Politics

Ted Cruz Blames Multiple Groups For Planned Parenthood Shooting

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz said that anti-abortion rhetoric did not play a role in a shooting that took place at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado on Friday. At a recent campaign stop in Iowa on Sunday, Cruz suggested that the shooter, 57-year-old Robert Dear, was actually a "transgendered leftist activist." 

RELATED: Only 3 Presidential Candidates Have Reacted to the Planned Parenthood Attack

The shooting left three people dead—a University of Colorado police officer, an Iraq veteran, and a mother of two—and nine injured. Dear was taken into custody following an hours-long shootout with police, the Associated Press reported. But while emerging details about Dear appear to show that he was motivated by an opposition to abortion, Cruz isn't convinced.


Here's how Cruz responded after a reporter reminded the senator that investigators heard Dear say "no more baby parts" during his arrest:

"It's also been reported that he was registered as an independent and a woman and a transgendered leftist activist. If that's what he is, I don’t think it's fair to blame on the rhetoric on the left. This is a murderer."

According to a campaign spokesperson, the source that Cruz referenced is the conservative blog, the Right Scoop, which published an articled titled "Was the Colorado Shooter a Transgender Person?!?!" on Saturday. The writer cited "voting records that people are finding on the internet," arguing that they prove Dear was born a woman.

rightscoop

Asked to comment about Cruz's characterization of the shooter, aides pushed back, stating that the candidate was simply emphasizing the fact that little is known about Dear and his motives.

"He was making the point that there isn't enough information,” Rick Tyler, a campaign spokesman, told the New York Times. "You can't expect a full response to a story that's developing. The point was there's a lot of raw information going around that's not confirmed."

RELATED: Three Dead in Shooting at Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs

As ATTN: recently reported, Republican presidential candidates have been generally reluctant to respond to the Planned Parenthood shooting.

Dear's "no more baby parts" comments appears to allude to a series of controversial, undercover videos recorded by an anti-abortion organization. The videos purport to show a Planned Parenthood staff discussing payment for fetal tissue donations, but the doctored videos do not accurately depict the exchange and have been effectively debunked by a number of media organizations.