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”.
“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.
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.
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