It was a question sure to come up at some point in the Republican primary campaign.
"What should the law be on abortion?" asked MSNBC's Chris Matthews to Donald Trump at a town hall event in Wisconsin.
"Should the woman be punished for having an abortion?" Matthews pressed. "This is not something you can dodge."
Trump's bungled response — an awkward, extended attempt to evade the question, followed by an answer that, yes, "there has to be some form of punishment" — prompted a backlash that managed to unite abortion rights activists and opponents. And it also brought an unprecedented reversal from the notoriously unapologetic candidate less than a week before Wisconsin's important primary.
The episode demonstrated the extent to which Trump has glossed over the rigorous policy preparation that is fundamental to most presidential campaigns, underscoring the risks of the billionaire businessman's winging-it approach as he edges closer to the Republican nomination.
And this wasn't the first time Trump's approach has gotten him in trouble.
He raised eyebrows during a debate when he appeared unfamiliar with the concept of the nuclear triad, an oversight his opponents happily pointed out.
At a town hall on CNN earlier this week, Trump appeared to falter when asked to name what he believed were the top three priorities of the federal government. Among his answers: health care and education. Trump has vowed to repeal President Barack Obama's landmark health care law and gut the budget of the Department of Education.
During a recent rally in Ohio, Trump delivered his usual indictment of the North American Free Trade Agreement and blasted American companies that have shipped jobs overseas.
But he seemed unaware that Chevrolet, which builds the Chevy Cruze sedan in nearby Lordstown, had recently announced that it was planning to build its 2017 hatchback model in Mexico. It was the kind of local knowledge that requires research and legwork, and could have helped Trump connect with his audience and others in the state.
For most presidential candidates, especially those new to it all, getting up to speed on the intricacies of domestic and foreign policy is a process that begins early. While Trump's campaign did not respond Thursday to questions about the kind of briefings he receives, it's clear he has done things differently.
Who does he consult on foreign policy?
"I'm speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I've said a lot of things," Trump said on MSNBC this month. He's also said he gets information about international affairs from "the shows" and newspapers.
He announced members of his foreign policy team only this month and met with them Thursday as part of a series of appointments in Washington.