Some special guests took a break from the snow to join me on a walk through the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. https://t.co/KTMiQXZ3fx
— Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) January 20, 2016
While front-runner Donald Trump tours rallies with Sarah Palin at his side, fellow Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina opted for another kind of prop entirely during an anti-abortion rally on Wednesday. Children — lots and lots of children — who were apparently on a field trip at a botanical garden in Des Moines, Iowa when Fiorina’s campaign ushered them away from the plants without their parents’ consent and into a “right to life” forum hosted by the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
According to the Guardian, the 15 kids were grouped with Fiorina at the head of an impromptu stage before a crowd of about 60 people and members of the press. Several campaign signs were draped behind the group, as well as a large poster of an unborn fetus with “IOWA RIGHT TO LIFE” draped across it. As the rally proceeded, Fiorina talked at length about the many videos released during the past year by “undercover journalists” accusing Planned Parenthood of harvesting organs — in front of the kids.
Meanwhile, the parents expressed their irritation with the Fiorina camp’s alleged use of their kids as props.
“The kids went there to see the plants,” said Chris Beck, the father of four-year-old Chatham, one of the children Fiorina appeared with. “She ambushed my son’s field trip.”
In addition to being unhappy about how his son was supposedly used for a photo-op, Beck was also angry about what Fiorina talked about. Specifically, that she discussed the graphic details of abortion and pregnancy in front of him and his classmates.
“Taking them into a pro-life/abortion discussion [was] very poor taste and judgment,” Beck said. “I would not want my four-year-old going to that forum – he can’t fully comprehend that stuff. He likes dinosaurs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers.”
Fiorina’s campaign later commented on the Guardian article in a short post on Medium, claiming that “a group of preschoolers along with their parents and teachers followed Carly right into the event she was speaking at for Iowa Right to Life.” However, aside from comment itself, no proof or corroborating quotes were given to back up the claim.
When the paper asked him about whether or not he’d vote for Fiorina, Beck said: “I do not know enough about Carly to support her… And after today, she wouldn’t get my vote for sure.”
(Via the Guardian)