Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, who based her campaign around attacking the women’s health organization Planned Parenthood, endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for president on Tuesday.
Speaking at a rally for Cruz in Miami, Fiorina praised her formal rival as an outsider candidate and trusted conservative. At the same time, the former Hewlett Packard CEO also slammed Republican front-runner Donald Trump, calling him part of the establishment “system.”
“Donald Trump has made billions of dollars buying people like Hillary Clinton. They’re the system,” she said. “They will not reform it. And so, when the establishment says Ted Cruz is too conservative, he’s too much of a fighter, he won’t get along, I say, you go Ted.”
Fiorina’s endorsement came about a month after she dropped out of the race. She was critical of Cruz during her campaign, saying he was “just like any other politician — He says one thing in Manhattan, he says another thing in Iowa.”
Indeed, her endorsement raised some flags with reporters on Twitter, who noted that one of Cruz’s super PACs gave $500,000 to Carly Fiorina’s super PAC in 2015, while Fiorina’s campaign was still in full swing. Fiorina relied heavily on her super PAC to finance her campaign, which she was often called out for.
One thing to note: Cruz's top financier, Robert Mercer, was a big Carly fan. He had $500k moved from his Cruz super PAC to back her.
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) March 9, 2016
Though she didn’t mention abortion in her endorsement, both Fiorina and Cruz are notoriously against pro-choice policies and Planned Parenthood.
During her campaign, Fiorina repeatedly hurled aggressive attacks toward the women’s health organization, which she accused of selling fetal body parts for profit. During her most talked-about debate performance, Fiorina said sting videos at the organization showed an aborted fetus kept alive to “harvest its brain.” Fact-checking websites, however, countered that this was untrue, and a grand jury declined to indict the organization. The grand jury did, however, indict the people who produced the sting videos for tampering with government evidence.
At the same time, Ted Cruz has tried to make the case that he’s the most pro-life candidate. He’s undertaken numerous efforts to make it harder for women to have an abortion, including attempting to defund Planned Parenthood; requiring women under 18 to notify their parents before having an abortion; and prohibiting “partial-birth abortion,” a procedure used to terminate a late-term pregnancy.
Shortly after the endorsement, Planned Parenthood issued a statement slamming Fiorina and Cruz, saying they have created “an echo chamber of lies” about the organization.
“Like a moth to the flame, Carly Fiorina continues to gravitate toward the biggest liar in the room,” Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s executive vice president, said in a statement. “Fiorina spent her whole campaign lying about Planned Parenthood, embarrassingly ignoring fact checker after fact checker, and leading to a candidacy-killing drop in the polls. It’s no surprise she endorsed Ted Cruz. Together, they have created an echo chamber of lies that very seriously threatens the health and well-being of women in this country.”
This post has been updated to add Planned Parenthood’s statement.