Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina says her chances of running for President are much greater than 50%. But, who is she and what does she stand for. Chris Ryan and political expert, Dean Spiliotes, sat down with her at the Barley House Restaurant in Concord, NH for an extended interview.
Fiorina, as you might as expect, believes that her background in business and technology has prepared her well for being the chief executive of the federal bureaucracy. She began her business career as a secretary in a small real estate company. But, she worked her way to the top of several Fortune 500 companies. Ms. Fiorina hopes that the voters will relate to her life story of hard work and America being a land of opportunity.
Dean Spiliotes asked Carly Fiorina about her PAC (Political Action Committee) which has as its goal to encourage the increased involvement of women in GOP politics. She has focused her PAC on five purple states (states that are half Democrat and half Republican) including New Hampshire. Women represent 53% of voters, however, women tend to disengage from politics. The tone of both parties contribute to women losing interest in politics. Abortion is not the only “women’s issue.” Her goal is to find common ground on the issues and to draw women into the political process.
When she was asked about improving the economy and opportunities for the shrinking middle class, Fiorina believes that the key is to restart the engine of small business–which creates 2/3 of the new jobs and employ 1/2 the workers in the United States. She went on to explain from her experience at Hewlett Packard how big government creates big business. As government regulations increase, big business can afford to hire more accountants, lawyers and lobbyists to deal with more complex regulations. Small businesses on the other hand are drowned in red tape. As an example she cited the Dodd-Frank regulations which benefited the banks that were too big to fail and the smaller community banks were put at a disadvantage. On the issue of wage stagnation and increasing the minimum wage, she believes that the bigger issue is a stagnant economy. Also she believes that minimum wage is something to be decided by each state. Carly Fiorina also weighed in on the Common Core debate and education reform. She supports New Hampshire’s approach of each district deciding whether to adopt the Common Core curriculum. She is against having a federal one size fits all education system. She believes that it suppresses creativity by teachers and students. On health care, she favors repealing the Affordable Care Act. Fiorina states that the bill is so complex that it makes health insurance too hard to understand and causes hospitals and health care providers to drive smaller providers out of business by consolidating. There is less competition. The uninsured people who were supposed to be the target of this legislation are still for the most part uninsured. Consumers were not served because the big insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies wrote the regulations–more crony capitalism.
On the foreign policy front, she believes that the world is a more dangerous place today because America has not lead like it has in the past. She mentioned that she has met frequently with Vladimir Putin, and she knows that he understands resolve and strength. She would have been more forceful and direct in the Ukraine than president Obama. She considers the problems with ISIS to be an opportunity for forging alliances in the Middle East if the United States leads with moral clarity and a will to win. She believes that Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons and has to be dealt with in a strenuous way. In her view, Iran has not negotiated in good faith. That’s why she favors the sanctions which the Senate is considering. As she puts it, “No good deal happens, unless you’re willing to walk away.”
In the final segment, Carly Fiorina was asked some “layup questions.” If she could choose a a perfect secretary of state, what former Secretary of State would you choose? She would combine 3 former secretaries–Henry Kissinger, George Schultz , and Condoleezza Rice. She liked how all three combined being pragmatic and principled–the belief that America is a force for good in the world. She was also asked would she be more Teddy Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan. She would go with Reagan because he had equal measures of realism and optimism which she considers the qualities of a good leader.