Carly Fiorina on the issues and why she's running for president
Watch Katie's complete interview with Carly Fiorina here.
Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric sat down with Carly Fiorina on Monday, just hours after Fiorina made her 2016 presidential plans official with an announcement on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” to discuss where she stands on some of the most pressing issues and why, exactly, she’s running.
“The nation is at a pivotal point,” said Fiorina. “The gulf between how people feel about their lives and what’s going on in Washington is huge. The disconnect between regular people and the political class is wide and growing.”
Fiorina made a name for herself in the tech industry, climbing the ranks at AT&T and becoming the CEO at Hewlett-Packard — and the first female head of a Fortune 500 company — in 1999, before being forced to resign in 2005. She told Couric on Monday that she plans to run on her record at Hewlett-Packard, crediting her role as a business leader with preparing her to make the decisions required of a world leader — no matter how tough they might be.
Fiorina held tight to this position when confronted with the question of Carlyfiorina.org, a domain registered by someone outside the Fiorina camp illustrating the 30,000 people laid off during her tenure at Hewlett-Packard. Though she said she “would have preferred we bought every conceivable domain name,” Fiorina stood by her choices as CEO, arguing that layoffs, as much as they are “a terrible decision to have to make,” were necessary to “transform a company from failing to succeeding.”
While she said the quote about the layoffs displayed on Carlyfiorina.org — “I wish I would have done them all faster” — was “clearly taken out of context,” Fiorina did say that “when I made the decision that an executive had to go, a lot of people came up to me and said, ‘I wish you’d done that sooner.’”
Now the second woman in the 2016 presidential race, Couric noted that Fiorina hasn’t had the nicest things to say about her fellow candidate Hillary Clinton. Echoing the comments she made on “Good Morning America” earlier in the day, Fiorina said, “Hillary Clinton is a highly intelligent, very hard-working woman who has dedicated her life to public service. All these things are true. And yet, she doesn’t have a track record of trustworthiness.”
She pointed to Clinton’s handling of the 2011 terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, the revelation that she used her private email server as secretary of state, and the recent accusations of undisclosed foreign donations to the Clinton Global Initiative as examples.
Fiorina also dismissed the suggestion that serving in such roles as U.S. senator and secretary of state are accomplishments.
“In the world that I come from, a title’s just a title,” Fiorina said. “Why are we so impressed with political titles? A senator is a title. Secretary of state is a title. What has anyone accomplished with their title?”
During her 2010 primary Senate run, Fiorina gained national attention with an advertisement that showed one sheep with devilish red eyes amongst a flock of others, to make the argument that her opponent was “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
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Couric asked Fiorina if she regretted the ad, given comments she has made against vitriolic campaigning, or if we can expect more ads like that as the primary progresses.
“I’m not sure I’d call it vitriolic,” Fiorina said of what’s now referred to as the “Demon Sheep ad,” insisting that a lot of people found it funny. The ad, she said, served a “specific purpose: to get attention on a limited budget.” As for demon sheep in the future? Fiorina said she won’t be “running any ads for a long time on this campaign.”
Fiorina, who is a breast cancer survivor, recalled an interaction with her doctor during cancer treatment to explain why she is opposed to legalizing marijuana.
When she told her doctor she wasn’t interested in using medical marijuana, Fiorina says, her doctor told her, “Good,” because “we don’t know what marijuana is anymore. It’s a chemically complex compound, we don’t know how it interacts with other drugs, we just don’t understand this anymore."
Marijuana should be regulated like a medicine, Fiorina argued, but by legalizing it recreationally, “we are sending the signal to young people that marijuana is just like a beer, and it’s not.”
Fiorina joins a growing Republican primary field, with popular conservative neurosurgeon Ben Carson having thrown his hat into the ring. On “Good Morning America” Monday morning, Fiorina said her lack of political experience is part of what makes her a good candidate.
“Our nation was intended to be a citizen government," Fiorina told host George Stephanopoulos. “Somehow we've come to this place in our nation's history where we think we need a professional political class. I don’t believe that, and I will tell you, as I’ve been out there across the country, people don’t believe that either. They're kinda tired of the political class, and they believe we need to return to a citizen government.”
Later on in the show, Fiorina talked to host Robin Roberts about some of her personal battles, including overcoming breast cancer and losing her daughter, Lori, to addiction, which she addresses in her new book, “Rising to the Challenge.”
Note: Carly Fiorina stated that CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, talked about “boycotting Indiana.” In fact, Tim Cook has never discussed calling for a boycott of businesses in Indiana.