Former Hewlett Packard CEO and Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina received an ovation during Thursday night's GOP presidential debate after she strongly denounced Planned Parenthood and implied that the Republicans in Congress should risk a government shutdown to force a presidential veto to spending legislation that wouldn't fund the abortion giant.
As the topic of whether or not Republicans in Congress should risk a government shutdown to defund Planned Parenthood was raised at the CNN debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, Ohio Gov. John Kasich argued that it is pointless to attempt defunding Planned Parenthood through the continuing resolution, if President Barack Obama is just going to veto such legislation.
With the GOP in control of both the House and Senate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Fiorina responded to Kasich's veto argument stating that conservatives should not back down from their opposition to Planned Parenthood's $500 million in annual federal funding just because Obama is sure to veto.
Both Cruz and Fiorina discussed the recent series of videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress, which purport to show senior Planned Parenthood officials, and officials from a Planned Parenthood's aborted baby parts procurement partner, discussing how they committed federal crimes such as profiting off the sale of fetal tissue.
Fiorina argued that in light of the heinous acts displayed in some of the videos, continuing to fund Planned Parenthood shows the true "character" of the American nation. She further called on Obama and Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton to watch the CMP videos.
"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," Fiorina challenged. "This is about the character of our nation. And if we will not stand up and force president Obama to veto this bill, shame on us. "
Fiorina received about a 10-second applause from the crowd of about 500 people after giving her remark.
Cruz was asked to respond to comments made by fellow Republican presidential candidate and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who implied that threatening a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood would surely lose the election for Republicans.
"We shouldn't be sending $500 million of taxpayer money to funding an ongoing criminal enterprise," Cruz responded. "The fact that Republican leadership in both houses have begun this discussion by surrendering to Barack Obama and saying 'We'll give in because Obama threatens a veto.' Obama is committed to his principles, his liberal principles. He will fight for them. He says, 'I would veto any budget that doesn't fund Planned Parenthood.' And, Republicans surrender."
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker issued responses explaining how they have personally defunded Planned Parenthood in their state.
Christie noted he was elected the first pro-life governor of New Jersey since Roe vs. Wade, has defunded Planned Parenthood, and vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood eight times.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker chimed in insisting that some states have done their part to defund Planned Parenthood, but it is now time for the federal government to do the same.
"Like some of the other governors here, I defunded Planned Parenthood four and a half years ago in a blue state. But it is bigger than that," Walker said. "This is precisely why so many Republicans are upset with Washington. They see the House and see the Senate and say, 'Why can't we pass this? Why can't we defund Planned Parenthood in a spending bill?' Forget about the 60-vote rule. There is no reason. The Constitution doesn't call for 60 votes. Pass it with 51 votes put it on the desk of the president. Go forward and actually make a point."
Bush quipped that he is the "most pro-life governor" on the stage and reminded that in 1988, Title X of Health and Human Services funding included what is known as the "Reagan rule." The rule states that money between the actual abortion procedures and the promotion of it could not be separated.
"[Reagan] interpreted it the right way. The courts ruled in his favor, and Planned Parenthood did not get funding during that time until President Clinton came in," Bush explained. "When I'm elected president, we will restore that interpretation of Title X. And this deal will be finished."