Fiorina Responds to Liberal Critics: “This Messenger Will Not Be Silenced”

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Earlier this week, Carly Fiorina appeared on Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” where host Megyn Kelly asked Fiorina to respond to criticism she was facing from the left for her stance on Planned Parenthood.  You can watch the full exchange here or read the transcript below:

MEGYN KELLY: Joining me now, Republican presidential candidate and former CEO of Hewlett Packard, Carly Fiorina. Carly, thank you for being here tonight. So, your reaction to that? I mean, among other things online, some on the left are calling you and I quote, “A psychopath because of your words about Planned Parenthood.”

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you see, Megyn, this is what the left wing does. They demonize the messenger when they cannot take the message. I haven’t used hyperbolic rhetoric about Planned Parenthood. I have spoken the truth. And I will continue to speak the truth. It’s funny but I don’t recall President Obama being concerned about the rhetoric when people were chanting death to the pigs and we fry pigs like bacon. I don’t recall President Obama being concerned about the tone of the rhetoric when he compared Republicans who objected to his very bad deal with Iran as the hardliners like the Mullahs chanting “Death to America.” You see, the left wing only gets concerned about rhetoric when they don’t like the message. And they try to demonize the messenger.

KELLY: So, the question is, they seem to be focused on you in particular because of the claim you made at the CNN debate about what you said you had seen on these undercover Planned Parenthood videos. And you claimed that you had seen a baby being harvested — a live baby having its organs harvested, being kept alive so its organs should be harvested. But it wasn’t actually established that that is something Planned Parenthood had done. And it wasn’t clear what happened with the baby being shown in that video. So, in other words, there was no proof that Planned Parenthood did what you said. That’s why they are where they are with you.

FIORINA: No, actually Megyn, the reason they are where they are with me is because I’m Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare. Because I am a conservative woman who stands up for life. Because I am a conservative woman who can effectively combat the line from the Left about the war on women. And of course, we also know that Planned Parenthood has now admitted they have said, we’re not going to take compensation anymore for fetal tissue as they call it. Most common sense people would call it body parts. We won’t take compensation anymore for this. So, obviously, they have been doing it. And as I remind —

KELLY: There’s a difference — I get this. I made this point yesterday —

FIORINA: Why is it — why is it that a taxpayer is funding an organization —

KELLY: I get that. That’s something the country has been debating for a long time.

FIORINA: Millions of dollars.

KELLY: I get that but the question to you —

FIORINA: We haven’t been debating it, Megyn. We haven’t been debating it, actually.

KELLY: Listen. I’m just trying to get an answer to my question which you, the reason they’re taking issue with you — and, you know, Donald Trump is getting — gets in a lot of trouble for not walking back things he said that are not true or that are to be charitable to him, a mistake. So, the thing they are going after with you is the suggestion that Planned Parenthood harvested organs from live babies.

FIORINA: No, Megyn. What I said — what I said was that there were videotapes where Planned Parenthood individuals, employees are talking about harvesting baby parties. What I also said is that there are images of fetuses that are born alive. Both of those things are demonstrably true. They are not taking issue with me because I have made false statements. They are not taking issue with me because of the videos. In fact, most of the liberal critics of me and other pro-life advocates have never watched these videos. They are taking issue because they do not like the message.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

FIORINA: And this messenger will not be silenced.

KELLY: Well, one of the things that they don’t want to be discussing is, you know, that the Planned Parenthood — they are now saying this Planned Parenthood videos have been debunked, that they have been discredited, that they were somehow manipulated I suppose. I just want to show the audience because time has passed. This is what got people so upset about these videos. These are two examples. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly. So then you’re just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I am not going to crush that part, I’m going to basically crush above, and I’m going to see if I can get it all intact.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If we want to pursue this mutually I’ll mention this to Ian in terms of how he feels about using a less crunchy technique to get more specimens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Do you ever feel like the outrage is saved up for people like you who have sincerely held beliefs, even if they don’t believe with them, agree with them. It’s saved up for people like you who spouse them as opposed to trying to understand why about half the country has a real problem if not with the abortion procedure, which does stop a beating heart, then with the callousness with which those women discussed it, which was so bad the president of Planned Parenthood had to come out and apologize for it.

FIORINA: Yes. Well, isn’t that the case? And isn’t it also true if you look at every pole, what you will find is the majority of women, the majority of young people, the majority of Americans now believe that abortion for any reason at all after five months is wrong. So, I will call on the Senate once again to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. And I will ask all Americans who are wondering what this outrage is about to examine what the left wing’s policy on abortion is. And here is their policy. Here is their platform. It is not a life until it is born. Most Americans disagree with that.

KELLY: Carly Fiorina, thank you.

Thomas Valentine is a researcher for the American Principles Project and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.