While addressing reporters in Newton, Iowa, on Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, rejected claims by many on the left that Robert Dear, the suspected gunman in a horrific shooting in Colorado Springs, is part of the pro-life movement. He also addressed what he called “some vicious rhetoric on the left blaming those who are pro-life.”
“As expected, the Colorado shooter was a ‘pro-life’ terrorist motivated by his opposition to safe and legal abortion,” one person wrote on Twitter. “So the Colorado shooter was big anti-abortion,” another person said, echoing talking points put out by Planned Parenthood. “Nothing says prolife like killing 3 people.”
Many others have used the shooting to demonize all white Christian males as terrorists. But Cruz noted that there’s nothing at this time indicating Dear’s true motive.
“The media promptly wants to blame him on the pro-life movement when at this point there’s very little evidence to indicate that,” he said. One reporter asked Cruz about a statement referring to “baby parts” that Dear allegedly made when he was arrested.
According to NBC, the claim came from unnamed police sources. But, NBC added, “the sources stressed that Dear said many things to law enforcement and the extent to which the ‘baby parts’ remark played into any decision to target the Planned Parenthood office was not yet clear. He also mentioned President Barack Obama in statements.” In short, it’s not known what, exactly, Dear actually said.
“It’s also been reported that he was registered as an independent and a woman and a transgendered leftist activist,” Cruz said in response. “If that’s what he is, I don’t think it’s fair to blame on the rhetoric on the left. This is a murderer.”
Public records indicate Dear is registered as an unaffiliated female voter. Others have made the claim that Dear is a left-wing transgendered activist, but those claims have not been fully verified. What is known is that Dear was known as a “malcontent who drifted from place to place,” according to the Washington Post.
“Some who knew him found him to be unremarkable, while others said that he seemed to be delusional and aggressive,” the Post added. “He had a history of run-ins with neighbors and police, including arrests for alleged cruelty to animals and allegedly being a ‘peeping Tom.’ He was not convicted in either case.”
Unlike so many others, Cruz warned against drawing conclusions from the shooting at this point in the investigation. In addition to the overheated rhetoric from the left, some Republicans, like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, have apparently adopted Planned Parenthood talking points, referring to the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism.
“I would call it a murder, and we’ll see what the facts are,” Cruz told reporters. “It was a multiple murder of what appears to be a deranged individual. And it was horrific, it was evil, and we’ll find out more out about the facts, but I don’t think we should jump to conclusions.”