HH: My first guest today, Carly Fiorina, of course, will be on the stage Tuesday night across from Dana Bash, Wolf Blitzer and myself. Carly Fiorina, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt show, great to have you.
CF: Thank you, Hugh, great to be with you as always.
HH: I didn’t want to wait until next week to begin this conversation. There’s a lot to talk about, but you’re the high tech person. And the FBI director’s testimony on encryption between terrorists, which may have been buried in a lot of the Trump-related news, and the open convention news, which we’ll talk about, nevertheless, wildly alarming if you study it. What’s your response to that? And is Silicon Valley, from which you came, doing enough to help the government with this problem?
CF: So, yes it’s concerning. Silicon Valley isn’t doing enough, but they haven’t been asked. And so I would ask them. One of the things that’s pretty clear to me, we keep missing patterns. You know, the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, we missed. These San Bernardino killers, we missed, even though they had been radicalized years ago, and there were investigations into some of the terror groups that they were associated with. What that suggests to me is that our government may not be using the right algorithms to search through all this data. Remember in World War II, the government went to the private sector and said please help us do things that we cannot do. That is what we must do again, because we are at war. And the private sector is four generations of technology beyond the Patriot Act. So are the terrorists. And our government is mired in looking backward instead of looking forward. So I will engage the private sector in making sure that we have what we need to detect the right patterns, and find the people who are trying to threaten us. Now let me just say, we’ve done this before, but on a very limited scale. When I was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard right after 9/11, in which we lost people, I was called by the head of the NSA. And I was asked for specific help which we provided. But the government has to reach out to the private sector now, because while politicians are arguing about the Patriot Act, the Patriot Act is 14 years old. Technology has moved on, as I say, at least four generations. And the terrorists are putting up online help desks, online help desks on jihadi websites to teach would-be terrorists how to use the latest and greatest technology. We need to do the same, and we have the finest technology minds in the world both here and as well as…
HH: Now Carly Fiorina, what you just said sort of puts you at a third point in a triangle. On one side, you’ve got Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. On another side, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. On a third point, now, Carly Fiorina, are you saying that that conversation they’re having is actually irrelevant to the real problem?
CF: I do. I think it’s irrelevant. I think it’s looking backward, which is what sadly, politicians frequently do. And I think politicians also frequently talk about laws, because they’re lawyers. But here’s the deal. Technology can help us solve this problem. You know, there are companies like Palantir that specialize in algorithms that help find patterns in massive amounts of data. Those algorithms are used for commercial purposes. My guess is those algorithms are not being used for intelligence purposes. So they should be. I have a fair amount of experience, having advised the CIA and the NSA on, let’s say, the readiness of our IT systems. And I am not being critical of anyone, but what I am saying is the government is always woefully behind because a bureaucracy cannot move at the speed of innovation. So let us engage the private sector.
HH: So Carly Fiorina, can that sort of surveillance of the data that the world produces be done without the United States becoming known as Islamophobic or Islamist-too-sensitive, or is there a way to somehow couch this in necessity without tripping the wires of our allies in that part of the world, not just Arab Muslims, of course, but in Indonesia or Malaysia where you don’t have Arabs, but you’ve got Muslims?
CF: Well look, the thing that I find sort of startling about this whole data, immediately people go to the civil liberties question. But it turns out that the FBI has a list of about a thousand people that we’re already worried about. It turns out that we should start there. We should start with the people who have left this country and traveled to Syria to fight. We should start with the people that we know are in Europe, that the Europeans have told us have traveled to Syria and fight. I mean, we have places to start.
HH: Those places to start are out there. The question is do you think the Bureau is doing what they need to be doing? Or are they being held back by fear of being charged with Islamophobia?
CF: Well, clearly, they are. I mean, there’s, first of all, we are underinvested in FBI and intelligence capability. One of the reasons it’s so important, I think, to radically simplify the tax code, and to go to a different way of budgeting, is because we need to reallocate resources. We now have more people in the IRS than in the CIA and FBI combined. That’s a problem. So yes, it’s clear that there are people who were taken off investigations because people got a little nervous about civil liberties. We heard this story the other night about a guy in the Department of Homeland Security who was in fact investigating terror groups that this San Bernardino couple was affiliated with, and he was pulled off that investigation, because people were oversensitive about civil liberties. And yet, he was investigating people who clearly were associated with a jihadist website that was preaching violence. So we don’t need to keep throwing this red herring of everybody’s civil liberties being put at risk. What we need to focus in on are the people that we know already put us at risk, and do what is necessary to track them.
HH: Now let me turn to politics, Carly Fiorina. A big night on Tuesday night, you’ll be on the main stage. It appears as though if it were today, Senator Paul will be on the undercard, and Chris Christie will be back standing next to you in a replay of our Reagan Library debate. But Ben Carson today said look, if the senior party’s getting together to plan on how to frustrate the will of the voters, “I assure you Donald Trump will not be the only one to leave the party.” What do you make of Dr. Carson’s threat? And what’s going on here with Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and does Carly Fiorina threaten to leave the party as well?
CF: No, I’m not going to threaten to leave the party, because I actually am a Republican. But I don’t actually understand quite the point that Dr. Carson is making. Nobody in the party determines whether or not there’s a brokered convention. The voters are going to determine whether there’s a brokered convention. I mean, if someone goes into the, if no one goes into the convention with enough votes to be declared the winner, then it is a brokered convention. So you could make the case that a brokered convention does reflect the will of the people. So I was a little confused by his statement, honestly.
HH: I did a piece…
CF: However, I do…
HH: Go ahead.
CF: Go ahead.
HH: Well, I did a piece today for CNN on the math, and it looks to me increasingly clear that when you combine proportional allocation and the rapidity of the race, that an open convention, meaning someone who is short of 1,236 votes before Cleveland opens its festivities, is increasingly likely, and I don’t know that it’s a bad thing. It keeps Hillary from knowing where to train her billions on.
CF: Well, look, it’s not a bad thing if that reflects the votes of the people. And to your point, it would. That, if we go to a brokered convention, it’s because that’s how voters have voted. So that’s why I’m a little confused by his statement. However, I think it’s important to think through who is Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare. I think I’m the lump of coal in her stocking, and I think some of these candidates, Donald Trump in particular, are a big Christmas gift wrapped up under the tree for her.
HH: Now there was another release from Judicial Watch about Benghazi this week, and whether or not troops were ready to be dispatched. It’s been buried in the news cycle. Are you satisfied that we know what we need to know about Benghazi to move forward at this point, Carly Fiorina?
CF: No, of course not. I mean, here’s what we do know. Here’s what we do know. We know that Hillary Clinton lied about it. That’s clear. We also know that when she refused to answer a purposeful terrorist attack with a powerful response, which called it what it is and said the United States of America will retaliate, when she did not say that, and instead talked about a video that didn’t represent our values, every terrorist that means us harm around the world got the message. And the message is huh, the United States of America isn’t going to push back. So she made more terrorism more likely. That, we know. And we also know…
HH: Last question…go ahead, last question.
CF: Well, I was just going to say, go ahead…
HH: We’re running out of time. Hillary Clinton is getting a pass because she’s up against a socialist and an invisible man. Does that hurt her? Or does that help her, Carly Fiorina, in your estimation? While you guys are involved in a barroom brawl, she is, you know, picking petunias in a garden somewhere. No one’s bothering her.
CF: Well, I try and bother her every day.
CF: I’m going to try to keep doing it, because she is who we have to beat. But I think the reality is, as you and I have discussed for a long time, I’ve always said to you, Hugh, she’s going to be the nominee, and she is going to be the nominee. But yes, she’s also being helped by a liberal media that will not examine her lies. I mean, she got a total pass on that Congressional hearing. For Heaven’s sake, it’s clear in her emails, these emails are dripping out day by day by day, and the media, all kinds of people in the media, are more fascinated by Donald Trump than they are by pursuing those leads. So I think it helps her, and this is why we have to have a nominee on the main debate stage who can take her down, and I can.
HH: Well, why do you think Donald Trump is leading then, and significantly in many of these polls?
CF: I think that people, first of all, it’s not clear to me who answers these polls. You know, when you have an outfit like Gallup say that they are no longer going to engage in horserace presidential polling because they think it is so suspect, that says a lot. And that’s what Gallup has said. So I don’t really know who is answering these polls, but there’s, it’s clear he has support. Don’t get me wrong. And it’s also clear that people are very angry and very fearful and very frustrated, and I totally get that. My objection to Donald Trump’s comments is that they are a distraction from the reality that he has no plan. Barack Obama has no plan to defeat ISIS, and therefore, he tries to distract us by talking about climate change and gun control. Donald Trump has no plan to defeat ISIS, either. And so he distracts us by talking about banning all Muslims, which does nothing to keep us safe from those already here who mean us harm.
HH: Carly Fiorina, I will see you on Monday, and then on the stage on Tuesday. Thanks for joining me as you stump in New Hampshire. Stay tuned, America.
End of interview.