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Carly Fiorina Discusses Her Endorsement Of Ted Cruz, And Why Not Donald Trump

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The Audio:
03-09hhs-fiorina

The Transcript:

HH: From Miami, Florida, it’s Hugh Hewitt fresh from a day of debate prep with the CNN team of Jake Tapper, Dana Bash and the Washington Times’ Steve Dinan, I am here to bring you all the news. Of course, you know Donald Trump won three primaries last night. Marco Rubio won none. John Kasich won none. Ted Cruz won Idaho. The delegate split was Trump 72, Cruz 61, Kasich 17, Marco Rubio zero. Senator Rubio doubling down today saying he’s staying in through Florida, intends to win Florida. John Kasich saying he’s closed the gap in Ohio. And the big surprise of the day, Carly Fiorina endorsing Ted Cruz. She joins me now the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and presidential candidate. Carly Fiorina, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

CF: Thank you. How are you, Hugh?

HH: I’m great. I’m busy and a little bit tired, but you are, too. You’ve been out on the trail with Ted Cruz today in a big surprise endorsement. Tell me about that. Why?

CF: Why? Because you know, I’ve said all throughout this campaign character reveals…under pressure. And I have seen Ted Cruz stand as a Constitutional conservative for his principles. He has never gotten down in the dirt ever. He has run a campaign of character and substance. And it’s time for the Republican Party for…

HH: Carly, your cell phone is terrible, so I think we’re going to have to hang up and try again, because I’m catching every other word, and I think this is so important. We’re going to disconnect and retry. And she’s going to call back. Meanwhile, I’ve got to say Donald Trump had a good night, an extraordinary press conference. That’s the only word I can attach to it. And here’s what Hillary had to say as opposed to all the talent on the Republican side.

HRC: As the rhetoric keeps sinking lower, the stakes in this election keep rising higher. Now running for president shouldn’t be about delivering insults. It should be about delivering results for the American people.

HH: Carly Fiorina, Hillary Clinton is such a dreadful candidate. Can Ted Cruz beat her in a general, because a new poll today suggests Donald Trump cannot.

CF: Yes, Ted Cruz can beat her in a general election. He is the only person left standing who can beat her in a general election. And it’s one of the important reasons that I’ve endorsed him. Look, we need to beat Donald Trump at the ballot box, and then we need to beat Hillary Clinton at the ballot box. Ted Cruz is a trusted, proven conservative who is offering real solutions that matter in people’s lives. He has demonstrated the courage to reform the system in Washington. He has demonstrated that he will stand for our liberties. And he can beat Hillary Clinton.

HH: Now you’re one of the few people who have been on the stage and debated all of these people, and now the second of those who are not in, to endorse this cycle with Chris Christie in New Hampshire. Rick Santorum also endorsed, of course, Marco Rubio. Can Ted Cruz win in Florida? Or is he simply forcing Marco Rubio out by campaigning for votes here?

CF: Oh, I think Ted Cruz is going to campaign hard here in Florida. It’s why he’s opened ten offices. It’s why we chose today at Miami-Dade University to announce my endorsement. I think he’s going to play hard in Florida, because obviously, the voters of Florida have a very important choice this upcoming Tuesday, and they’re going to have a really important choice in November.

HH: Now he is not choosing to do that in Ohio, Carly Fiorina. Is that a tacit acknowledgement that Ted Cruz’ team wants John Kasich to win Ohio?

CF: Well, you know what? You ought to ask Ted Cruz or Ted Cruz’ team, because I’m not on their campaign team. I’m, as a former presidential candidate, as a citizen of this great nation, I am endorsing Ted Cruz, because I think he is the leader we need.

HH: Tell me about Donald Trump, who won last night. Are you surprised that he won three victories? Now they weren’t the giant victories that the MSM is saying, because he won pluralities again, not outright majorities. And the delegate count was about 10 votes apart between Cruz and Trump. But what do you think of his candidacy?

CF: I’m actually not surprised that he won. The polling data suggested that he would win those contests. I think the untold story by many in the media was the very strong second place showing that Ted Cruz had. And I also think that the data’s pretty clear that late-deciding voters are not deciding for Donald Trump. And I think that’s because his act is wearing a little thin. And the more they see of Donald Trump, the more they conclude you know, he’s entertaining, he’s successful, but the tone, the vitriol, the lack of real solutions and specificity, this isn’t the leader we need to unify our party, and this is certainly not the leader we need to beat Hillary Clinton and to sit in the Oval Office.

HH: Now Carly Fiorina, I have been doing the math all day. I do not believe anyone can get to 1,237 delegates, given that 9% are by law uncommitted. And you know as well as I do how California works. It’s three delegates per Congressional districts, 10 for the state. So June 7th’s going to matter. But I don’t see anyone getting there. I want to know theoretically do you have an objection to someone who did not have a plurality of the delegates winning the convention vote?

CF: Well you know what, Hugh? You and I have been talking together for a long time, so you know I never answer hypotheticals.

HH: Hypotheticals. Well, you know, you might have changed (laughing).

CF: (laughing)

HH: So okay, I’ll go back then.

CF: It’s still me.

HH: It’s still, I can’t get around that. I try to trick you a little bit. But Ted Cruz, you stood next to him. You debated with him. I don’t recall, and I’ve watched every minute of every debate, any sharp exchanges between you and the Senator. Am I correct in that?

CF: Well, I don’t really recall, either, but no, I don’t think so. And you know, in general, I tried hard not to attack people. I can disagree with them on substance. And I think Ted Cruz is the same way. It might surprise you to know, Hugh, that I actually didn’t know Ted very well when all this started. And I voted for him in the Virginia primary before we ever had a conversation about whether or not I was prepared to endorse him. So I put my money where my mouth is. I cast my vote for him, because I think he’s the right nominee, because I think we need to unify now behind him, and because I think he can beat Hillary Clinton.

HH: Is he a real conservative versus Donald Trump?

CF: Absolutely. Ted Cruz reveres the Constitution, because he knows that it is the Constitution that protects us from the very abuse of power that we see in D.C. What we have today, and what we’ve had for too long, you’ve heard me say this on your show over and over again, Hugh, we have too much power – economic power, political power. We have too much power concentrated in the hands of too few. The Constitution is not just a document that protects our individual liberties. Our Constitution is a document that protects against the abuse of power. The power has been abused by too few for too long. Ted Cruz understands that. Donald Trump is the system. Donald Trump will not reform the system. He is the system. He has made billions buying off people like Hillary Clinton who are inside that system. Ted Cruz is a real conservative, and he’s put those principles to test.

HH: When you say Donald Trump is the system, what do you mean by that?

CF: Well, look, people decry, I have in my presidential campaign, crony capitalism. What is crony capitalism? It’s when the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected benefit. And the small and the powerless get crushed. Donald Trump is big, powerful, wealthy and well-connected. He and Hillary Clinton are two sides of the same coin. Hillary Clinton has made millions and millions selling access and influence from the inside. And Donald Trump has made billions and billions buying people like Hillary Clinton off. He is the system. He will not reform the system. He is not in it for the small and the powerless. He is in it for the big and the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected, and he’s number one in that line.

HH: Now let me channel some Trump supporters. You know, I remain Switzerland. And everyone is welcome here, and I’m sure I’ll hear from Trump supporters later. His best argument, he brings new people into the Republican Party. He did so in Michigan. He can win Michigan, he can win Pennsylvania, he can win New York. He went through it in his long press conference last night. How does Ted Cruz match him in terms of electoral strength in the fall?

CF: And by the way, that’s a really important fact. His supporters are absolutely right to point that out. Donald Trump should point that out, that he’s bringing in new voters. But you see, I think the reality is those new voters are being brought in on a belief that Donald Trump is in it for them. He’s not in it for them. He’s in it for him. You know, Ted Cruz made an interesting point today in his rally. He said you know, isn’t it odd that Donald Trump would ask his supporters to pledge their loyalty to him. The truth is the president should pledge his loyalty to the American people, as I have said to you many times, Hugh. A leader first and foremost is a servant. A leader serves. Ted Cruz will be a servant leader. Donald Trump is about the power for himself, the loyalty to himself, and the wealth and the connection that he gains by being a part of this system. So don’t be fooled by Donald Trump. He’s in it for himself, not for you.

HH: Carly Fiorina, it’s always bracing to talk to you. Thank you for joining me on short notice today on a day you made enormous news. I look forward to talking to you often between now and Cleveland, the convention which I believe is going to be open, America, because I think John Kasich’s going to win Ohio, and I think Marco Rubio’s going to win Florida, and I think Ted Cruz is going to win North Carolina and Missouri, and Guy Benson will tell me where I’m wrong with we come back.

End of interview.

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