While on the campaign trail in Iowa, Republican candidate Ted Cruz addressed the issue of contraception with accusations leveled at the Democratic party, NBC News reports.
At a town hall meeting Monday night, Ted Cruz called contraception a “nonsense issue,” contrived by Democrats and the left in an effort to divert attention from “real issues.”
“Last I checked, we don’t have a rubber shortage in America,” the presidential candidate said to the packed town hall. “Look, when I was in college, we had a machine in the bathroom, you put 50 cents in and voila. So, yes, anyone who wants contraceptives an access them, but it’s an utter made-up nonsense issue,” Ted Cruz said.
He went on to say that he’d never met a conservative, or any individual, who wanted to ban contraceptives. Instead, he says, what he’s against is abortion in all its forms. The four minute long anecdote was an animated response to a question from the audience about his stance on making contraception available, specifically, to women.
“[My wife] and I, we have two little girls. I’m very glad we don’t have 17,” Ted Cruz said with a smirk, the audience laughed.
It’s a change from the typical scripted response Ted Cruz has become known for, a change which may endear him to conservative voters in Iowa. Despite, however, the fact that winning the Iowa caucuses hasn’t been as important as it has been in the past. The last Republican candidate to win the Iowa caucuses and the general election, or even the Republican nomination, was George W. Bush in 2004.
Ted Cruz went on, riding the enthusiasm from the crowd to deflect the question on to Hillary Clinton, who he blames for the “made-up” issue of contraceptive availability.
“Hillary Clinton embraces abortion on demand and in all circumstances until the moment of birth,” Ted Cruz said.
Hillary Clinton has long been a pro-choice advocate, but Ted Cruz inaccurately portrays the Democratic candidate’s stance on abortion “up until the moment of birth,” according to On The Issues and the International Business Times. Though during her Senate run, Clinton did state she supports access to controversial partial-birth abortion — but only if the health of the mother is at risk.
“Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare,” Clinton said in 2008, reports the L.A. Times.
Ted Cruz says Clinton made up the “condom police” as a campaign tactic to scare voters into supporting her.
“[She’s] going to make up a completely made up threat and try to scare a bunch of folks that are not paying a lot of attention into thinking someone’s going to steal their birth control,” Cruz said.
Ted Cruz may have oversimplified a complicated issue in his response to the question, but it comes at an interesting time, when other Republican candidates are addressing contraceptive access, and actually fighting to push through a bill which would allow over the counter access to birth control for all women.
Republican opponent Carly Fiorina supports the bill, and says it’s a free-market solution.
“It’s time for over-the-counter birth control, which will drive down prices and increase availability,” Fiorina said last week.
The bill has met with opposition from Senate Democrats, who support the idea but do not support the language of the bill, which doesn’t require insurance companies to continue covering the cost of birth control if it’s supplied over-the-counter.
The heart of the birth control and contraceptive issue, the Washington Post reports, is cost. If birth control is available over-the-counter at outrageous and inflated prices, it remains inaccessible for low-income women.
Ted Cruz continued his response on Monday night, moving on to the shooting at Planned Parenthood.
“The murder that occurred in Colorado is tragic. It is a criminal act, but we don’t fully know the motivations of this deranged individual,” Ted Cruz said. When asked to follow-up on that statement by the Texas Tribune, Cruz alleges that the shooter was a “transgender leftist activist.”
Robert Lewis Dear, a 57-year-old man, shot and killed three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood on Friday. Though his motivations remain unclear to Ted Cruz, they were clear enough to police when he shouted “No more baby parts” after his arrest, as CNN reported Sunday night.
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