronx.