Roundups Politics

Campaign Week in Review: Fiorina’s Anti-Abortion Story Changes

Ally Boguhn

Fiorina's personal story has changed during the GOP primary, while Sen. Lindsey Graham tells fellow Republicans that their abortion rights stances make them unelectable.

This week, Carly Fiorina made an addition to her personal anti-abortion story to attack Planned Parenthood and pushed debunked statistics. Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Ben Carson compared abortion to slavery and Lindsey Graham told his Republican rivals that their extreme anti-abortion stances could make them unelectable.

Carly Fiorina’s Personal Anti-Abortion Story Suddenly Includes Planned Parenthood

Carly Fiorina has long utilized personal narrative in explaining her opposition to abortion rights, pointing to a story in which she accompanied a friend to an abortion clinic in the 1970s and encountered the procedure firsthand.

This week, during an appearance in Texas hosted by the Prestonwood Baptist Church and the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Fiorina added to her personal anti-abortion story: It transpired at a Planned Parenthood clinic, as reported by the Washington Post.

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“It is a story that Fiorina told to small groups but did not emphasize during her candidacy for the Senate in California five years ago, according to multiple operatives who worked on that campaign,” reported the Post.

Fiorina has worked to position herself as a fierce opponent of state and federal funding for Planned Parenthood. During the second GOP primary debate, she went as far as to cite a nonexistent scene from one of the deceptively edited videos released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

Fiorina claimed she watched a video showing “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” Yet even these misleading videos, fact-checkers pointed out, don’t contain a scene like the one Fiorina described. It simply doesn’t exist.

Fiorina Pushes Debunked Claim That Women Accounted For “92 Percent of the Jobs Lost” in Obama’s First Term

During Wednesday night’s GOP Debate on CNBC, Fiorina claimed that the overwhelming majority of jobs lost during Obama’s first term were jobs held by women.

Seizing on Sen. Ted-Cruz’s (R-TX) comments about women in poverty, Fiorina claimed that “every single policy of President Obama has been demonstrably bad for women.”

“Ninety-two percent of the jobs lost during Barack Obama’s first term belonged to women,” Fiorinia continued.

Fact-checkers traced Fiorina’s assertion to an outdated Republican talking point made by Mitt Romney during his failed 2008 presidential bid, noting that even at the time the statistics were “misleading.”

Calling her claim “flawed,” the New York Times explained that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment among both men and women rose during Obama’s first term in office, as the economy hemorrhaged jobs in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse during the final months of the George W. Bush administration.

Ben Carson Makes Another Slavery Comparison

During Sunday’s edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, Ben Carson compared pregnant people seeking an abortion to slave owners who “thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave.”

Speaking with host Chuck Todd, Carson said, “During slavery—and I know that’s one of those words you’re not supposed to say, but I’m saying it—during slavery, a lot of the slave owners thought that they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave. Anything that they chose to do.”

“And, you know, what if the abolitionist had said, you know, ‘I don’t believe in slavery. I think it’s wrong,” Carson said. “But you guys do whatever you want to do’?  Where would we be?”

After expressing that he would “love” to see Roe v. Wade overturned, Carson went on to call himself a “reasonable man” who may consider exemptions before asserting that cases of rape and incest would not be valid reasons to terminate a pregnancy.

“Rape and incest, I would not be in favor of killing a baby because the baby came about in that way,” Carson said.

Carson, following the interview, faced widespread criticism for the analogy, with many noting the candidate’s long history of using both slavery and the Holocaust to discuss a host of issues he disagrees with, including the Affordable Care Act, political correctness, and gun control.

Carson went on to bypass Donald Trump in the polls for the first time during the primary season. Carson pushed Trump from his spot atop the polls, capturing 26 percent of Republican primary voters, according to a Tuesday New York Times/CBS News national poll.

Lindsey Graham Tells Fellow Republicans Their Extreme Abortion Stances Make Them Unelectable

During a Monday interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned other Republicans running for president that their stances on abortion without exemptions for rape and incest went too far and made them unelectable.

“Anybody with that position will get creamed,” Graham told host Joe Scarborough. “I appreciate your passion for the pro-life issue but you’re outside the mainstream and you cannot get elected.”

Pointing to the large majority of Americans who support such exemptions, Graham went on to note that “83 percent of the American people feel like that goes too far.”

Graham’s comments came just one day after Ben Carson told NBC’s Chuck Todd that he did not support such exemptions. When asked about past anti-choice measures that included exemptions for rape and incest during the first Republican primary debate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also voiced his opposition to them.

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