Fiorina throws down gauntlet to Clinton and Obama

There is no question that Carly Fiorina was the winner of the GOP debate tonight. By far, the best moment of the entire debate was when she threw the gauntlet down to Secretary Clinton and President Obama (watch above). She dared them to watch the videos showing Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling body parts of aborted babies. It was strong and on point. It was probably the best moment I’ve seen in a debate since Ronald Reagan gave Mondale the line about “youth and inexperience.” It was that good.

But even more important than the horse-race is the fact that Fiorina (and Cruz) brought attention to these videos in a way that the American people have not yet seen. Her words reflect the passion of the pro-life movement and the gravity of what’s at stake. Pro-life people very rarely get to see that kind of conviction and clarity from the politicians who represent this cause. I hope that the 24 million people who tuned-in to see Trump got their consciences awakened to the ugly truth about Planned Parenthood. If that happened, it would be the most important outcome of this debate.

Fiorina was also the only candidate on the stage who was able to confront Trump and win. She beat him on substance and in class. That came out especially in their exchange about his recent insult about her “face” (watch below). She was defiant, dignified, and principled. Trump was not. The only response he could come up with was a patronizing remark about how pretty she is. Talk about missing the point.

I thought the questioning from Tapper left much to be desired. Instead of focusing on policy, he asked a slew of questions aimed at getting the candidates to fight with each other about piddly issues. Hugh Hewitt does not play this game and should have been given more time to question the candidates. It would have been more substantial and policy-oriented.

Still, Fiorina seems to me to have stood head and shoulders above the rest. Very well done.

22 Responses to Fiorina throws down gauntlet to Clinton and Obama

  1. Christiane Smith September 16, 2015 at 11:51 pm #

    with so many issues needing discussion on the national stage, I regret that Tapper wasted time . . . Mrs. Fiorina handled the ‘face’ questioning with professional eclat. Chances are, she saw this coming and thought about how to respond, but we cannot know that for certain.

    She definitely presents as a class act. I hope she can avoid ‘pandering’ to special interests as she continues her campaigning for the nomination and instead focuses strongly on important issues. That would be most reassurance to those of us who want two strong and healthy political parties in this country for the sake of our country’s future. She has great higher education creds (UMd. and MIT) and knows how to handle failures at the highest levels of business.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if the two nominated candidates for the office of POTUS were both women? 🙂

  2. buddyglass September 17, 2015 at 12:20 am #

    I didn’t watch, but a bunch of my friends did. Their general view was that Fiorina, Rubio and Bush (in no particular order) all improved their situation, while Carson and Trump probably worsened theirs.

    “getting the candidates to fight with each other”

    That kind of seems like a win. If you got the candidates to fight about something then you achieved “separation” between their views. You pointed out some issue where some of them think X and others think Y. That’s useful information, unless the thing they’re disagreeing over is completely trivial. If you were to ask a field of Republicans what they think about taxes and every one of them were to respond with some version of “I think we should cut taxes and shrink the size of government” then that’s not really interesting or revealing.

  3. Mike Lynch September 17, 2015 at 6:55 am #

    She’d be a lot closer to my number one choice if she changed her view on exception cases of rape and incest.

  4. keithkraska September 17, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    Conviction? Passion? Just what does it mean to be pro-life?
    When Fiorina was running for Senate and Barbara Boxer attacked her on the life issue, Fiorina told reporters that Boxer “was trying to shift voters’ attention from more pressing concerns.”
    Also, her position is that abortion is justifiable if the baby was the result of rape or incest.
    What one really believes is revealed by their answer to this question: Would you take the same measures to stop the genocide of the unborn as you would to stop the same thing happening to adults or children in this country?
    It’s clear that Fiorina’s answer is no.
    If one believes there are “more pressing concerns” than an American genocide, if your urgency to save people changes if they’re still in the womb, that is not pro-life.
    If one believes the sanctity of a baby’s life and question of whether or not to murder them depends on how they was conceived, that is not pro-life.
    Taking on Planned Parenthood now is easy. Conviction and passion would be doing so before the videos came out.

    • Daryl Little September 17, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      Of course it’s pro-life. That’s not the same as perfect, but it’s getting there.

      Any Christian who wouldn’t take a ban on abortion in all cases except rape and incest, and call that a seismic step forward, has stopped being pro-life and has become pro-agenda.
      We take what we can get, baby steps.

      This coming from a Canadian. Where abortion on demand will never become a policy issue because up here, there is less than zero chance of any change in law. Goodness, two of the three national parties will not allow you to run for office if you are pro-life or pro-traditional family.

      Don’t be so short sighted and silly. Take everything you can in the cause of life, don’t aim for perfection and snub anything less than that! This is the real world.

      • Christiane Smith September 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

        Cutting millions in funding that directly affects pregnant women is not ‘taking everything in the cause of life’ . . . was the money returned to the tax-payers? No. It was turned over to the a fraction of the top one-percent of the wealthy in our country.

        We need to get real, all right. What is going on is truly wrong, when people of faith are manipulated to vote against their own interests. Getting real will mean waking up to this reality and accepting that good folks have been tricked out of their votes by greedy people. ‘Pro-life’? It’s so much more than ‘one issue’ on a voting directive.

      • Esther O'Reilly September 17, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

        Daryl, there’s a difference between candidates who are willing to vote for a bill containing exceptions in order to get what they can (as Rubio explained after the last debate), and candidates who actually believe in the exceptions as a matter of principle. Fiorina may be in the latter category, and this may be why people are concerned. She’s definitely in favor of embryonic stem cell research, another big point against her as far as life issues are concerned.

        • Lauren Bertrand September 17, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

          Well, there’s always Hilary or the Bern as an alternative. A host of moderate Americans haven’t blinded themselves to the shades of gray that stubbornly refuse to go away, when it comes to abortion. Considering how well the “no exceptions” stance worked for Akins and Mourdoch in the liberal hotbeds of Missouri and Indiana back in 2012, I’d say this may very well be an example where you’re going to have to accept that the iterative vetting process is just democracy at its most Tocquevillian–not manipulating people of faith to “vote against their own interest”, unless they’d rather the other candidate get elected because of their refusal to vote anything less than the ideal.

          • Christiane Smith September 18, 2015 at 1:51 am #

            My examination of candidates centers on which ones have consistently in word and in action affirmed a care for the poor and the marginalized. That is how I would evaluation the ‘character’ of a candidate first; and then I would look at their policies to strengthen the working class and the middle class in our country.

            I want to know the names of those who have hurt our country: an example is identifying who are those who have voted to reward companies moving overseas by giving them tax breaks. That’s just one example. There is a mountain of corruption to be exposed.
            Our country has been weakened over time by greed and it’s time to turn the tables on the culprits who have run free by touting ‘one-issue voting’ as the way to go, while they use their power to further their own private interests and by sending tax breaks to the top fraction of our wealthiest one-percent. There is no decency or honor here. As for the one issue . . . these politicians never delivered what they promised, and likely they never intended to. Enough already. ‘Christian’ voting needs to be re-examined because, right now, it has been sorely manipulated and abused.

  5. Paul Reed September 17, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    You can watch videos online of actual abortions being done. And these don’t change their minds. So why would these videos make a difference?

    • James Stanton September 17, 2015 at 9:48 am #

      Paul,

      I’m not sure. Viewing abortion as a sin requires conviction. I think it’s not realistic to expect that people will be so grossed-out by a medical procedure that they will oppose abortion.

      The demand to view these videos would be about as impactful as demanding people look at images of all those children murdered at the elementary school in Newtown, CT. Those images will not be released but there have been calls to do so. It’s meant to shock people into supporting the cause of gun control. Many would refuse to look at such images just as many will refuse to look at the PP videos.

      • Esther O'Reilly September 17, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

        Except the humanity of the dead children at Newtown is not being denied, which can’t be said for the dead babies whose body parts are being sold for profit.

  6. Jeremy Poland September 17, 2015 at 8:47 am #

    Denny, thanks for this insightful commentary. I am thankful for these candidates seeking in the highest office in the land.

  7. JR Walker September 17, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    The thing about it is that in 2008 when a lot of folks were energized by Sarah Palin (I’m not comparing Fiorina to Palin!), John Piper and Doug Wilson got into a battle over whether a woman should be voted for as vice president. I pray that Piper will be more measured in his reactions to a strong woman leader – for once.

  8. Joseph Randall September 17, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    Dr. Burk,
    I’ve seen many dispute Fiorina’s words saying there is no fetus with heart beating and legs moving in the videos. There is picture of this in the video’s but it’s a courtesy picture, not actual footage. I think Fiorina is simply referring to the testimony of the former worker? What’s your take on it?

    See: http://www.vox.com/2015/9/16/9342165/carly-fiorina-planned-parenthood

    Thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Joseph

    • Denny Burk September 17, 2015 at 11:55 am #

      There are images of arms and legs of aborted babies. The “beating heart” part comes from the testimony of witness who used to work inside Planned Parenthood. She tells the story of the baby’s heart beating and of another worker telling her to impale the live baby’s face with scissors. It is horrific. But the “beating heart” part is eye-witness testimony, not actual video footage. If I remember correctly, they used stock footage while she told her story.

      In my view, it’s a pedantic point on the fact-checkers’s part.

      • Joseph Randall September 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

        Amen, I agree with you!

  9. Ian Shaw September 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    I find it a bit comical that they all assume that their opponent (or which ever of them takes the nomination) will be Mrs. Clinton. Too early to assume that IMHO…

    • Roy Fuller September 17, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

      Comical on one level, smart on others. Because she represents the devil for a segment of the Republican party, Mrs. Clinton is widely used in Republican fundraising appeals, because after all, we cannot let the devil get elected.

      • Ian Shaw September 17, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

        To compare a human being to the devil would seem to be horrible theology at the least and just stupidity at the worst. Just more fear pandering that turns off millenials even more….

        Comical to me because if the “Bern-ster” decides to pull out the stops and de-cleat Mrs. Clinton, the Republicans and their nominee will be caught with their pants down and Bernie saying, “how’s that taste?”

        • Christiane Smith September 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

          IAN, did you see Bernie’s talk at Liberty U. ? If not, it’s on ‘youtube’.
          Even the question and answer portion was dynamic and thought-provoking.

          • Ian Shaw September 18, 2015 at 9:02 am #

            Nope. Didn’t see it. Have to look at it. I’m surprised they let him in to talk. Then again, I was surprised when they let Driscoll in to talk as well.

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