Former Senator Rick Santorum and Rep. Trey Gowdy are out with statements condemning Ted Cruz for attacking Marco Rubio’s pro-life record.
Santorum condemned Cruz for trying to divide leaders in the pro-life cause for political gain, calling the Texas senator’s attack “a disservice to the pro-life cause.”
“We should be united in our fight to defund Planned Parenthood. Trying to create divisions and pit passionate pro-life leaders against each other is a disservice to the innocent unborn babies relying on us for help,” Santorum said
Gowdy released a statement saying his was “bitterly disappointed” with Ted Cruz for attacking Marco Rubio on his pro-life record during the Faith And Family Forum at Bob Jones University on Friday.
“Marco is passionately committed to the pro-life cause and has repeatedly voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Marco’s unwavering defense of life is one of the reasons I so enthusiastically support him,” he said. “I am bitterly disappointed Ted Cruz would try to intentionally mislead my fellow South Carolinians.”
Both Gowdy and Santorum have endorsed Rubio for president.
Rubio has consistently voted to defund Planned Parenthood, but Cruz said the Florida Senator failed to join him when he proposed that Congressional Republicans force a government shutdown over the issue last fall.
“Marco Rubio has spoken out about Planned Parenthood. But when these videos came out I stood with millions of Americans calling on Republican leadership to use the power of Congress to defund Planned Parenthood and to cut off the money. And Marco stood up and said: ‘No, we shouldn’t,'” Cruz said during the forum.
Although Cruz demanded that Republican leaders pursue a government shutdown, he eventually abandoned the idea of filibustering the budget on his own in the Senate.
The National Right To Life also released a statement condemning Cruz’s attack as “inaccurate and misleading.”
“Marco Rubio voted to defund Planned Parenthood before Ted Cruz ever got to the U.S. Senate,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Since Ted Cruz joined the U.S. Senate, both he and Sen. Rubio have voted the same on every roll call that National Right to Life regards as pertinent to defunding Planned Parenthood.”
Gowdy accused Cruz of acting like a Democrat, purposefully distorting Rubio’s record for political reasons.
“I am not surprised when Democrats like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nancy Pelosi distort Marco’s record,” Gowdy said. “I am surprised and disappointed when Ted Cruz does it. There is no one in Congress more unabashedly pro-life than Marco Rubio.”
Santorum accused Cruz of using the pro-life movement for his own political benefits.
“We need a leader like Marco who can unite conservatives in the fight for life, not people like Ted Cruz who choose to weaken the pro-life movement for political gain,” he said.