Republicans have been partially blamed for the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado on November 27th. Because of this, great attention has been given to the Republican candidates’ responses to the shooter and the atrocities that occurred on that day. Here are the top five:
1.) Ted Cruz has had to deal with the publicity that came from his response to the shooter’s crimes. He first responded on Twitter with the standard politically correct response:
Praying for the loved ones of those killed, those injured & first responders who bravely got the situation under control in Colorado Springs
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 28, 2015
This response was vague and stereotypically conservative: call for prayer, express sympathy for the hurt, and praise the brave. However, during a campaign visit in Iowa, while talking with a journalist about the reports concerning the shooter, he said, “Well, it’s also been reported that he was registered as an independent and a woman and transgendered leftist activist. If that’s what he is I don’t think it’s fair to blame on the rhetoric on the left.” The media took this as Cruz calling the shooter a transgendered leftist activist (N.B. The word “transgendered” is typically offensive to the LGBT community).
2.) Donald Trump always has a lot to say, and used this event as another opportunity to go on a politically charged tangent on “Meet the Press”: “I think it’s terrible. I mean, terrible. It’s more of the same. And I think it’s a terrible thing. And he’s a maniac! He’s a maniac.” When asked if the conservative rhetoric on Planned Parenthood may have had something to do with the shooting, he replied, “I think he’s a sick person. And I think he was probably a person ready to go.”
3.) Ben Carson made a possibly controversial remark on the incident. He denied what Trump said and instead called for less hateful speech on any current issues. On “Face the Nation,” he said, “There is no question that hateful rhetoric, no matter which side it comes from, right or left, is something that is detrimental to our society… I think both sides should tone down their rhetoric and engage in civil discussion.” One side includes his own, the anti-abortion in all cases.
4.) Jeb Bush copped out when it came to his response to the shooting. He sent out a kind, but passive, statement that made the only non-controversial claim: peace on earth.
There is no acceptable explanation for this violence, and I will continue to pray for those have been impacted.
5.) Carly Fiorina kept her eyes on the prize when she was asked about her thoughts on the shooting. Instead of calling out violence or the shooter himself, she blamed the problems concerning the incident on liberals. Her response could possibly even affirm that the shooter’s motives were anti-Planned Parenthood: “This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing the messenger because they don’t agree with your message.”
Carolina Baker works for the American Principles Project.