Carly Fiorina's Response To The Planned Parenthood Shooting Is Tone-Deaf

Photo: David A. Grogan/CNBC/Getty Images.
In a weekend interview on Fox News Sunday, 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina spoke out about Friday's deadly shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, CO. Fiorina said that the attack — in which a gunman reportedly killed three people — was a "tragedy," but she didn't stop there. The presidential hopeful accused the public of using "typical left-wing tactics" to link the anti-abortion movement with the Planned Parenthood shooting.

"This is so typical of the left, to immediately begin demonizing the messenger because they don't agree with the message," Fiorina said Sunday. Her comments, however, are incredibly tone-deaf: Anti-abortion politicians often attack news outlets' coverage of issues they don't agree with, such as abortion rights. Fiorina's statements are also ironic, considering how heavily she emphasized the videos that allegedly depicted Planned Parenthood employees selling fetal body parts (a claim that has been debunked, as the videos were shown to have been highly edited).

Fiorina's statements also ignored the fact that the alleged shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, reportedly said, "No more baby parts" to police officers when he was asked what motivated his attack. On Sunday morning, Planned Parenthood tweeted, "We now know the man responsible for the tragic shooting at PP's health center in CO was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion."
Advertisement

Fiorina also seemed to contradict herself in the interview: Though she denied the link between the Colorado shooting and the anti-abortion movement, she also said that protesters, including "pro-life" protesters, should be peaceful.

Fiorina wasn't the only GOP presidential candidate to make an off-putting statement about the shooting. In a Meet the Press interview Sunday, Donald Trump told NBC's Chuck Todd that the shooter was "mentally disturbed," though he also mentioned that "a tremendous group of people" are upset about the Planned Parenthood videos. In reality, a majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood and want to see the government continue to fund the group. Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee also called the shooting an act of "extremism" and "terrorism," respectively, but none of the GOP candidates directly stated that the shooting may have been an act of anti-abortion violence.

When candidates refer to themselves as "pro-life," it would be consistent if they defended life at all stages, and not just before birth. Instead of using the tragedy as an outlet to discuss their political agendas by mentioning the Planned Parenthood videos, candidates should consider questions such as how to support new parents with health care or child care, or how to prevent gun violence.
Advertisement

More from US News

Update: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney announced in a press conference that dashcam and body cam video of the department's interaction with...
Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
What can you do to make the candidates first head-to-head battle as pleasant as possible? What is the secret to keep yourself smizing as you listen to the ...
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
The 2016 presidential election has been a captivating contest. If you feel like sometimes you can't look away, well, you're not alone. Even celebrities ...
In the social order of bonobos, females rule and develop cross-generational bonds to keep the males in check. A senior female takes charge, intervening ...
The first presidential debate is finally upon us. On Monday, our candidates for commander-in-chief will finally go head-to-head on issues that matter ...
Update: Officer Betty Shelby, the policewoman who fatally shot Terence Crutcher last Friday, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter, NBC News ...
Step aside, old-school political merch. We're way past bumper stickers and buttons. With the election just months away, people across the country are ...
Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis: Hillary Clinton from Funny Or Die Will Tim Kaine be president for nine months if Hillary Clinton gets pregnant? ...
Goodbye, paperwork printouts and lines at the DMV. Hello, registering while in line for coffee. Starting today, you can register to vote over text ...
1. Here At Home: No charges will be filed against police in the shooting death of Korryn Gaines. Korryn Gaines, 23, was shot and killed on August 1 ...
It happened again. This week, two Black men went from living, breathing human beings to hashtags. And yet, despite all I hear about hashtag activism, I'm...
Many of the stations throughout the gun range are filled with men. But here, all the shooters — and instructors — are women