Ted Cruz Gets Donald Trump Wrong on Planned Parenthood

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The Texas senator was partially right Sunday about the GOP frontrunner’s economic agenda, but he can’t equate Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s positions on Planned Parenthood.”>

By Linda Qiu and Lauren Carroll

Sen. Ted Cruz is using this weeks pivotal Indiana primary to make a last stand of sorts against Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

Cruz trails Trump by more than 400 delegates and is unable to win a majority of delegates prior to the GOP convention. Cruzs best hope is to keep Trump from hitting that delegate mark himself, and Indiana presents a favorable battleground.

In interviews that aired Sunday on NBCs Meet the Press and ABCs This Week, Cruz dodged questions about what happens if he loses in Indiana.

But he said the choice should be simple for Indiana Republican voters.

Cruz told NBCs Chuck Todd that Trumps only economic agenda is imposing massive taxes on the American people. He also accused Trump of being a clone of Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

I believe if the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump we will lose to Hillary, because when we offer Democrat-lite, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the ballot, they support the same social policy, they support the same economic policy, Cruz said.

Donald cant criticize Hillary Clinton on Planned Parenthood, because he agrees with her. They both say its terrific andand that it should keep taxpayer funding, he added.

We decided to fact-check Cruzs claims about Trumps economic plan and Trumps position on Planned Parenthood.

Trumps economic agenda

Cruz said on Meet the Press that his top priority will be bringing jobs back to America, bringing manufacturing jobs back to Indiana, raising wages across this country.

He then said Trumps only economic agenda is imposing massive taxes on the American people with a 40 percent tax hike of a giant tariff. That would send us into a recession. It would drive jobs overseas. It would kill small businesses.

Cruzs claim about Trumps economic agenda rates Half True.

First, Trump has outlined a few other economic proposals beyond tariffs like declaring China a currency manipulator, upholding intellectual property law, ending Chinas export subsidies and lowering the corporate tax rate to incentivize American companies to stay at home. Hes also suggested renegotiating or pulling out the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

But Cruz has a point that Trump has talked at length about imposing tariffs on imported goods as a remedy for trade imbalances and lost American jobs. Hes specified a 35 percent tariff on some goods coming from Mexico and a 45 percent tax on all Chinese products, a proposal that in the last Republican debate he called a threat hed only enact it if they dont follow the rules.

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Trumps tariff proposals have been called uneducated and worrisome, and many economists (though not all) say they would hurt Americans. However, Cruz may be overstating the impact.

The biggest losers would be U.S. consumers and companies, said Scott Lincicome, an international trade law and policy expert at the libertarian Cato Institute.

Tariffs at the level Trump is suggesting would cause prices of cheap products like air conditioners and intermediate goods like auto parts to soar, and could kill millions of U.S. jobs. But as some of the costs would be absorbed by Chinese and Mexican exporters, a 40 percent tariff doesnt translate directly into a 40 percent tax hike.

You would have to do some analysis to determine how much of a tax hike it is, but it is probably significantly less than 40 percent, said Joel Trachtman, a trade law specialist at the University of Maryland.

Trump and Planned Parenthood

Cruz also said Trump and Hillary Clinton have the same position on Planned Parenthood. They both say its terrific andand that it should keep taxpayer funding, Cruz claimed.

That rates Mostly False.

Theres no question about Clintons support for Planned Parenthood. Throughout the campaign, she has frequently attacked Republicans pledge to defund the organization. And Planned Parenthood endorsed Clinton in July, its first-ever presidential primary endorsement.

I am not only against defunding Planned Parenthood, but I would like to see Planned Parenthood even get more funding, Clinton told Fusion in January.

Trumps position is more nuanced.

On abortion in general, several times Trump has raised both Republicans and Democrats eyebrows by changing his position. Today, Trump says hes anti-abortion.

As for Planned Parenthood, Trump has been fairly consistent since October 2015. He has praised some of the work the organization does but not with respect to abortion services.

Trump has said Congress should stop providing the group with federal funding full stop as long as it provides abortions.

Planned Parenthood does a lot of good jobs, a really good job in a lot of different areas. But not on abortion. So Im not going to fund it if its doing the abortion. I am not going to fund it, Trump said in February.

Millions of women have been helped by Planned Parenthood, Trump said in March. But were not going to allow, and were not going to fund, as long as you have the abortion going on at Planned Parenthood, and we understand that and Ive said it loud and clear.

Aaron Sharockman contributed to this report. Read the full fact-checks at PunditFact.com.

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