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Ted Cruz first GOP candidate to condemn Friday’s Planned Parenthood shooting

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Texas senator Ted Cruz has become the first Republican presidential candidate to directly address the fatal shooting of three people at Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, calling the attack “horrific”.

Speaking in Lamoni, Iowa, Cruz said that while the motives behind Friday’s attack were not clear “it was unacceptable, horrific and wrong”.

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“We know that police officers and civilians have been targeted and lost their lives and our prayers are right now are with the families,” Cruz said.

Many of the party’s candidates have come out strongly against Planned Parenthood on the campaign trail as they seek to secure conservative votes.

One police officer, Garrett Swasey, and two other civilians were killed and nine others were wounded in the attack. The suspect Robert Lee Dear, 59, has been taken into custody.

Law enforcement was still investigating whether opposition to abortion motivated the attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic. The nonprofit group has been controversial in recent months after videos were released that purportedly showed the group selling fetal organs for profit. Planned Parenthood has disputed the accuracy of those videos.

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Craz said: “I have spent much of my adult life working in law enforcement, working against murderers and those who commit violent crime and that one officer who lost his life is particularly tragic.”

Cruz became the first Republican presidential hopeful to address the attacks in person. The Texas senator had previously tweeted about the attack earlier on Saturday. In contrast, all three Democratic presidential candidates have issued statements about the attack as has President Barack Obama.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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