Angry Iowa parents have accused presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina of using their young children as props while she spoke during a “right to life” rally held at a botanical garden in Des Moines on Wednesday. Parents say their young children were on a field at the botanical garden at the same time Fiorina was holding an anti-abortion rally there, and the candidate led the children to a makeshift stage where she delivered her remarks — without parents’ permission. Photos from the event show about 15 children, who look to be 4 or 5 years of age, seated on the floor around Fiorina as she holds a microphone and rails against abortion. The candidate even posted a 14-second video on Twitter showing her leading the group of unsuspecting children through the botanical garden.
Some special guests took a break from the snow to join me on a walk through the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.https://t.co/KTMiQXZ3fx
— Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) January 20, 2016
Chris Beck, the father of a 4-year-old boy who appeared in photos with Fiorina, was furious. “The kids went there to see the plants,” he told The Guardian. “She ambushed my son’s field trip.” Beck said Fiorina’s slippery move was in “poor taste” and added, “I would not want my 4-year-old going to that forum. He can’t fully comprehend that stuff. He likes dinosaurs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers.” Abortion has been one of Fiorina’s chief platforms during her campaign, and her speech at the rally even featured a model fetus that was held up to illustrate her points.
The stunt comes as Fiorina is trying desperately to keep her fading campaign on life support. A new poll of Iowa voters released on Thursday shows the former H-P CEO is in second-to-last place among the remaining 11 GOP candidates with just two percent support. Iowa holds its caucuses in 12 days. In New Hampshire, which will hold its primary about a week after the Iowa caucuses, the outlook isn’t quite as bleak for Fiorina, but it’s hardly encouraging. In a poll released Wednesday, she’s in eighth place with four percent support.
Read the full story at The Guardian.