Carly Fiorina got the Ted Cruz treatment on Fox News today – which is to say that lots of “questions” were raised about what she said is a very likely presidential candidacy. But host Chris Wallace thought she’d be so effective as a VP candidate attacking Hillary Clinton that he played what he called one of Fiorina’s “greatest hits” against Clinton and asked, “What is your basic case against Hillary Clinton?”
I’ve previously noted (as have conservatives) Fox’s clear bias against Cruz’ candidacy. Fiorina has not formally announced but she told Wallace the chances are “higher than 90 percent” that she’ll run. Nevertheless, she, too faced blatant skepticism on Fox News. (Excerpts below via the Fox News Sunday transcript, with my emphases)
Wallace’s first question suggested Fiorina is not qualified:
WALLACE: If you run, and it would be in a field of current and former governors, several current senators, why should Republican voters pick you?
Predictably, Fiorina cited her business experience as the former head of Hewlett Packard.
FIORINA: Because I have a deep understanding of how the economy actually works, having started as a secretary and become the chief executive of the largest technology company in the world because I understand how the world works and know many of the world leaders on the stage today because I understand technology, a transformational tool, because I understand bureaucracies—how they work and how you need to change them and our government is a huge bureaucracy, and because I understand executive decision-making, which is making tough calls in tough times with high stakes for which you’re prepared to be held accountable.
And perhaps just as predictably, Wallace challenged that.
…WALLACE: But, Ms. Fiorina, and you know this is coming, your record at head of Hewlett Packard, and you were the CEO for five and a half years, and you were the first woman to lead a Fortune 100 company, is going to be controversial. Let’s put up some of the things on the screen.
During your five and a half years, you laid off—the company laid off more than 30,000 American workers, many of those jobs went to India and China, and Hewlett-Packard stock fell 49 percent and the board of directors fired you. Isn’t that a record that you’re going to get hammered with?
Fiorina defended her record, saying that there was a “technology recession,” that most of the people laid off were overseas and that more jobs were “outsourced” to Texas than India or China, “demonstrating we have to compete for every job.”
Rather than question how to avoid a race for the bottom of the pay scale, Wallace further tried to delegitimize Fiorina as a candidate.
WALLACE: But you know what’s going to happen. If you were the nominee, exactly what happened to Mitt Romney. There were 30,000 American jobs that were lost and they can get two or three or 200 people to go on and say, well, Carly Fiorina got a $20 million severance package, I lost my job. I mean, they’ll make you look like an unfeeling multimillionaire.
After Fiorina had a chance to respond, (“I think you’re reading the Democratic talking points because it was not all American jobs” and “(I)n the end, we took a company that was really struggling and turned it into an exceedingly successful company where overall jobs grew.”) Wallace began hyping Fiorina’s Hillary-bashing attributes:
WALLACE: You seem to take special delight in going after Hillary Clinton. And here is one of your greatest hits. (He played a clip of Fiorina crticizing Clinton’s record as Secretary of State.) That’s pretty good stuff. What is your basic case against Hillary Clinton?
Now Wallace eagerly accepted Fiorina’s likening of Clinton to Richard Nixon and egged her on to discuss Benghazi. Then, after getting Fiorina’s assurance that, “I will not pull my punches” on Benghazi or Clinton, Wallace suggested Fiorina take her anti-Hillary show on the road as a VP.
WALLACE: Some people have suggested, even as I ask it, it sounds sexist, you’re really running to be the running mate, that you would the person to lead the attack against Hillary Clinton. It would be easier for you as a woman attacking another woman and that you would in a sense neutralize the vulnerabilities the Republican Party has with women?
Fiorina shot back, “Well, when you start asking all the other candidates that question, then maybe we’ll have that conversation.”
Watch it below, from today’s Fox News Sunday.
NOTE TO MASSES
These are the same sexist suits who demand that their female hosts wear dresses on the air.
Like the evil George Wickham in “Pride and Prejudice,” Fiorina skipped California owing buckets of cash to her one-time pals. She owes $60,000 to former campaign manager Marty Wilson, who now works for the California Chamber of Commerce, and another $20,000 to his former communications firm. She shorted her lawyer Ben Ginsberg, formerly of Patton Boggs, to the tune of $44,000. She owes $3,750 to a former press secretary, $5,000 to another communications aide and $7,500 to her erstwhile political director. She stiffed political consultant Joe Shumate, who died in 2010, to the tune of $30,000. (Yes, she stiffed a stiff — even though she lauded Shumate as a “trusted adviser and friend” upon his death.)