One of the more interesting exchanges in the last GOP Debate was when U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and real estate mogul Donald Trump went back and forth on defunding Planned Parenthood.
You can watch the exchange below:
Here is a partial transcript of that exchange:
CRUZ: For most of his life his policies have been very very liberal. For most of his life, he has described himself as very pro- choice and as a supporter of partial birth abortion. Right now today as a candidate, he supports federal tax payer funding for Planned Parenthood. I disagree with him on that.
That’s a matter of principle and I’ll tell you…
TRUMP: You probably are worse than Jeb Bush. You are single biggest liar.This guys lied – let me just tell you, this guy lied about Ben Carson when he took votes away from Ben Carson in Iowa and he just continues. Today, we had robo-calls saying. “Donald Trump is not going to run in South Carolina,” — where I’m leading by a lot.”
I’m not going to vote for Ted Cruz. This is the same thing he did to Ben Carson. This guy will say anything, nasty guy. Now I know why he doesn’t have one endorsement from any of his colleagues.
CRUZ: Don, I need to go on…
TRUMP: He’s a nasty guy.
CRUZ: I will say, it is fairly remarkable to see Donald defending Ben after he called, “pathological,” and compared him to a child molester. Both of which were offensive and wrong.
But let me say this – you notice Donald didn’t disagree with the substance that he supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. And Donald has this weird pattern, when you point to his own record he screams, “liar, liar, liar.” You want to go…
TRUMP: Where did I support it? Where did I…
CRUZ: You want to go…
TRUMP: Again, where did I support it?
CRUZ: If you want to watch the video, go to our website at Tedcruz.org.
TRUMP: Hey Ted, where I support it?
CRUZ: You can see it out of Donald’s own mouth.
TRUMP: Where did I support?
CRUZ: You supported it when we were battling over defunding Planned Parenthood. You went on…
TRUMP: That’s a lot of lies.
CRUZ: You said, “Planned Parenthood does wonderful things and we should not defund it.”
TRUMP: It does do wonderful things but not as it relates to abortion.
CRUZ: So I’ll tell you what…
TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me, there are wonderful things having to do with women’s health.
CRUZ: You see you and I…
TRUMP: But not when it comes to abortion.
CRUZ: Don, the reasoned principle matters. The reasoned principle matters sadly was illustrated by the first questions today. The next president is going to appoint, one, two, three, four Supreme Court Justices.
Trump calls Cruz a liar and then admits to defending Planned Parenthood because they “do wonderful things” beyond abortion. Does Donald Trump not understand that taxpayer funding allows them to direct other resources into the abortion industry.
Last Summer, Trump defended Planned Parenthood while on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News:
HANNITY: You talk about Planned Parenthood, another example, talk about a war on women when you look at the number of abortions performed every year. Half a billion dollars of taxpayer money goes to them. You said that that you would have shut down the government to defund them and you also talked about some of the good things they do.
TRUMP: They do good things, I’m talking about things that have nothing to do with the abortions.
HANNITY: With the debt we have, $128 trillion in unfunded liabilities, should we even give them a penny?
TRUMP: So look, there’s two Planned Parenthoods in a way. You have it as an abortion clinic, that’s actually a fairly small part of what they do, but it is a brutal part. And I’m totally against it, and I wouldn’t do that. They also, however, service women and one of the things that I thought was so terrible was when Jeb Bush we were talking about women’s health issues, he was so bad, and it’s like ‘what is he doing?’ We have to help women. A lot of women need help so we have to look at the positive also for Planned Parenthood. Even a guy like you, you may be convinced it does some positive things. I would look at it very strongly. We have to help women, as far as the abortion stuff absolutely not.
HANNITY: But they are doing abortion, so then they can allocate their other resources to other things. Why should the taxpayers pay for an organization that does…
TRUMP: Maybe unless they stop with the abortions we don’t do the funding for the stuff that we want. There are many ways that you can do that Sean because I’m totally against the abortion aspect of Planned Parenthood, but I’ve had many women. I’ve had many Republican, conservative women come up and say Planned Parenthood serves a good function other than that one aspect.
So we have a maybe on defunding after Trump gave a rigorous defense.
Trump says abortion is a fairly small part of what they do. Susan B. Anthony List says it’s up to 94%. Trump must be following Planned Parenthood talking points because they state that only 3% of their services are abortion. The Heritage Foundation explained what gimmick is being used to reach that number, and it is thoroughly debunked:
How does the Planned Parenthood annual report arrive at the 3 percent figure? The calculation counts each “discrete clinical interaction” as a separate “medical service,” meaning simple tests or routine provision of birth control are given the same weight as surgical or chemical abortions. For example, if a woman in the course of a year receives a free condom, a pregnancy test, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) test, and an abortion, Planned Parenthood would say abortion was only 25 percent of the services provided.
Even with Planned Parenthood’s broad definition of “medical service,” data reported in the organization’s annual report suggest that roughly 12 percent of people who received a service from Planned Parenthood affiliates received an abortion during the reporting year.
Despite a nearly 20 percent decline in the number of abortions in the country between 2000 and 2011, the number of abortions Planned Parenthood performed during that time increased from 197,070 to 333,964, thereby more than doubling its share of the abortion market from 15 percent in 2000 to 32 percent in 2011, the latest year for which national data are available.
Planned Parenthood affiliates perform about 20 abortions for every prenatal care visit and about 200 abortions for every adoption referral based on the approximately 300,000 abortions they perform each year.
Shortly before this interview with Sean Hannity, Trump indicated to CNN that he would be in favor of funding some aspects of Planned Parenthood:
“I would look at the individual things that they do, and maybe some of the things are good. I know a lot of the things are bad. But certainly the abortion aspect of it should not be funded by government, absolutely,” Trump said on CNN.
“I would look at the good aspects of (Planned Parenthood),” Trump added. “And I would look at other aspects also, but we have to take care of women.”
“The biggest problem I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation,” Trump stated on CNN’s New Day. “I mean, it’s like an abortion factory, frankly. And you can’t have it, and you just shouldn’t be funding it, and that should not be funded by the government.”
Earlier, in the same month, Hugh Hewitt told Trump about the possibility of a government shut down over defunding Planned Parenthood. Hewitt asked Trump if he supported the move. “Well I can tell you this: I would,” Trump replied.
His most recent answers have been to defend and give a vague answer. Is it any wonder that several prominent pro-life women sent a message to Iowans before the Iowa Caucuses – “anyone but Trump.” They went beyond his ambiguity with Planned Parenthood funding to the larger pro-life cause:
As pro-life women leaders from Iowa and across the nation, we urge Republican caucus-goers and voters to support anyone but Donald Trump. On the issue of defending unborn children and protecting women from the violence of abortion, Mr. Trump cannot be trusted and there is, thankfully, an abundance of alternative candidates with proven records of pro-life leadership whom pro-life voters can support. We have come to this conclusion after having listened patiently to numerous debates and news reports, but most importantly to Donald Trump’s own words.
The next president will be responsible for as many as four nominations to the Supreme Court. Mr. Trump has given us only one indication about the type of judges he would appoint, and it does not bode well for those who would like to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade. Mr. Trump has said his sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, who struck down the Partial Birth Abortion Ban in New Jersey, would be a “phenomenal” choice for the court. Earlier this month, Mr. Trump also said he thought pro-choice Senator Scott Brown would make a “very good” Vice President. If one truly believes, as we do, that abortion is the taking of an innocent human life and is committed to the pro-life priorities of ending abortion after five months, and defunding the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood, it would be a disaster to have a vice president who disagrees.
All of this history and Trump has the gall to call Cruz a liar for pointing out what Trump himself said. He simply can not be trusted on this issue.