Republican presidential hopefuls are looking over their shoulders after the Monday meeting of the conservative Committee to Unleash American Prosperity in New York, wondering if an unexpected dark horse is starting to pick up speed and sprint for the finish line.
Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, is starting her race from way back in the pack. But, positioned as the "anti-Hillary" candidate and the Republican who convincingly can deny Democratic claims of a GOP "war on women," she impressed the meeting with her grasp of economics and world affairs and hammered the Democratic heir-apparent Clinton for her lack of "real world" leadership experience, The Wall Street Journal noted.
"Add one more intriguing candidate to what is shaping up to be the strongest Republican field since 1980," the Journal said.
At the meeting, Fiorina criticized endangered species rules that cut water flow to California's Central Valley, blasted the Federal Communications Commission's new Internet regulations for "crushing the little guys," and attacked Obamacare, saying, "Let’s try the one thing we’ve never tried in healthcare — a free market," the Journal reported.
A recent Bloomberg poll
shows Fiorina running 13th out of a field of 15 in first choice for Republican candidate, with just 1 percent choosing her, the same percentage which chose "somebody else." Clinton leads easily on the Democratic side, with 56 percent.
However, Fiorina sounds not at all dismayed, telling "Fox News Sunday" that the chances she will announce her candidacy are "higher than 90 percent," and that she officially will reveal her intentions this month or next, CNN reported.
"If I run for president, it’s because I can win the job and it’s because I can do the job," she told Fox News.
"I do believe that ours was intended to be a citizen government and we have to engage folks where they are, build a robust ground game and not leave votes on the table," she told MSNBC.
"If we want someone who can reimagine our government, then we cannot elect another career politician who knows how Washington works but doesn’t know what leadership means."
Real Clear Politics took note that in New Hampshire, "One less familiar potential 2016 presidential candidate is quietly garnering interest attention from the tight-knit community of GOP power brokers.
"Recent conversations with plugged-in Republicans across the state reveal a consensus that Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, is positioning herself well as a potential dark horse White House contender
capable of making a serious run."
"I come from the world where results count," Fiorina said at the Monday meeting. Earlier, she had said of former Secretary of State Clinton, "Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe. But unlike Hillary Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment," the Journal noted.
"Her executive experience at HP and, before that, at the former Lucent Technologies, compares very favorably with Mrs. Clinton’s limited familiarity with the market economy and undistinguished tenure at state," the Journal stated.
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