GREENVILLE, S.C. — Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina forcefully dismissed charges that the controversial Planned Parenthood video she described during Wednesday’s GOP primary debate does not exist, earning several standing ovations at a presidential forum here in Greenville as she tore into President Obama and Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton for supporting the organization.
“Yes ladies and gentlemen, they are real, and I will issue my charge again: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, anyone who wants to defend Planned Parenthood, watch these tapes,” Fiorina told an audience at the Heritage Action “Take Back America” event, which replied with enormous applause. “It is not actually about being pro-choice or pro-life. We cannot be a nation that funds this kind of barbarity, and that is what it is.”
During Wednesday’s debate, Fiorina vividly described watching a videotape that showed “a fully formed fetus, it’s heart beating, it’s legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” It was a powerful moment for Fiorina but, according to a review of the existing videos by The Washington Post and other media outlets, no video exists showing such a procedure.
The former Hewlett Packard CEO also had strong words for congressional Republicans, whom she urged to fight to defund Planned Parenthood amid ongoing budget negotiations. Such a standoff would potentially lead to a government shutdown.
“We’re in charge of the Senate and we have record majorities in the House. That’s a huge change from 2013. And by the way, I worked really hard for that change and I know all of you really worked hard for that change too,” she said. “And what’s disappointing is we’re having the same old conversation. Nothing has changed.”
Current U.S. law already bans the use of any federal funds for abortions, which constitute a small portion of Planned Parenthood services. Republicans are now pushing to ban all finding of the organization, which provides a wide range of women’s health services.
With an eye toward a potential general election match-up against Clinton, who is perhaps her favorite target on the stump, Fiorina also accused the former secretary of state of hypocrisy on women’s rights issues.
“How hypocritical of Hillary Clinton, who is running on her record of protecting women’s rights when in her position as secretary of state she promptly took off the table women’s rights, human rights, and any other topic of conversation that might be uncomfortable for the Chinese,” Fiorina said. “Rest assured, ladies and gentlemen, I will bring that up in a general election debate stage.”