"The biggest winner from Thursday night's CNN Republican presidential candidate debate: Carly Fiorina. Not only did she speak with expertise and fluency on policy, but Fiorina added some emotional inflection and personal touches to connect with the voters. Most importantly of all-- she managed to be the first candidate to go toe-to-toe with Trump on stage and come out the clear victor."
While Trump engaged in his typical nonsequitur, ad hominem attacks, Fiorina came across thoughtful, prepared and tough on issues both foreign and domestic. Another standout moment came during a discussion on defunding Planned Parenthood over its fetal organ harvesting controversy when Fiorina looked into the camera and challenged President Obama and Hillary Clinton to "watch these tapes. ... Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. ...
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and Chairman Carly Fiorina can't compete on this score, never having ever held political office. So at this week's GOP debate she raised the ante, making the most extreme statement about Planned Parenthood of anyone in the field.
Will she fess up to a gross misrepresentation and error? Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens, in a letter addressed to Fiorina via her campaign, states outright that "your statements last night, while vivid and attention-getting, were completely untrue," implicitly demanding an apology.
Planned Parenthood also calls out Fiorina for another misrepresentation. In an interview on Fox Business News following the first Republican debate last month, she called Planned Parenthood "an organization that has preyed on, preyed on, poor communities of color." Her evidence was that in New York City "there are more African American babies aborted every year than born alive."
Her statistical claim is based on truth; her implication tying it to Planned Parenthood is false. New York City reported 31,328 induced abortions among black women in 2012, compared with 24,758 live births. But to say this shows that Planned Parenthood has "preyed on" communities of color is just slander.
The high rate of abortion in the black community is a well-known phenomenon that long has perplexed reproductive health experts. Some attribute it to poverty or the difficulty of obtaining such contraceptive methods as IUDs, which are expensive. (The Affordable Care Act remedies this by making birth control available to all women without a co-pay, but Fiorina advocates repealing the act.) The idea that Planned Parenthood is steering black women to abortions is a figment of Fiorina's imagination.
Thus far, Fiorina has doubled down on her misrepresentation, telling George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "Good Morning America" the next day, "Rest assured I have seen the images that I talked about last night."