Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina believes the way forward for Republicans lies in clearly articulating and executing policies that improve families and communities and provide increased job opportunities.
Speaking to Newsmax TV at CPAC 2013, Fiorina said Republicans often speak too abstractly about policies, making it hard for voters to interpret their real potential impact.
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“I don’t think you repair anything if it needs repair by talking about it in the abstract. We need to go to work to get small business back, reform tax code and reform education. We’re going to fix things by doing things not by talking about what needs fixing,” he said.
She also believes President Barack Obama isn’t focused on repairing the economy, but instead on attacking opponents.
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“Some of his techniques around sequester are so juvenile. You’re going to close down White House tours and just bash Republicans day after day? What people see is this isn’t a person focused on the economy and what’s working for me and my family, but someone who’s engaged in politics of the worst sort,” she said.
She thinks Republicans can best counteract this by emphasizing a positive agenda that doesn’t just nip at the edges of tough problems, but makes great strides in solving them.
“I gave a speech where I talk about need for fundamental tax reforms, not just tweaking around the edges, as well as the need for fundamental education and innovation reform.
Whether it’s those ideas or others, Republicans have to talk about what they’ll do and put forward a positive agenda without getting trapped around negotiating around the edges,” she said.
Although the nation’s largest corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash, Fiorina said uncertainty about economic fundamentals is holding back investment.
“Yes, the stock market is hitting record highs and big companies are making record profits, but we’ve lost 7 million full-time jobs, have 18 million people working part time or who have given up looking for a job. We also have 48 million people on food stamps and almost 13 million unemployed. Those aren’t good fundamentals and have businesses saying consumers are going to pull back at some point,” she said.
Fiorina, who recently moved from California back to her native Virginia with her husband, said California’s political leaders don’t understand the long-term economic impact of their policies.
“The Democrats have a two-thirds majority in the legislature, which means they can pass tax increase they want and (Gov.) Jerry Brown talks about a paper surplus. People who don’t have options are the ones who are really stuck,” she said. “In communities like Fresno, youth unemployment is 30 percent. California will get worse before it gets better because policymakers don’t understand (the) impact of their actions.”
Speaking on “Leaning In,” the new book by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Fiorina believes it’s important not to overly simplify what it takes for women to succeed in business given that many women face tough obstacles that limit opportunities.
“Women are sometimes their own worst enemies. While sometimes women stand back instead of leaning in, sometimes men don’t take a risk by hiring a woman. Too many women in this country don’t have enough options,” she said. “The burden of poverty rests most heavily on single women and their children. A single mother doesn’t feel like she can take a lot of risks.”
Asked about her political future, the former U.S. Senate candidate said she may run for office again in the future.
“I had a wonderful time running for elected office and if the opportunity presented itself, I would consider it,” she said.
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