IOWA CITY, Iowa — Carly Fiorina was shaking hands and snapping photos with people tailgating outside the University of Iowa football stadium when a woman dressed as a pack of birth control pills approached her.
The woman was part of a group of about 15 protesters from Planned Parenthood who came to voice their objections to Fiorina. The Republican presidential candidate has come under fire for what she has said about undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the donation of fetal tissue.
"I-O-W-A, women's rights are here to stay!" the group, clad in pink T-shirts, yelled. The group walked by football fans on their way to confront Fiorina; one woman handed a condom to a college-aged security guard.
Fiorina continued to shake hands and moved toward an RV painted with a Hawkeye, a big-screen TV affixed to its side, that would be her base of tailgate operations. The protesters followed, shouting that Fiorina is "offsides for telling lies!"
The aspiring GOP nominee continued to snap photos and greet supporters. One woman put her beer, snug in a foam sleeve, in the crook of her arm as she took a photo with Fiorina; it dropped to the ground.
One of the Planned Parenthood protesters, Cindy Shireman of Burlington, Iowa, went up to Fiorina. Shireman, 54, said she has used the organization for birth control pills and reproductive health services throughout her entire adult life.
"How much money are you getting to do the abortion agenda and use lies on Planned Parenthood to win the nomination?" Shireman asked.
"I don't get any money," Fiorina said, asking how much money Planned Parenthood gives to Democratic candidates. Fiorina asked Shireman why Democrats don't support pregnancy centers that do not provide abortions.
Shireman asked Fiorina how Republicans will "support all of the social services that come from all the unwanted children," and Fiorina interjected that "we're not getting rid of health care."
Shireman said, "You don't like social services, education," and Fiorina responded, "That's simply false."
"You need to get your facts straight, ma'am, and then we’re going to have a debate over the facts," Fiorina said. "Because what you’re talking about is rhetoric, propaganda, and lies. Okay?"
"That's what I'd say to you," Shireman said, telling reporters that she believes Fiorina is "not telling the truth."
Fiorina said the protesters show that what she is saying about Planned Parenthood is "making a difference" and "they can't deny what's going on so they shout slogans instead."
The candidate has come under fire for remarks she made during the Republican debate.
"Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain," Fiorina said during the debate this month.
Fact-checkers, however, have said that the videos from the Center for Medical Progress did not actually show that happening. Fiorina's super PAC, CARLY For America, released a video splicing together various clips, and Planned Parenthood has asked that it be taken down.
Fiorina assailed Planned Parenthood during campaign stops here in Iowa, calling for the organization to be federally defunded and saying that the fight to cut off the organization's money is about the character of the country.
"They cannot deny that they are butchering babies for body parts at taxpayer expense," she said at a stop in Davenport, Iowa. "Instead they call me a liar.”
On Thursday, Fiorina campaigned at a pregnancy crisis center in South Carolina, watching a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant receive an ultrasound.
In Davenport on Friday, Fiorina said that Democrats believe that life does not begin until a baby leaves the hospital.
“The truth of the Democratic Party does not want you to know is their policy is it is not a life until it leaves the hospital. Democrats always want to say that it is Republicans who are extreme," she said. "Ask people do you know what the Democratic Party platform is. No one knows. Here’s the platform: It is not a life until it leaves the hospital. Nobody agrees with that."
The Planned Parenthood protesters stayed for about 45 minutes, and Fiorina continued to take photos and shake hands with people at the tailgate. Cindy Reed of Solon, Iowa, supports both Planned Parenthood and Fiorina, but she said she didn't like the protest.
"They're not trying to participate in the discussion. They're trying to be disruptive," she said. "I'm embarrassed for Iowa because in Iowa we pride ourselves on having a dialogue."
Fiorina stayed at the tailgate for a few hours, drinking a bottle of water in a University of Iowa sleeve. Asked to name her favorite college football team, she said she was going to have to stick with her alma mater, Stanford University, but still kinda rooted for Iowa.
"Go, Hawks!" she said to a little girl with Hawkeyes painted on her face. Some people, like 17-year-old Mary Radke, came just to see Fiorina. Others walked by, most clutching beers, not knowing who Fiorina is.
"I don't know anything about her," a man said.
At one point Fiorina climbed into the RV, where red plastic cups and a huge bottle of vodka sat on a counter. She came out a few minutes later and signed the cast of 9-year-old Kaylie Milton, who broke her arm two weeks ago after slipping on the monkey bars.
"I'm excited because mostly they're all boys," she said of the other candidates, "and she could be the first one who is a girl."
Fiorina headed away from the RV, telling one woman that any candidate who tells you "what they're doing in one minute" while walking across a parking lot "has no specifics." She then headed to a tailgate where Bruce Rastetter, an agribusiness entrepreneur who puts on a forum for candidates, was present. The two greeted one another and chatted. Fiorina went into the tent, sat on a cooler and ate a turkey sandwich.