Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who has been a vocal critic of Planned Parenthood and has even referred to it as an “ongoing criminal enterprise,” has an alternative theory about the tragic attack at one its Colorado locations on Friday.
Although the U.S. senator has condemned the fatal shooting of three people, he has also rejected preliminary reports that suggest conservative criticisms of the organization might have motivated the attacker.
Speaking with reporters at a campaign stop in Iowa on Sunday, Cruz laughed off suggestions that the shooter was part of the anti-abortion movement, or affiliated to the party in any way. He even advised against drawing conclusions while the facts are still uncertain, lashing out at the “vicious rhetoric on the left blaming those who are pro-life.”
“We know that he was a man who was registered to vote as a woman,” Cruz said, mocking media for the coverage of the tragic attack. “The media promptly wants to blame him on the pro-life movement when at this point there’s very little evidence to indicate that.”
A conservative blogger at Gateway Pundit reported on Saturday that the suspected gunman, Robert Lewis Dear Jr., is listed as female in his voter registration.
When a reporter told the Texas senator that the suspect referred to “baby parts” while he was being arrested — likely a reference to Republican rhetoric after undercover videos revealed Planned Parenthood’s program that provides tissue from aborted fetuses to researchers earlier this summer — he brushed it off.
“It’s also been reported that he was registered as an independent and a woman and transgendered leftist activist, if that’s what he is,” Cruz said, according to the Texas Tribune. “I don’t think it’s fair to blame on the rhetoric on the left. This is a murderer.”
Furthermore, he declined to "draw conclusion" when someone asked if the shooting at the clinic was an act of domestic terrorism.
“I would call it a murder,” Cruz stated. “It was a multiple murder of what appears to be a deranged individual. And it was horrific, it was evil and we will find out more about the facts, but I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.”
As the Huffington Post reports, the Texas senator was the first GOP candidate to denounce the shooting.
“We don’t know what those motives were, but whatever they were, it’s unacceptable, and it’s horrific and wrong,” he told the reporters.