Carly Fiorina uses kids as anti-abortion props without parental consent

Carly Fiorina has been accused of “ambushing” a group of children who were on a field trip to a botanical garden, ushering them to a campaign-organized anti-abortion event without their parents’ consent.

From the Guardian:

Carly Fiorina, screenshot via Des Moines Register

Carly Fiorina, screenshot via Des Moines Register

The alleged ambush occurred when Fiorina hosted a “right to life” forum at the Greater Des Moines botanical garden. Entering the rally, before a crowd of about 60 people, she directed around 15 young children towards a makeshift stage.

The problem, one parent said, was that the children’s parents had not given Fiorina permission to have their children sit with her – in front of a huge banner bearing the image of an unborn foetus – while she talked about harvesting organs from aborted babies.

“The kids went there to see the plants,” said Chris Beck, the father of four-year-old Chatham, one of the children Fiorina appeared with. “She ambushed my son’s field trip.”

Fiorina has been particularly focused and particularly awful on the issue of abortion throughout the campaign. It’s one of the only reasons anyone’s still considering voting for her. From repeatedly and emphatically lying about the Planned Parenthood “sting” videos to holding anti-abortion forums in Iowa while her opponents are holding ordinary rallies and meet-and-greets, Fiorina is gunning hard for Republicans who are thinking of the (unborn) children.

Using children as a prop, without their or their parents’ consent, complicates that pitch quite a bit:

“I do not know enough about Carly to support her,” Beck said of the woman who introduced his son to the idea of terminating a pregnancy.

“And after today, she wouldn’t get my vote for sure.”

Asked for comment, a Fiorina spokeswoman told the Guardian via email that the campaign was “happy that these children chose to come to Carly’s event with their adult supervisor.” However, as Beck told the Guardian, it’s not as if a four year-old can or should make a choice to attend any kind of political event — to say nothing of an anti-abortion event. As he said, “Taking them into a pro-life/abortion discussion [was] very poor taste and judgment…I would not want my four-year-old going to that forum – he can’t fully comprehend that stuff. He likes dinosaurs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers.”

It’s unclear as to whether Carly Fiorina ever really thought she could be president, or if she was just trying to raise the rates for her paid speeches. Either way, when she inevitably drops out, the few who look back on her campaign will remember her as the candidate who coerced children into being used as anti-abortion props.

Stay classy, Carly.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Hard to believe the gall of right wing politics.

  • hood0shnik

    thanks for posting that. Its always nice to hear from people with firsthand knowledge.

  • I worked for HP for a few years before Fiorina took a wrecking ball to the company and its unique collegial culture. I’ve known and still keep in touch, from time to time, with some of the folks back then. There really were people singing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” in the HP parking lots when her forced resignation was announced.

    It was an incredibly stupid and greed-driven move which had them hire her in the first place, because people knew even then Fiorina was unscrupulous and would do borderline (or actually) illegal things.

    While a VP at Lucent in charge of sales to service provider networks, Fiorina was responsible for a practice where Lucent would take its own money and loan it to prospective customers, who then would buy Lucent products with that loan money. Mind, many of these customers could not have qualified for the loans and indeed many of the loans were bad before the ink had dried. We’re talking sub-sub-prime loans.

    For what it’s worth, I also worked for Lucent, when they were first spun off by AT&T…which was how Fiorina ended up a VP there, at the same time I was just a contractor tech writer.

    In a neat bit of accounting magic, money from the loans began to appear on Lucent’s income statement as new revenue while the dicey debt got stashed on its balance sheet as an allegedly solid asset. It was nothing of the sort. Lucent said in its SEC filings that it had little choice to play the so-called vendor financing game, because all its competitors were too.
    (…)
    In an SEC document filed just after Fiorina’s departure, the company revealed that it had $7 billion in loan commitments to customers — many of them financially unstable start-ups building all manner of new networks — of which Lucent had dispensed $1.6 billion.

    Source: http://fortune.com/2015/09/16/donald-trump-fiorina-lucent/

    Meanwhile, Carly had already bailed on the company before the bubble she created began to collapse and Lucent’s stock price tanked. (It’s also why Lucent ended my contract–they were out of money and began imposing severe austerity measures.) She really is a one-woman wrecking crew. All I can say is thank Cthulhu there is zero chance of her becoming president.

  • I almost cannot imagine what kind of mindset would lead anybody to think they can just round up a bunch of other people’s kids — four-year-olds on a field trip to a botanical garden — and use them as campaign props. And not just props for anything, but for a forced-birther speech.

    Then I remember, “Oh yeah, it’s Carly Fiorina and she’s a Republican. That’s exactly the kind of person who would do something like that. Exploit other people’s children without thinking permission might be appropriate, needed, and required by law.”

    (BTW, she has two step-daughters. No actual kids of her own…so either she’s infertile or has very likely availed herself of contraception and/or abortion services at some points in her twice-married lifetime.)

  • nicho

    Every time you think the GOP has reached the bottom of the cesspool, they go and dive a little deeper.

  • billyjean33

    Wow – she’s even sleazier than I thought! Sure glad she’s not getting any traction in her campaign.

  • Quilla

    Well, if that were my small child who had been taken and photographed without my consent and held in a place where I was not present by a person with questionable motives, I’d probably be calling the police and certainly a lawyer.

    And just who was that “adult” leader of the group who thought this might be a good idea to have small children pose under a fetus photo? Good grief.

  • emjayay

    Did anyone ever write a book about the inside story of her tenure at hp? I can only imagine. People don’t often change their stripes.

  • The_Fixer

    No empathy toward others is a defining characteristic of the CEO class. She’s just being herself here.

    I am not surprised by this.

  • Texon

    Disgusting behavior for an adult to ambush children with an issue they have no reason to be involved with. Catty Fiorina is a terrible human being. No empathy towards others is a awful way to go through life. This woman should seek forgiveness for her lies and deceit.

  • UncleBucky

    The only thing that the two words “carly” and “classy” share is the letter “c”, which a few other words start with, too.

    But I digress…

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