The Note: What the Candidates Are Saying After Colorado

November 30, 2015, 8:19 AM


--CLINTON CALLS FOR GUN CONTROL: In her most extensive remarks since the shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado on Friday, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton doubled down on her support for the organization, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ notes. "We should be supporting Planned Parenthood, not attacking it. And it is way past time for us to protect women's health and respect women's rights not use them as political footballs," Clinton said in New Hampshire last night during her remarks at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Manchester. "Here in New Hampshire, Republicans on your executive council cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. And in Congress and on the campaign trail, Republicans who claim they just hate big government are only too happy to have government step in when it comes to women's bodies and health. It's wrong and we're not going to stand for it." Clinton described Planned Parenthood as a place where women can get the health care they need, such as "breast exams and STD testing, contraception and yes safe and legal abortions." She also offered her condolences for the victims of the shooting, and called for gun control measures. "How many more Americans need to die before we take action?" Clinton asked.

--MARTIN O'MALLEY WEIGHS IN: Clinton rival, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley also responded to the shooting in New Hampshire last night, according to ABC's MARYALICE PARKS: "This most recent act of terror took place at a Planned Parenthood. Others have taken place in classrooms, in schools, in church basements. We cannot treat these acts of terrible violence as isolated events. We have call them what they are: acts of intolerance, racism, and hate," he said. "They are designed to prey on the vulnerable and the unsuspecting. They are acts of terror."

--PLANNED PARENTHOOD BLAMES GOP RHETORIC FOR 'TOXIC ENVIRONMENT': While many Republican presidential candidates have condemned the shooting at the Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic, Planned Parenthood yesterday accused some of those same GOP candidates of contributing to the creation of a "toxic environment" that provoked the attack, ABC's JORDYN PHELPS reports. "It is offensive and outrageous that some politicians are now claiming this tragedy has nothing to do with the toxic environment they helped create," Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said in a statement released Sunday. Laguens singles out Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina by name, accusing them of "using this tragedy to repeat false claims about Planned Parenthood," and says it's not enough to denounce the tragedy without also stopping their rhetoric against the organization.

--BEN CARSON URGES PEACEFUL DIALOGUE ON PLANNED PARENTHOOD IN WAKE OF COLORADO SPRINGS SHOOTING. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson called on pro-choice and pro-life advocates to express their differences in a peaceful manner in the wake of a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs that left three dead Friday. "What we really have to start asking ourselves is what can we do as a nation to rectify the situation," Carson said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "I think we should talk about the actual facts. If we can get rid of the rhetoric from either side and actually talk about the facts, I think that's when we begin to make progress." Carson condemned the shooting at the clinic, calling it a hate crime, ABC's KATHERINE FAULDERS notes. "Unfortunately, there is a lot of extremism coming from all areas," Carson said.

--WHAT OTHERS IN THE GOP ARE SAYING: Fiorina, who has been one of the most outspoken GOP candidates in her opposition to Planned Parenthood and continues to allege that the organization has "harvested" fetal body parts for sale, called the shooting a "tragedy" that cannot be justified. According to ABC's JORDYN PHELPS, Fiorina told Fox News, "What I would say to anyone who tries to link this terrible tragedy to anyone who opposes abortion or opposes the sale of body parts, this is typical left-wing tactics." Trump, speaking on NBC yesterday, called the attack "terrible" and the shooter a "maniac." When asked whether he thought the rhetoric against Planned Parenthood has grown too extreme, Trump replied, "No." Unlike Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz isn't calling the shooting an act of domestic terrorism. Cruz also refuted those who say rhetoric against Planned Parenthood led to the shooting. "Well I think there has been some vicious rhetoric on the left. Blaming those who are pro-life. I'll tell you I am proud to be unambiguously pro-life...This murder that occurred in Colorado is tragic. It is a criminal act, we don't fully know the motivations of this deranged individual," Cruz said yesterday in a gaggle in Newton, Iowa.

--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: Either the abortion debate starts to become about guns, or the gun-control debate starts to become about the rhetoric surrounding abortion. In either scenario, the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado turned, with all expected speed, into another political discussion that ends (or, rather, doesn't) with no particular satisfaction. Planned Parenthood and gun-control groups decried a political season that's made casual violence less surprising than it should be. Carly Fiorina, who has made the secret Planned Parenthood videos a centerpiece of her campaign, called such talk "typical left-wing tactics." Sen. Ted Cruz moved to separate the alleged gunman from the conservative movement. "We know that he was a man who registered to vote as a woman," Cruz said. A campaign season might be the last time of any year that one might expect sober and serious consideration around current events. This campaign year in particular seems designed to prove that point.


DONALD TRUMP SAYS HE WASN'T MAKING FUN OF REPORTER'S DISABILITY. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump says he wasn't mocking a New York Times reporter's muscular disorder when he made jerking motions seeming to imitate the man's condition during a speech last week, saying Saturday at a rally in Sarasota, Florida, that he was just showing a reporter who was "groveling." "I was very expressive in saying it, and they said that I was mocking him," Trump said. "I would never mock a person that has difficulty. I would never do that. I'm telling you, I would never do it." Trump has insisted that he does not know the reporter, Serge Kovaleski, and was unaware of his condition, ABC's JORDYN PHELPS writes. Kovaleski has disputed Trump's claim and said he was on a first-name basis with the real estate mogul when he covered him for the New York Daily News in the 1980s.

JOHN KASICH REFUSES TO SAY IF HE WOULD SUPPORT DONALD TRUMP AS REPUBLICAN NOMINEE. Ohio Gov.John Kasich would not commit on Sunday to supporting frontrunner Donald Trump as the party's nominee, saying that he did not expect the real estate mogul to win. "I think he's very divisive and I do not believe he will last," Kasich said when asked if he would support Trump if he wins the Republican primary. Kasich pointed to Trump's recent back and forth with The New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski as a reason he won't win the nomination, ABC's BENJAMIN GITTLESON notes. Trump has drawn criticism this week for appearing to mimic Kovaelski's mannerisms, caused by a muscular disorder, which Kasich said Trump "absolutely mocked." "Somebody who divides this country, here in the 21st century, who's calling names of women and Muslims and Hispanics and mocking reporters, and says, 'I didn't do it,' but he did do it, it's just not going to happen," said Kasich.

MARTIN O'MALLEY COMPARES DONALD TRUMP'S LANGUAGE TO FASCISM. Democratic presidential hopeful Martin O'Malley said Sunday night that Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is making "the sort of appeal that historically has often preceded fascism." "Trump says we should be monitoring everyone of the Muslim faith, keeping some kind of registry, maybe even issuing special ID cards," the former Maryland governor said during his remarks at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner. He continued with an unmistakeable Nazi comparison. "Let me ask you this. Who is next? Catholics? Trade unionists? Artists? We've seen this road before, and it does not lead to a good place," he said. After the speech, reporters pressed O'Malley on whether he thought Trump himself was a fascist. O'Malley would not say so explicitly, but said the language Trump uses is similar, ABC's MARYALICE PARKS reports.

CARSON CALLS ON U.S. TO HELP REFUGEES SETTLE IN MIDDLE EAST. Ben Carson said Saturday the United States must do more to help solve the Syrian crisis, but that bringing 25,000 refugees from the conflict to the U.S. will "do nothing." The Republican presidential candidate was in Jordan on Saturday, where he visited a refugee camp and met with medical professionals, humanitarian workers and government officials. Campaign officials told ABC News that Carson was traveling to Jordan on a "fact finding and information gathering mission." "These brave people want nothing more than an end the war in Syria. They want to go back to their lives. We must find a political end to this conflict. Millions of refugees have now been waiting for years for the end of the war to come in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey," Carson said in a statement released to ABC News. According to ABC's KATHERINE FAULDERS, the visit marks the first time one of the 2016 candidates has visited such a camp since the refugee crisis began this year.

HILLARY CLINTON CALLS FOR ADDITIONAL $275 BILLION TO MODERNIZE INFRASTRUCTURE NATIONWIDE. Hillary Clinton unveiled a five-year, $275 billion plan Sunday to rebuild and modernize the nation's infrastructure, which she says will be a "down payment on our future." "To build a strong economy for our future we must start by building strong infrastructure today, and putting you and your members to work," Clinton said. "I have a five-year, $275 billion plan to invest on our infrastructure, create good paying jobs and build the future America deserves. Clinton's plan, which she unveiled at the launch of "Hard Hats for Hillary" at Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, would include the creation of an infrastructure bank and would be paid for by a "business tax reform," according to her campaign. The release of her plan marks the beginning of her campaign's month-long focus on jobs, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ notes.

TED CRUZ DOES 'PRINCESS BRIDE' IMPRESSION. He's quoted "Jerry Maguire," "The Usual Suspects" and "Scarface" on the campaign trail, but it's clear, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz loves "The Princess Bride" the most. At a church service yesterday in Des Moines, Iowa, the presidential hopeful was prodded by the pastor of Christian Life Assembly of God to offer an impression from his favorite movie. It didn't take much prodding. "I will confess to knowing an awful lot of that movie," Cruz said. Cruz has previously said it's his favorite movie. According to ABC's JESSICA HOPPER, Cruz launched into a two-minute reenactment of a scene that had him acting the parts of four characters made famous by Billy Crystal, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin and Carol Kane. WATCH:


NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER ENDORSES CHRIS CHRISTIE. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's struggling presidential bid got a welcome boost this weekend in an endorsement from the New Hampshire Union Leader. "In just 10 weeks, New Hampshire will make a choice that will profoundly affect our country and the world. We better get it right," the newspaper's publisher Joseph McQuaid wrote in the endorsement. "Our choice is Gov. Chris Christie." One of the Granite State's leading newspapers, the Union Leader's endorsement is a significant development for the Christie's campaign, which has so far failed to gain traction in the crowded Republican primary, ABC's JORDYN PHELPS reports. "Gov. Christie is right for these dangerous times," the editorial continued. "He has prosecuted terrorists and dealt admirably with major disasters. But the one reason he may be best-suited to lead during these times is because he tells it like it is and isn't shy about it."


@JTSantucci: Trump this week hits GA, NH, VA, DC, NC and Iowa. Meets with African American Religious leaders tomorrow - cancels planned press conference.

@ryanjreilly: Read the confidential memo Hillary Clinton sent Obama on #Guantanamo: ...

@mattkatz00: @ChrisChristie is texting his way to winning New Hampshire. Great details about endorsement game from @mikiebarb: ...

@GlennThrush: Senate Republicans heart @marcorubio -- or just hate @tedcruz THIS MUCH. A @seungminkim @burgessev joint ...

@bpolitics: In the recording studio with Candy Carson, wife of @RealBenCarson