Donald Trump said something bizarre even by Trump standards on Saturday night: He stood on a Republican debate stage and seemed to defend Planned Parenthood.
It was a qualified defense. Trump said that Planned Parenthood does "wonderful things" for women's health, but not when it comes to abortion, and he balked at Ted Cruz's suggestion that Trump "supports" the organization.
The remark was part of a response to an attack by Ted Cruz. Cruz was trying to paint Trump as a fake conservative, rattling off a list of liberal positions Trump has taken in the past. When he got to abortion, Cruz said Trump "supports federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood." Trump called Cruz a "liar" in response.
"Donald didn't disagree with the substance that he supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood," Cruz said. "And Donald has this weird pattern — when you point to his own record he screams, 'Liar, liar, liar.'"
"Where did I support it?" demanded Trump. "Where did I support it?"
"You said Planned Parenthood does wonderful things," Cruz said.
"It does do wonderful things, but not as it relates to abortion," Trump said. "There are wonderful things having to do with women's health, but not when it comes to abortion."
Trump has defended Planned Parenthood, while also somewhat confusingly trying to attack it, before. He has suggested that it shouldn't be defunded, but he's also said it should be defunded unless it stops providing abortions. It seems that Trump supports Planned Parenthood's other women's health services, but that support puts him in a bind, since most Republicans want to defund the entire organization.