DES MOINES, Iowa -- Some metro parents are not happy presidential candidate Carly Fiorina used their children as part of a campaign event this week.
A group of 4- and 5-year-old children were visiting the Botanical Gardens on a field trip but were soon ushered into a pro-life event Fiorina was hosting.
“I feel they ambushed the field trip in order for them to push their views out there,” said Ankeny parent Chris Beck.
Beck said his 4-year-old son was one of 15 kids who were at the Botanical Gardens to learn about plants.
He said the preschool employees told parents Fiorina came over and talked to them and the next thing they knew, the children were being whisked into the rally as campaign staffers put Fiorina stickers on them.
Beck said he did not give permission for his son to be thrust into the spotlight, and he was shocked when he saw images of his son sitting in front of a large poster of a fetus as Fiorina talked about defunding Planned Parenthood.
He said the move was inappropriate and feels his son was used as a political pawn.
“I saw them the group of kids in the rally and that was a little too far for me, quite a bit too far for me actually. It made me quite upset. I felt like my kids were being used more as a pawn or a photo-op and a chance for her to promote herself rather than the kids to even be there," Beck said.
Carly for President deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur Flores released this statement:
“It’s true. Carly has kids at her speeches on a regular basis. Last week, it was a kindergarten class in Holstein. The week before that it was a Girl Scout troop at Exeter…and another one in Windham. 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. 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.”
Beck said he doesn't blame the daycare but rather the Fiorina campaign for exposing his son to a topic that he's too young to hear about or understand.