The mainstream media is gushing about former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina’s performance at Wednesday night’s Republican debate, declaring her the winner of the 11-person GOP free for all. In the way that the American press scores political debates, where striking cheap emotional chords with viewers counts for more than making coherent policy arguments, Fiorina probably did “win the debate.”
However, voters should be concerned that Fiorina built her debate victory on a bed of lies. None of those lies was more blatant than her emotional diatribe against Planned Parenthood. During the debate, Fiorina railed:
I dare, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, 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. This is about the character of this nation!
To loud applause, she concluded her rant by saying:
And if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.
Fiorina’s lurid horror story was a real crowd pleaser, but rather than daring Clinton and Obama to view the video tapes maybe she should watch them herself first. Nowhere in the 12 hours of sting videos released by the anti-abortion group attempting to defame Planned Parenthood, does the gruesome scene Fiorina mentions take place.
The brain harvesting discussion and the fully formed fetus flailing on the table aren’t anywhere in the tapes Fiorina urges Obama and Clinton to view. However, that doesn’t matter to Fiorina. She knows that by inventing grisly tales about Planned Parenthood, she can further her political career and endear herself to the right-wing, anti-choice religious fanatics who vote in GOP primaries.
The Republican debate was chock full of candidates spreading lies, but Fiorina’s recounting of watching a horrifying video that doesn’t exist was the night’s biggest whopper. Yet, sadly it went unchallenged by any of her GOP opponents, who are all too willing to spread their own lies about Planned Parenthood. The organization is a convenient bogeyman for the GOP to demonize in order to score cheap political points.
In addition, none of the three obsequious CNN moderators dared to call out Fiorina for her bald-faced lie either. Rather than swallow her fake horror story, one of them should have dared her to watch the video again because the scene she describes is a figment of her twisted imagination. Shame on Carly Fiorina for making up the lies, and shame on CNN for letting those lies go unchallenged.
Demanding honesty from our politicians is a test about the character of our nation. If we will not stand up and demand that Carly Fiorina stop spreading blatant lies, then shame on us.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.