Presidential Candidates React to the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Shooting

On the day after Thanksgiving, Robert Lewis Dear injured nine and killed three in a shooting at the Planned Parenthood medical clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The violence of his attack was unprecedented–the deadliest event at an abortion providing clinic in U.S. history–and the shooter’s alleged use of the phrase “No more baby parts” after being apprehended has many wondering if the deceptive videos claiming Planned Parenthood “harvests” and “sells” tissue and organs from fetuses after abortions was the impetus for Dear’s actions.

On the presidential trail Planned Parenthood has become a top issue for debate, with Democrats vowing to protect the reproductive health care provider from political attacks and Republicans pledging to defund and diminish the organization’s resources as much as they can if they win office. It’s no wonder then that GOP candidates have tried to furiously distance themselves from the “baby parts” talking point that appears to have been in part what motivated the shooter.

While the Republican presidential contenders all have stated they deplore the act of violence, many could not resist deflecting the incident away from the anti-abortion movement. “In an interview this morning with Fox News Sunday, Republican primary candidate Carly Fiorina said that attempts to link Friday’s Planned Parenthood shooting with anti-abortion rhetoric were ‘typical left-wing tactics,’” reports Jezebel. “…Fiorina rejected the connections made by [Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains President Vicki] Cowart saying, ‘This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don’t agree with the message. The vast majority of Americans agree what Planned Parenthood is doing is wrong.’”

Fiorina wasn’t the only one to try to turn the topic back around in an attempt to blame progressives. Ben Carson, who was perhaps the most direct in condemning the anti-abortion movement for fanning the flames of violent rhetoric, turned the issue into a “pox on both houses” style statement. “I think both sides should tone down their rhetoric and engage in civil discussion,” Carson said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” according to The Hill. “There is no question that you know hateful rhetoric no matter which side it comes from – right or left – is something that is detrimental to our society.This has been a big problem….We are allowing all kinds of circumstances to divide us and make us hateful toward each other. And the rhetoric is extremely immature, divisive and is not helpful when you have outside forces – global Islamic radical jihadists who want to destroy us.”

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee accepted that the act was an act of terrorism, but couldn’t resist comparing it to the pregnancies that are terminated inside the clinic.  “It was mass murder. It was absolutely unfathomable,” he told CNN.  “And there’s no excuse for killing other people, whether it’s happening inside the Planned Parenthood headquarters, inside their clinics where many millions of babies die, or whether it’s people attacking Planned Parenthood.” And Texas Senator Ted Cruz even tried to call the shooter a “transgendered leftist activist,” pointing to voter registration records from the state of Colorado.

Democrats too spoke out against the shooting, but were clear to place part of the blame on the movement that has made the fictitious “selling baby parts” scandal a multi-month public relations campaign against the health care provider. “The shooting on Friday was at, as you know, a Planned Parenthood clinic, a place where lots of women get healthcare they need — breast exams, STD testing, contraception and, yes, safe and legal abortions,” Democratic  presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said at the New Hampshire Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, according to The Hill. “We should be supporting Planned Parenthood, not attacking it,” adding that, “it is way past time to protect women’s health and respect women’s rights, not use them as political footballs.” Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, was even more to the point, stating, “While we still do not know the shooter’s motive, what is clear is that Planned Parenthood has been the subject of vicious and unsubstantiated statements attacking an organization that provides critical health care for millions of Americans. I strongly support Planned Parenthood and the work it is doing and hope people realize that bitter rhetoric can have unintended consequences.”

The shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, made his first court appearance on Monday, and we are still no closer to learning exactly what inspired his deadly actions. But, regardless of what they might be, you can be sure that Planned Parenthood as a campaign issue is likely far from over, for either side of the aisle.

Photo credit: Robin Marty.


Danuta W
Danuta W1 years ago

Thank you for sharing

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm3 years ago

Joe V you are COMPLETELT full of crap. He told us EXACTLY why ehe did it. He was encouraged by the fake tape that accused PP of being nothing but an organ chop shop. And presidential candidates and other people in government have been formenting the hate for a long time on it already. Its only a matter of time before a marginalized mind does something stupid like this because politicians wont demonize the thinking and behavior of these shooters. But of course they CANT in many cases, because it is their own disgusting rhetoric that they themselves spewed all over the airwaves. Because after all, all is fair in election season. None of this crap happens in a vacuum. The disgusting rhetoric we see out there now gets worse every year. They are so close to actively telling people to eliminate their political opponents by any means required.

Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld3 years ago

Norman, you should change your post to read politicians; both Democrats and Republicans serve themselves, rather than the people. Anyone who believes otherwise is just deluding themselves.

Judie B.
Judie B3 years ago

The first step in responsible gun control would be to ban Faux News. Most of the ammosexuals get their ideas from these idiots.

Andrea Kenyon
Andrea Kenyon3 years ago

What a crazy country

Norman Poisson
Norman P3 years ago

The GOP just wants to have it THEIR WAY or NO WAY. The GOP doesn't serve the people, they serve themselves.

Nancy Black
Nancy Black3 years ago

Nothing stops the GOP Tea Party Crazies, not even human lives or the killing of policemen.

Karen H.
Karen H3 years ago

From an article in today’s New York Daily News: “Senate Republicans voted against barring suspected terrorists, felons and the mentally ill from getting guns on Thursday afternoon, parroting National Rifle Association arguments that doing so would strip some innocent people of their constitutional rights to gun access just a day after yet another massacre on U.S. soil … most Republicans stood together to block resurrecting earlier legislation to improve the background check process. All four Republican senators running for president — Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) — voted against it.”
So a felon’s right to bear arms trumps an innocent person’s right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

I'll just bet they did!! The Thug, who is the culprit for all that is an ignorant Republican! The Rethugs in D.C. may as well have been in his shoes because they're no less guilty for this. Thanks for posting.