Carly Fiorina joined me in hour three today (interview #151 with would be GOP nominees since the first GOP debate):
HH: Earlier today, Carly Fiorina sent a letter to the Republican National Committee that reads, “To the chairman and the members of the Republican National Committee, our debate process is broken. Networks are making up these debate rules as they go along, not to be able to fit the candidates on the stage, but arbitrarily to decide which candidates make for the best TV in their opinion. Now it is time for the RNC to act in the best interest of the party that it represents. In 2012,” Ms. Fiorina continues, “The debate featured eight candidates until the Iowa Caucuses, and then all declared candidates still in the race were invited from that point forward, including the ABC New Hampshire debate. As of today, I will be the only candidate kept off the debate stage. To review, we beat Governors Christie and Kasich in Iowa this week when voters actually had their say. This campaign has the same number of delegates as Governor Bush and Kasich, while Governor Christie has zero. We’re ahead of Dr. Carson in New Hampshire polling. We are sixth in hard dollars raised, and we have twice as much cash on hand as either Governors Christie or Kasich. We’re already on the ballot in 32 states, and there’s a ground game with paid staff in 12 states. Yet all of these candidates will be invited to the ABC debate. I will not. There are only eight candidates left. It is time for the RNC to demand that media executives step aside and let the voters hear from all of us. I trust you will act appropriately, Carly Fiorina,” who joins me now, the 151st interview I have done with a would-be GOP nominee since August. Carly Fiorina, welcome back.
CF: Thank you, Hugh, thanks for having me.
HH: Glad to read your letter. What’s the response been?
CF: Nothing, yet.
HH: And do you think that the RNC has authority given the arrangements made with the networks, I genuinely don’t know the answer to this, to impact the networks?
CF: Well, I don’t know, but I would certainly hope so, because after all, this is a Republican primary. The media doesn’t get to decide, although the media has been trying to decide all along. The media has been telling people how this race was going to go. The media has been trying to say it’s a two person race, it’s a three person race. The media has gotten a lot of things wrong. And meanwhile, we haven’t had a single primary. We just had the first caucus, and we exceeded expectations once again. Now we’re going into the primary. I think voters need to hear from the eight people who are left, because eight people have dropped. And when I started this race, I was 17 out of 16. Nobody polled my name. 4% of voters had heard of me. And I have outlasted Perry, Jindal, Walker, Pataki, Huckabee, Graham, Santorum, the list goes on. I’ve earned my place on this debate stage, but sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve had to fight for my earned place on the debate stage.
HH: Are you in it through Super Tuesday for certain, Carly Fiorina?
CF: Absolutely. I’m going all the way to Cleveland. Look, I have what it takes to go all the way. I have the resources, I have the team, I have the money. So yeah, I am.
HH: How many delegates did you win in Iowa? Was it one? Was it two?
CF: It was one, the same as Jeb Bush, more than others.
HH: Oh, that gives you a chip in Cleveland. So I just point out, you do have a chip in Cleveland on the road to 1,237. What is your strongest state…
CF: And by the way, some people on that stage Saturday night don’t have a chip.
HH: Yeah, I get that. That’s in your letter. That’s why I read your entire letter. I genuinely do not know that the RNC has any authority over this, but talk to the ABC News executives. I’m going to be there on 2/25 and on 3/10. I don’t know what the situation’s going to be by then. But what’s the best case to ABC that it’s also good television, because I know that there’s a case to be made for that.
CF: Well, of course. Look, I think lots of people have concluded I’m the best debater on the stage. So maybe the left wing media doesn’t want to give me visibility, because they know I can beat Hillary. I don’t know. You think of any scenario you want. But there is no rational explanation for keeping me off the stage.
HH: I have one rational explanation. People who do not want to talk about Hillary’s server, and the hemorrhaging of national security that it represents don’t want Carly Fiorina in a room.
CF: Well, there you go. That’s a possibility, but you see, that’s why the RNC needs to step in, because it’s absolutely what’s going on with ABC, and the RNC can’t let that happen. This is a debate for Republican primary voters.
HH: How important, and we have a minute, Carly, we set this up late, and so we don’t have much time to do this, but how important is the revelation of the additional 22 emails to a veteran of PFIAB and the intelligence community that you are?
CF: It is exceedingly important. It demonstrates A) that she’s been lying all along, B) that she has been either incredibly negligent or incredibly dishonest. But what she has done is a violation of the law, and she should be prosecuted. Sadly, I doubt she will be under this administration. But she will be under a President Fiorina.
HH: Any doubt in your mind that she is guilty of at least violating 18 USC 1924?
CF: No doubt in my mind at all.
HH: Carly Fiorina, we will continue to talk, and we will see how your letter fares with ABC and the RNC. I appreciate you finding time for me tonight. It is always a pleasure to talk to Carly Fiorina.
End of interview.