- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 21, 2016

An Iowa parent has accused Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina of “ambushing” a group of preschoolers who were on a field trip Wednesday and using them as political props during an anti-abortion rally.

The former Hewlett-Packard chief executive was hosting a “right to life” forum at the Greater Des Moines botanical garden when her campaign directed around 15 young children toward a makeshift stage, The Guardian reported.

Chris Beck, the father of 4-year-old Chatham, said Mrs. Fiorina didn’t ask the parents for permission before sitting the children in front of a huge image of an unborn fetus and proceeding to speak about abortion.

“The kids went there to see the plants,” Mr. Beck told The Guardian. “She ambushed my son’s field trip.”

“Taking them into a pro-life/abortion discussion [was] very poor taste and judgment,” he said. “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.’”

Sarah Isgur Flores, Mrs. Fiorina’s deputy campaign manager, said the group followed the candidate into the event by choice.

“In Des Moines yesterday, a group of preschoolers along with their parents and teachers followed Carly right into the event she was speaking at for Iowa Right to Life,” Ms. Flores said in a statement posted to Ms. Fiorina’s Medium blog. “Earlier, she’d run into the kids in the Botanical Gardens and watched the Koi with them for a while. I guess the kids must have thought she was pretty neat because then their teachers and parents and the kids all followed Carly into the event complete with Carly stickers.”

Mr. Beck said he didn’t know enough about Mrs. Fiorina to support her, but “after today, she wouldn’t get my vote for sure.”

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