Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), squared-off with fellow Republican Party presidential nomination hopefuls at yesterday evening’s CNN GOP debate hosted by Jake Tapper at the Ronald Regan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. MarketWatch has noted that Fiorina was “ousted” as HP CEO.
Current Republican front runner, Donald Trump, has been quoted repeatedly, passing comment on the looks of everyone from other political candidates to Rosie O’Donnell.
“Look at that face, would anyone vote for that?” is what Trump had been quoted as asking about Carly Fiorina’s looks, as reported by Business Insider.
Tapper noted that “political outsiders,” such as Trump and Fiorina have gained perhaps surprising amounts of support and that previous service in government appears to be a “liability not an asset.”
Tapper asked Louisiana Governor Piyush “Bobby” Jindal about his comments about Trump, that he is an “unstable narcissistic ego maniac.” Jindal responded by explaining that Trump doesn’t believe in America, and that what he really “believes in Donald Trump.”
After the first Republican debate held on August 6, Carly Fiorina was singled out as one of two candidates, along with Ohio Governor John Kasich, as gaining momentum by Business Insider.
Fiorina began by addressing her rise from “secretary to CEO,” and noted that the nation’s possibilities and potential is being “crushed” and that she is prepared to lead the “resurgence of this great nation.”
“Would you feel comfortable with Donald Trump’s finger on the nuclear codes?” Tapper later asked Fiorina about Donald Trump’s temperament.
Ducking the question the first time, Fiorina then responded, “That’s not for me to answer, it is for the voters of the this country.”
Tapper then gave Trump a chance to respond.
“Well, first of all, Rand Paul shouldn’t even be on this stage, he’s got 1 percent in the polls,” Trump responded seemingly ignoring Fiorina’s comments.
Tapper then gave Kentucky Senator Rand Paul a chance to respond. Paul immediately pounced on Trump’s inability to respond to Carly Fiorina’s thoughts on his temperament and how Trump took the chance to make a sideways jab at him instead.
“I’m very concerned with having him in charge of nuclear weapons,” Rand stated. The senator then made note of Trump’s “sophomoric” quality, his “visceral” attacks on people, such as attacks on Carly Fiorina’s looks, and asked if the United States wants someone like that “negotiating with Putin.”
Tapper then gave Trump a chance to respond.
“I never attacked him on his looks,” Trump stated, “and believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter right there.”
Later, when debate turned to the reason political outsiders are leading polls, Carly Fiorina offered her thoughts, explaining that people have been “in a system” that is fundamentally flawed. Fiorina spoke with regard to the fact that “75 percent” of Americans believe the country is “corrupt” and the absurdity of the “status quo” with regard to illegal immigration and “307,000 veterans ” who have died waiting for health care.
Speaking with regard to how candidates would deal with Vladimir Putin and Russia’s presence in Syria, Fiorina stated that “she would not talk” with Putin, that she would have U.S. forces conduct “aggressive” Baltic States’ military exercises, and that she would send more U.S. troops to Germany. She then discussed the Russian / Syrian alliance with seeming expertise, citing a long list of ideas, garnering applause from audience members.
Rand Paul noted Fiorina’s view that she would not talk with Putin and asked what would have happened if Reagan had taken Fiorina’s stance with Mikhail Gorbachev during the Cold War.
On several occasions, Fiorina attempted to speak and was blocked, while debate turned to the de-funding Planned Parenthood.
Fiorina then spoke, where she drew a comparison between Iran and Planned Parenthood. Fiorina described the first two phone calls she would make if elected, stating the that the first would be to reassure Benjamin Netanyahu with regard to U.S. solidarity and the second to the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei. Fiorina then slammed Planned Parenthood stating that the issue “is about the character of the nation,” again drawing widespread applause.
When asked about Trump’s remarks about her looks, Carly Fiorina responded that American voters heard Trump’s remarks “very clearly” drawing wild applause and hoots from the audience.
“I think shes got a beautiful face and that she’s a beautiful woman,” Trump stated.
Later the debate turned to immigration, where Trump stated that illegal immigration wouldn’t even be discussed if it wasn’t for him. Fiorina pointed out that immigration was debated in 2012, 2008 and 2004, with Trump attempting to talk over her.
“We have been talking about it for 25 years,” Fiorina stated.
Tapper then quoted Fiorina’s statement that Donald Trump’s quest to quash the 14th Amendment is pandering to voters. When asked, Fiorina stated that you can’t just “wave your hands” and do away with the 14th Amendment.
Fiorina was then asked about what Donald Trump has termed her running of Hewlett-Packard “into the ground.”
Fiorina replied that she took the helm of HP during a time when the NASDAQ Composite Index (^IXIC) had lost 80 percent and that while she was with HP many competitors closed their doors and fired all workers. Fiorina described how she kept HP running, saving 80,000 jobs, and that the company employs 160,000 today. Fiorina also noted that the late Steve Jobs called her the day she was fired to offer his support and that Donald Trump’s companies have been bankrupt four times.
[Carly Fiorina Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]