5 Politicians Whose Absurd Comments About The Planned Parenthood Shooting Prove They Just Don't Get It

To me, at least, last Friday's shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs appeared to be the violent manifestation of an anti-abortion rhetoric that's been rapidly intensifying in this country. After suspect Robert Lewis Dear allegedly opened fire on the health center with an assault rifle, killing three people, evidence emerged that suggests his motives might have been political. However, some people have either completely overlooked or refuse to acknowledge the link between Friday's shooting and the hostile anti-abortion environment that the pro-life movement has created in recent months. In fact, several politicians who commented on the Planned Parenthood shooting completely missed the mark.

Though officials have not confirmed the official motive behind the attack, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the case, Dear espoused anti-abortion views to them while in police custody. After his surrender and arrest, Dear was taken in for questioning, during which he allegedly said, "No more baby parts" when talking about Planned Parenthood. On Saturday night, Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, put into words what authorities have been reluctant to confirm:

We've seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients over the last few months. That environment breeds acts of violence. Americans reject the hatred and vitriol that fueled this tragedy.

Today, we are learning that eyewitnesses confirm that the man who will be charged with the tragic and senseless shooting that resulted in the deaths of three people and injuries to nine others at Planned Parenthood's health center in Colorado Springs was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion.

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However, as adamant as Cowart and those who stand behind Planned Parenthood are about the suspect's anti-abortion motives, those on the other side of the abortion argument are equally steadfast in avoiding the link between the shooting and the rhetoric they've been pushing.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, commented on the irony of their blind eye:

It is offensive and outrageous that some politicians are now claiming this tragedy has nothing to do with the toxic environment they helped create.

Here are five politicians whose comments on the Planned Parenthood shooting prove that they either totally don't get it or they're continuing to widen the dangerous divide on abortion.

Ted Cruz

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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.

Not only does Cruz's statement use some very loaded labels without any actual evidence, it suggests that a person's gender identity has something to do with committing a violent crime. Ultimately, all Cruz has done is a poor job of trying to distract us from the real issue at hand.

Carly Fiorina

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This is so typical of the left to immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don't agree with the message. What I would say to anyone who tries to link this terrible tragedy to anyone who opposes abortion or opposes the sale of body parts is, this is typical left-wing tactics.

With her statement, Fiorina sure is the pot calling the kettle black. Instead of considering the overwhelming evidence — because it's rather inconvenient for her message — Fiorina is demonizing the pro-choice response.

Donald Trump

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I will tell you, there is a tremendous group of people that think it's terrible, the videos that they've seen, with some of these people from Planned Parenthood talking about it like you're selling parts to a car. Now I know some of the tapes were perhaps not pertinent. I know a couple of people that were running for office or are running for office on the Republican side were commenting on tapes that weren't appropriate. But there were many tapes that are appropriate ... and there are people that are extremely upset about it.

By rehashing the content of the now-discredited videos that were at the center of the smear campaign against Planned Parenthood this year, Trump is only perpetuating the hostile environment the videos have created. Is there anything this man does that's not insanely dangerous?

Mike Huckabee

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I think that's a little bit disingenuous on the part of Planned Parenthood to blame people, who have a strong philosophical disagreement with the dismembering of human babies and with the selling of body parts, to say that we would like to retaliate by sending some mad man into a clinic to kill people.

Speaking on CNN's State of the Union, Huckabee also proved that he just doesn't get it, or he's refusing to. Planned Parenthood is not blaming pro-life individuals for this heinous crime. In fact, Planned Parenthood has never taken any issue with those who oppose abortion; what they and their supporters condemn is the anti-abortion rhetoric that's been used to vilify the health organization, which has created a chasm in which extremism is clearly brewing.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger

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We may find out this person was targeting Planned Parenthood. If we find out he was not targeting Planned Parenthood, I would fully expect an apology from the Planned Parenthood director for saying that.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois's aggressive, indignant stance undermines the tragedy and gravity of the situation and turns it into petty finger pointing.