Presidential Candidates - #10 Carly Fiorina

Monday, November 2, 2015

Carly Fiorina is another candidate I was really looking forward to seeing.  I finally got to meet her at a townhall at the Waterloo Center for the Arts on October 17th.
The secretary of the Republican Women of Black Hawk County began the meeting on time, and introduced Carly Fiorina, who took the stage two minutes later. 

Miscellaneous Facts:  Carly Fiorina is 61 years old.  She is mainly of English and German descent.  Fiorina is a non-denominational Christian, has been married to Frank Fiorina since 1985, had two-step daughters (one is still living), and is 5 feet 6 inches tall.  
Created with's Timeline Generator.  Click to enlarge.
Fiorina's Speech
"What you are is God's gift to you," my mother taught me; "what you make of yourself is your gift to God."  I started out as a secretary, and the journey I've made is one that is only possible here in America.  But everyone, all over the world, has potential.  Every individual life has value, and all have the right to find and fulfill their potential.  This right comes from God, and can't be taken by any man or government.

We are at a pivotal point.  Our government is costly and corrupt.  Big government advantages the wealthy and crushes the poor.  In one poll, 75% of Americans said the government is corrupt.  82% think there's a professional political class that cares only for itself, not about getting things done.

One example of the crushing weight of government is a poultry farmer I met in Iowa.  His birds sickened with the avian flu, and he knew he had to destroy the birds.  The USDA told him to have euthanization wait on them.  So he had to keep feeding the birds as his flock continued to sicken and die.  He could not do anything.  Finally the government sent 6 people who knew nothing about the poultry business to tell him how to take care of his birds, which he had dedicated his lifetime to raising.

Another example of government ineptitude is the V.A. scandal.  Veterans are dying before they get appointments.  Citizens pressured the government, and within three weeks, a bill was passed allowing the V.A. to fire people.  One person was fired.  300,000 veterans died before they were able to get an appointment!  There should be consequences.

It's time to take our government back, and remember who we are.  We're a citizen government.  Citizens should serve in the government, and then go back home.  All of us need to be engaged.

There is a difference between managers and leaders.  Managers do their best to manage a broken system.  Leaders challenge the system and the status quo.  Margaret Thatcher said, "I am not content to manage the decline of a great nation."  Neither am I.  I'm prepared to lead a resurgence.
 Townhall Questions
Q: Will you endorse Breast Cancer Deadline 2020?
A:  I am a breast cancer survivor.  You have an important cause.  There are many things the government should not spend money on, but the government should do more basic research.  That said, I haven't read your plan, so I won't commit to endorsing it.  I will commit to reading your plan.

Question from a little girl: "What candidate is your most toughest competition?"
A:  I know that deep down, you all want to see me debate Hillary Clinton, something I'm really looking forward to.

Q:  How can we fix the deficit and debt without making our economy tank?
A:  Cut spending and grow the economy.  We have a 73,000 page tax code and crony capitalism.  Big government favors the big companies that can hire accountants, lawyers, and lobbyists.  We are destroying more small businesses than we are creating.  We need to go to about a 3-page tax code; that is pretty close to the limit that an ordinary individual can understand.  Simplification helps small businesses to grow. 

It's time to challenge the status quo.  One day I went out with a soybean farmer to see his fields.  He told me the EPA controls his waterways.  He showed me a little patch of grass; the government controls it.  Bureaucrats make rules which have a crushing weight.  We don't keep track of all of the rules.  I'll work toward rolling back all of Obama's rules.  276,000 bureaucrats will be retiring, and I won't replace a single one.

Q: $20 doesn't stand for anything anymore.  We've had a deficit for a long time.  How can we get rid of the deficit?
A:  Again, spend less and grow the economy.  It's important to know where we are spending.  We should look at the whole budget, not just the rate of increase of our budget.  We need to go to zero-base budgeting.  The federal government is always spending more, but never has enough when it comes to doing the important things.  The government has payed $1 trillion to people they shouldn't have [overpaid?].  We need accountability, and consequences when people don't do their jobs.  We need to put enormous pressure on Congress.  The President has a weekly radio address.  As President, in this address, I will ask you to take out your smartphones (not flip-phones--you'll have to upgrade), and vote on ideas every week, to show Congress what you want.

Question from another little girl: "Who will you choose for vice president?"
A:  People are revealed over time and under pressure.  I need to know who people are first before choosing one.

Q:  What do you think about all these refugees coming to the U.S.?
A:  Our hearts break for the refugees.  But we need to know who is coming into this country.  Why are most of the refugees able-bodied young men?  We need to lead the humanitarian effort, and work to stop human trafficking.  But we need to make sure we know who the refugees are.  Kerry portends to be compassionate, but he doesn't utter a word while Christians are being slaughtered, crucified, raped, beheaded, & sold as sex slaves.  We need a strategy to help.

Q:  Do you support school choice?
A:  Yes, I support parochial, charter, and homeschools.  The Department of Education is getting bigger and bigger while the quality of education is going down.  We're not fixing the problem by spending more money.  Common Core is a bad, bureaucratic program.  Every parent should have a choice; take it away, and a child doesn't have a chance.  
Q:  My daughter has severe autism.  If Obamacare is repealed, will there be any other program to help take care of her?
A:  Yes, we need programs to protect the most vulnerable.  But Obamacare is not working and should be repealed.  Let states manage high risk pools with the help of federal funding.  Health insurance has gone up.  One couple I know are in good health, but they're paying $20,000 a year.  Institute a real free market like we have in technology.  There should be competition.  The government should mandate providers to publish costs & results.  Give the consumers power.

Q:  As Commander in Chief, will you rebuild the military and take care of our veterans?
A:  We must have the strongest military, and everyone must know it.  We need about 50 Army brigades, 36 Marine battalions, and between 300 and 350 naval ships.  Our tooth to tail ratio is as bad right now as it has ever been.  And we're not taking care of our troops.  Mothers have to send pillows and blankets to the troops in Afghanistan.  Obama is firing troops instead of bureaucrats.  We need to respect and value our military.

Reform the V.A.  I would take 15 veterans and ask them how they want to be served, and have them write a blueprint.  

When we are weak, don't stand with our allies, and don't confront our adversaries, it is not good.  My first phone call as President will be to Prime Minister Netanyahu.  We must stand with Israel.  My second call will be to the Supreme Leader of Iran.  He probably won't take my call, but I will leave him a message.  We have a new deal.  Until we can inspect anytime, everywhere, we are going to stop the money flow.  There will be a clear signal.  The United States is back in the leadership business.

We don't need to rush off to war.  We will rebuild the 6th Fleet, and conduct military exercises under Putin's nose.  We will support our allies, and ask the Arabs what they need to defeat ISIS.   The King of Jordan asked for bombs and material to bomb ISIS.  Obama said no.  I would arm the Kurds and support Israel.

Q: How do you intend to build up the military?  Will you have a draft?
A:  No.  Our volunteer army is working.  We will just give them what they need.  A commander was recently fired for trying to save a young boy from brutalization from an Afghan policeman.  This is sending the wrong message.  I will be a Commander in Chief who listens to our troops.

Q: America has gone down in the freedom indices.  How can we change that?
A:  The government is too powerful, inept, and corrupt.  We need to cut it down to size and take our government back.  Put pressure on the status quo, and remember who we are.

Carly Fiorina closed with her speech on Lady Liberty and Lady Justice, which you can listen to here.
Further Resources:  You can visit Carly Fiorina's website to learn more about her and read her stance on the important issues.  You can also read about her on Wikipedia.

Fiorina's books are available on Amazon: Rising to the Challenge (2015) and Tough Choices (2007).

My remarks:  Of all the candidates in the CNN Republican debate, I liked Fiorina's style the most.  Although I doubt it will happen, it really would be interesting to see an election between Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina!  Fiorina seems to be a very intelligent woman.  

Disclaimer: Candidates' speeches are reconstructed from my imperfect notes.  If you notice any mistakes, just let me know.  I would not intentionally misrepresent anyone's position.  I am not endorsing any candidate or candidate's position at this time, and no candidate has endorsed me.  And yes, I do realize that often speeches are to some extent propaganda, but it's interesting to me to see the points candidates consider as most important.
For my personal political views, please see this article.


  1. Hmm...interesting information Bethany. From the timeline you gave it looks like Fiorina has done a LOT of things over her life time.
    You must be about 5'6" yourself--in that picture you ladies look about the same height! :)

    1. Indeed she has. It was a challenge to try to fit everything into that timeline.

      And yes, I am 5'6". Would it be shallow to vote for someone based on sharing the same height? [We 5'6"ers do need to stick together...] Ehh...well, it probably would not be any worse than voting for someone based on having the same last name.

      But I will endeavor to find better, more noble reasons for casting my vote--that in the ages to come when the generations following ask me, a wrinkled, old silver-haired woman, "Who did you vote for back in 2016?" I will be able to respond with all the dignity, pride, and thankfulness my frail being will be able to muster, "I voted for the right candidate."

  2. I really like Carly Fiorina from what I know about her so far. I've really enjoyed all your posts about the candidates so far-really interesting to hear from someone who's actually there who has a much different style and perspective from the media in general.

    1. Thanks Anna! It's actually pretty interesting running into certain people at one after another of these events. There are some people like me who are trying to meet all the candidates. And then there are the reporters and camerapeople... I'm getting to the point where I can recognize many of them now.

  3. Fiorina is someone most are not familiar with as she just step into the public office spotlight. I will say that I have seen some of the worst computers/printers from HP. I don't know why people get them to be honest with you. I've seen my brother go through 3 different laptops that broke not long after he bought them. I got a fancy printer once and it stopped doing it's job six months later.

    I hear that most at HP did not like her as CEO and family of the founders claimed she ran the company right into the ground. Someone made a good joke about it. "If Carly Fiornia really wants to take down Planned Parenthood, she should become its CEO"

    On a more positive note, I thought Trump calling her ugly was uncalled for.

    1. It sounds like I was fortunate to have a friend advise me against HP when I was looking for a laptop. I ended up getting a Samsung a few years back, and I've never regretted it! I stuck with Canon (my camera manufacturer) for a printer...and I'm happy.

      I'm sure Fiorina would say that she'd run on her record all day long. But it's up to the voters to decide if her record is good enough.

      That was a particularly good moment at the CNN debate when she made a face after the moderator asked her about Trump's remarks about her face not looking like the face of a President, and then Trump finally said, "I think she's got a beautiful face, and I think she's a beautiful woman. Ahhh...these debates can be fun to watch sometimes!

  4. She's a very smart woman and does very well during the debates. I'd rather see her as the first female President of the U.S. then Hillary. Thanks for a wonderful post. : )

    ~ Wendy

    1. I would vote for her over Hillary Clinton any day! Still hoping to meet Hillary sometime though.

  5. Thanks for another great review of a candidate!

  6. What a good review, Bethany. I do think she is a smart woman but not well-enough known to make a real run for the party ticket. Keep going! You are doing a good job! xo Diana

  7. Bethany, I think you did a really good review! I am not very familiar with U.S. politics. Justin Trudeau, who won our recent Canadian election, is 42, married and has two children. His late father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, whom our Montreal airport is named after, was Prime Minister here in Canada in the past. :)

    1. Ah, that is interesting! I was wondering how often a father and then his son are Prime Ministers in Canada, but I see this is the first time in Canadian history! We've only had it happen twice in the U.S.: first with John Adams and then John Quincy Adams, and then with George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Plus we've had one grandfather/grandson duo: William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison.

  8. Hi Bethany, Another fine report on the candidates, this time Carly Fiorina. I, for one, think it is time for us to have a woman lead the country. Having said that, I would like to see the election be Fiorina vs. Clinton. I must say I will not be too surprised if that happens. I am somewhat surprised to see Dr. Carson in first place for the GOP. I think what we are seeing on the GOP side is that the voters are looking for someone who has not been a "career politician". While I understand that, I am also concerned about someone leading the country who does not fully understand how Congress works. I think it is way more complex than most of us understand. Thanks for another great post.

    1. Fiorina vs Clinton and Paul vs Sanders would be two of the most interesting races, I think. I would be very surprised if either happened though...and of course any race with Trump in it would be very entertaining.

      It is kind of funny--the "career politicians" talk about how we need someone who understands the system to fix it. The "outsiders" talk about how we need someone not contaminated by the system to fix it. At least everyone agrees something needs to be fixed somehow. ;)

  9. Hi, Bethany. The picture with the candidate is really good. The selection of the final candidate won't be easy, although I have read that Mr. Carson is leading the preferences. You're doing a great contribution with your posts. Congrats!

    1. Trump and Carson seem to be taking turns in leading the polls these days. It will be difficult to choose for whom to vote. Thanks for stopping by Enrique!

  10. Carly's business background and firm leadership style is at the very least good for challenging our US government status quo: stalemates in choosing our leaders and making wise decisions in congress. I appreciate her willingness to run and make proposals that could bring positive change to our country. Thanks for posting, Bethany.

    1. She has many good things to say. Thanks, Gracie, for stopping by!

  11. Great post! But ugh, I don't want people in bad neighbourhoods having school "choice" if it means they get to come to my suburban school. We moved to the area we did for a reason, and it wasn't so that we could have our kids hobnob with knife-toting thugs from the inner city. It would be great if we eliminated the Dept. of Ed and you could have all the school "choice" you paid for yourself. :)

    1. The government messes up just about everything in which it gets involved. I'm not one to often argue against the free market. ;)

  12. Thanks for another great post about our candidates, Bethany!

  13. Bethany, I think you have been doing an incredible job of showcasing each candidate. Once again, nicely done!

  14. These are such interesting posts, Bethany! I think I've learned more about your country's candidates from your blog than anywhere else.

  15. So neat that you got to see her! Carly Fiorina is one of my favorite candidates!

    1. I thought it was pretty neat to have to opportunity to meet her. :)