This week on the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Carly Fiorina used the deadly shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood to push falsehoods about abortion and anti-choice violence.
Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) voiced his opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act while Hillary Clinton doubled down on her support for equal pay legislation.
Ted Cruz Can’t Think of an Abortion Opponent Who Advocates Violence, Forgets About Troy Newman
Roe is gone. The chaos is just beginning.
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Speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Monday about the response to the deadly shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, Republican presidential candidate Cruz said he couldn’t think of a single abortion opponent who advocated violence, forgetting an anti-choice leader who has endorsed him and has done just that.
“I have never met, not once, a single pro-life activist who is in favor of violence of any sort. Have you, Senator Cruz?” Hewitt asked during an interview with the senator on his Salem Radio Network program.
“And I would note that this whole episode has really displayed the ugly underbelly of the nation,” he continued. “You know, every time you have some sort of violent crime or mass killing, you can almost see the media salivating, hoping, hoping desperately that the murderer happens to be a Republican so they can use it to try to paint their political enemies.”
But as ThinkProgress noted, Cruz has been endorsed by exactly the sort of anti-abortion activists he claimed do not exist. The presidential candidate in November warmly embraced an endorsement from Troy Newman, the head of radical anti-choice group Operation Rescue, which had moved to Wichita, Kansas in 2002 to continue a decades-long campaign to intimidate Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas provider of abortion care.
Tiller was later murdered by Scott Roeder, who in 2007 posted on Operation Rescue’s website that Tiller “needs to be stopped before he and those who protect him bring judgment upon our nation.” Operation Rescue’s senior policy advisor’s phone number was found on the dashboard of Roeder’s car in the subsequent investigation into Tiller’s murder.
Operation Rescue activists had for years harassed Tiller and those who worked with him.
“I am grateful to receive the endorsement of Troy Newman,” Cruz said in a statement following the announcement. “He has served as a voice for the unborn for over 25 years, and works tirelessly every day for the pro-life cause. We need leaders like Troy Newman in this country who will stand up for those who do not have a voice.”
Newman this week said that Planned Parenthood had been “desperately” waiting for an event like the Colorado shooting.
“But Planned Parenthood, you know, desperately needs something to save their bacon from being defunded and thrown in jail, the multiple investigations in Congress, etcetera,” Newman said in an interview on the Drew Mariani Show.
“They need something to deflect and this is exactly what they’ve been hoping for. Something to deflect the attention away from them as being the victimizers and back on to being the victims, that’s where they like to be, is to be the poor victim. ‘Just health-care officials just trying to provide health care for women’ and the radical, anti-choice extremists, or misogynist pigs like me are the ones trying to hurt them,” Newman said.
Yet Another of Carly Fiorina’s Talking Points About Planned Parenthood Is a Lie
Carly Fiorina added another lie to her growing list of debunked talking points during an appearance on Fox News Sunday over the weekend.
Speaking with host Chris Wallace about the recent shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic, Fiorina falsely claimed that the “the vast majority of Americans” support defunding the reproductive health-care provider.
“[T]his is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing the messenger, because they don’t agree with the message,” Fiorina said. “The vast majority of Americans agree, what Planned Parenthood is doing is wrong. That’s why the vast majority of Americans are prepared not only to defund Planned Parenthood, but also to stop abortion for any reason at all after five months.”
But as FactCheck.org pointed out, “national surveys show the opposite: most Americans support continued federal funding for the group’s health services.” Debunking the presidential candidate’s claim, the fact-checking site explained that although there is some evidence to support Fiorina’s charge about abortions after five months, the rest of her statement was baseless.
Numerous polls conducted by reputable sources such as Reuters/Ipsos, the Pew Research Center, the New York Times, and Quinnipiac University have all shown widespread support for continued funding of Planned Parenthood.
When asked about whether there are any polls to back up Fiorina’s claim that the public supports defunding Planned Parenthood, director of the Marquette University Law School Poll and co-founder of Pollster.com Charles Franklin told the fact-checking site, “I am not aware of a national poll by a reputable pollster that has shown a majority for defunding. Rather the opposite.”
Marco Rubio Argues Against Paycheck Fairness Act as Clinton Doubles Down on Pushing It Through
Rubio again signaled his opposition to equal pay measures, telling advocates from the Make It Work campaign that he had voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would ban employers from retaliating when staff discuss their wages, because wage discrimination is already illegal.
“It’s already illegal to pay women less than men,” Rubio responded when prompted to answer to his record on equal pay legislation. “If I pay a woman less than a man for the same job, it’s illegal now. You can be sued now.”
“The Paycheck [Fairness] Act, all it did was allow trial lawyers to sue,” Rubio continued.
While Rubio said the equal pay legislation was not important, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reasserted her commitment to it, reportedly saying, “We’re going to move heaven and earth” to make it happen.
Clinton’s support for equal pay legislation comes as no surprise, given her support for related measures during her time in the U.S. Senate, having co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2009.
Speaking on wage discrimination in an October address to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Clinton pointed to the unequal treatment many women face in the workplace. “Some of it, let’s be honest, is just good old-fashioned discrimination. A lot of women in the workforce are just taken advantage of by their employers,” said Clinton.
“Too many people view it as a women’s issue as opposed to what it truly is—it’s an economic growth issue,” Clinton said. “And it will be great for the American economy when we finally close that gap.”