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Carly Fiorina: I'll Be Working the 'Happy Hour' Debate

Carly Fiorina: I'll Be Working the 'Happy Hour' Debate
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By    |   Wednesday, 05 August 2015 12:08 PM

Carly Fiorina didn't make the top 10 for Thursday night's prime-time GOP debates, but she said Wednesday that she's still looking forward to introducing herself and her views in the earlier "happy hour" event.

"National polls measure name identification, and about 40 percent of Republicans have heard my name," Fiorina told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "In other words, a vast majority of Republican voters, never mind Americans, still don't know who I am. So that's not unexpected considering I'm not a professional politician."

The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, who has never held elected political office, said she knows Americans are "frustrated, disappointed, or angry," because the "political class has let you down."

But, Fiorina emphasized, she is not from the political class, and she thinks "we need a president now who understands how the economy works, how the world works and who's in it."

She said she believes it's also important that there is a leader in the White House "who understands the job is to challenge the status quo of politics as usual. Every problem that we Republicans talk about has been around for 25 or 30 years. It's not that we don't have good ideas; we have great ideas. It's just that they never get implemented."

In other issues, Fiorina on Wednesday voiced her opposition to Planned Parenthood, calling a series of undercover sting videos that have been released in recent weeks "an abomination, and the explanations we're getting out of Planned Parenthood are insulting, totally insulting."

Fiorina also said she would not vote to increase the national gas tax, an effort launched last month by GOP Rep. Tom Rice in hopes of increasing the tax 10 cents a gallon to help fund highway transportation projects.

"Isn't it interesting that federal government always needs more money to do anything important?" she told the program. "Roads and bridges are one of the most important responsibilities of federal government and yet somehow, despite the fact that they spend more and more and more money every year, they don't have enough money to do anything important. This is what's wrong with Washington."

For that reason, Fiorina said, "we have to go to zero-base budgeting, so we actually know how our money is being spent and we can prioritize spending on money. If every time the government has something important to do, they get to ask for more money from the taxpayers, we're not changing anything."

She said she'd be in favor of having Americans weigh in on zero-base budgeting by telling them to "take out their smartphones" and then share whether they believe they need to know how money is being spent.

"Technology is a great tool that can be used to re-engage citizens with the process of the government," the former computer company chief executive said. "It's also a weapon that is being used against us, as we know from all the data breaches from the Chinese.

"And Hillary Clinton, of course, doesn't understand that technology well enough to know that her server has most assuredly been hacked because Secret Service agents can't protect it from being hacked."

Fiorina also weighed in on the Iran nuclear agreement, complaining that President Barack Obama "always presents the world and Americans with the false choice" of going to war if the agreement is not approved.

"I know more world leaders on the stage today than anyone running, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, only I don't do photo ops," she said, making a dig on the former secretary of state.

She suggests holding an immediate campaign summit to see what allies in the Middle East need from the United States, rather than try to talk them into a "bad deal" with Iran.

"Specifically, they asked for very clear things from us," said Fiorina. "King Abdullah [of Saudi Arabia] asked for bombs and material, so he's going to China. The Kurds asked us to arm them for three years, we haven't done; the Egyptians asked us to share intelligence. Saudis, Egyptians, Kurds, Jordanians are all fighting ISIS [the Islamic State] on the ground as we speak."

And Fiorina believes that while more effective bombing runs are needed against ISIS, and more special forces need to be in the fight, the United States first needs to "stand behind our allies, give them what they have asked us for and let them fight this. It's important to remember they have lost more citizens at the hands of ISIS than anyone else."

She also will "never discount" the "possibility of troops" to fight the Islamic State, "but we also are not at that point yet. I believe if we appropriately support our allies, we will not get to that point."

Fiorina also promised on the program that, if elected, she would make two phone calls on her first day of office: "One to Bibi [Benjamin] Netanyahu, my good friend, to reassure him we'll stand with the state of Israel."

The other would go to the supreme leader of Iran, who may not answer the call, to tell him that "until you open every military and nuclear facility to full and unfettered inspections, we'll make it as difficult for you to move money around the global financial system."

Watch the video here.

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Carly Fiorina didn't make the top 10 for Thursday night's prime-time GOP debates, but she said Wednesday that she's still looking forward to introducing herself and her views in the earlier "happy hour" event.
carly fiorina, gop, debate, gas tax, politics
Wednesday, 05 August 2015 12:08 PM
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