After nearly two days of dead air, the Republican presidential candidates have begun climbing out of their fortresses of silence. Then, rather than accept responsibility for their own language, which targeted Planned Parenthood, they blamed the domestic terrorist. After all, as the only Republican woman running for president Carly Fiorina said, this was a “a tragedy, especially on a holiday weekend.”
Vicki Coward, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and condemned the presidential candidates’ “hateful language” for inciting the attack on Planned Parenthood.
“We’ve experienced so much hateful language, hateful speech, such a negative environment has been created … around the idea of safe and legal abortion. And we’ve seen that across the country from all sorts of speakers in the last few months. I can’t believe that this isn’t contributing to some folks, mentally unwell or not, thinking that it’s OK to target Planned Parenthood or to target abortion providers.”
Real estate mogul, Donald Trump, who out distances all of the other Republican candidates in the polls, dismissed the attack as “terrible” and the gunman as a “maniac” on NBC. When asked if he believed the rhetoric had become too extreme, he simply said, “No:”
“There’s tremendous dislike, I can say that. But I see a lot of anxiety, and I see a lot of dislike for Planned Parenthood. There’s no question about that.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He walks the sharp edge of the blade between pro-abortion activism and inciting violence:
“What he did is domestic terrorism. And what he did is absolutely abominable, especially to us in the pro-life movement, because there’s nothing about any of us that would condone or in any way look the other way on something like this.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Black Friday’s shootings are “unacceptable, horrific, and wrong.” Then on the Iowa campaign trail, he continued:
“We know that police officers and civilians have been targeted and lost their lives, and our prayers are, right now, are with the families. I have spent much of my adult life working in law enforcement, working against murderers and those who commit violent crime, and that one officer who lost his life is particularly tragic.”
Carly Fiorina, is well-known for her excruciatingly vivid and false description of an anti-abortion video aimed at Planned Parenthood during the second Republican debate. She also spoke on “Fox News Sunday:”
“Nothing justifies this. And presumably, this man who appears deranged, if nothing else, will be tried for murder as he should be. But it’s a tragedy, especially on a holiday weekend.”
Dr. Ben Carson called the shooting a “hate crime.” On ABC’s “This Week,” he said:
“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of extremism coming from all areas. It’s one of the biggest problems that I think is threatening to tear our country apart. We get into our separate corners and we hate each other, we want to destroy those with whom we disagree.”
If you shoot at a target, don’t blame others when it gets hit.