Carly Fiorina joined me on the show today, with blunt assessments on why the North Korean regime feels no worries about Team Obama, and how a former member of that team, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, should resign and why the former Secretary of State and the current president should be urging him to do so:
HH: As you have no doubt heard by now, North Korea has shaken up not just the Korean Peninsula, but I think the race for the presidency. I’m joined by Carly Fiorina, one of the leading Republican contenders for the nomination. Carly Fiorina, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show, your reaction to the North Korean nuclear test?
CF: Well, it reminds us of what a dangerous world we live in. It also reminds us that when we do not respond to provocation and bad behavior, more bad behavior occurs. We did not respond when North Korea attacked Sony Pictures. We did not respond when Iran launched two ballistic missile tests in direct violation to the agreement they had just signed with the P5 + 1. So of course North Korea feels that it can do whatever it likes without impunity. This administration has failed to respond to every provocation. And when we keep allowing bad behavior to occur without response, we’re going to get more of it.
HH: Now the original sin with North Korea dates to 1994 in an agreement negotiated, and I have to say this for conflict reasons, by my good friend, Dan Poneman, my college roommate, was up there with Bob Gates when they negotiated this agreement. And it was bad then, and we’ve argued about it since then. But does Hillary Clinton have to own the original flawed deal that her husband approved in 1994?
CF: Well, her husband was the president. She wasn’t. But I think it’s a demonstration of the fact that Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton as well have gotten more foreign policy challenges wrong. Mrs. Clinton has gotten every foreign policy challenge wrong as Secretary of State, whether it was Russia, Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq. Nothing’s happened on her watch to improve the situation with North Korea or China, which is becoming a rising adversary, and which has probably the most influence over North Korea. And meanwhile, our relationship with others in that part of the world – Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, South Korea, are not better, and are probably afraid, because we are not providing them with the leadership and the support they’re asking us to provide.
HH: So Carly Fiorina, before we move to the politics of the impact of this, what actually would you do as president to try and contain the North Korean nuclear program?
CF: Well, number one, there would be immediate response. So when North Korea attacked Sony Pictures, there should have been an immediate response, an immediate retaliation. We should have put them on the terrorist watch list, which this administration and Hillary Clinton refused to do. Second, we need to be providing the support that our allies in this region have asked for – Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam and Australia, all have asked us for very specific kinds of military equipment and support. We are not providing it. I will, because that, too, is a signal. And three, we must engage in very serious conversations now with China, because China has the most influence. And of course, we responded not at all when China attacked our Office of Personnel Management, and stole the records of 23 million people. Every time, all of these things are related. Every time the United States does not respond appropriately to hostile acts and provocation, we will get more of them. And so all the way back to Hillary Clinton and Benghazi, when we do not respond to a purposeful terrorist attack, and instead our Secretary of State lies about it, the signal that is sent to every adversary we have in this world is the United States will do nothing. Forge ahead.
HH: Have you had a chance, Carly Fiorina, to see 13 Hours, yet, the new movie about Benghazi? I have, and it’s very riveting, and it’s very damning, though she is never mentioned, nor is the President. It is utterly damning of the Obama administration.
CF: I have seen snippets of it, but of course, it’s utterly damning, because we know enough from her own email trail. We know enough from her Congressional testimony that we know warnings were ignored over and over and over again. We know that additional security and support was refused. We know that the American people were lied to about what really happened. I mean, those things are damning, and it is why we must have a nominee who will hold Hillary Clinton to account. I will.
HH: Now I want to switch over to some politics. I am taking a redeye tonight to get to D.C. to be part of the post-presidential town hall forum on CNN, Jake Tapper, tomorrow night, 9pm, there’ll be eight of us commenting on whatever the President has to say. And I hope Rahm Emmanuel comes up, and I asked Chris Christie this on Monday, and I want to ask you today, Carly Fiorina. Should Rahm Emmanuel resign? And should the President urge him to do so as a means of communicating seriousness about not only gun violence, but the need to police your police, and to police your community well?
CF: Well, yes. Wouldn’t that be nice? Of course, it won’t happen. Rahm Emmanuel clearly believes in the Clinton way. I must say, what’s the Clinton way? Say whatever you have to say. Lie as long as you can get away with it, and do whatever you need to do to get reelected. And that’s what Rahm Emmanuel clearly has done. This whole terrible tragedy has been swept under the rug for a year to assure that Rahm Emmanuel would be reelected. Just imagine for one moment if the mayor of Chicago were not President Obama’s personal friend. Just imagine for a moment if this were a Republican what President Obama would be saying and doing. He has been incredibly silent on this tragedy.
HH: So has Hillary Clinton, and she is his good friend, and Rahm Emmanuel caught her…
HH: Should she call on him to step down?
CF: Well, yes, because wouldn’t that be consistent with the rhetoric they usually use when these tragedies occur? I mean, most of the time, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are right out front way before the facts are known in saying that the police have done something terrible here. This time, when the facts are crystal clear, that in fact this policeman did do something terribly wrong, when the facts are crystal clear that their good friend swept it under the carpet, when the protesters march day after day after day calling on Rahm Emmanuel to resign, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are dead quiet.
HH: Now let me speak about the politics of Iowa and New Hampshire. First of all, earlier today I tweeted that if either Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio or Carly Fiorina is our nominee, then either Doug Ducey or Tom Cotton ought to be on the ticket with them for different reasons. They have different skill sets that bring, you can’t have, though, two white males, I don’t believe, and successfully seek the presidency this year for obvious demographic reasons. What do you make of those two guys? Do you know either of them well?
CF: I don’t know either of them well, but I certainly know them, and I agree with you that they each would bring different, but important skills to a ticket, without a doubt.
HH: All right, now how about Iowa and New Hampshire, and what is your feel for the momentum there, and in South Carolina, obviously, the first big three competitions?
CF: Well, I am in New Hampshire all this week, and I must say our crowds are big, very big and growing. We are needing new space. I was in Iowa right before the holidays. We were needing bigger space. My husband, Frank, is in Iowa as I am in New Hampshire, and we will switch places next week. So I am feeling very good about what’s going on here on the ground. The other thing that I would say to you, Hugh, and we know this from the data, but the mainstream media ignores it, the reality is the majority of people in Iowa and New Hampshire don’t make up their minds until the last two weeks or the last five days, and in some cases, the last 24 hours. So this race is going to get won on the ground. And this race is still very much wide open.
HH: Patrick Ruffini, one of our best metrics guys on the right, has said that the overwhelming amount of coverage given to Donald Trump has in fact advantaged him in this race. Do you disagree with Patrick? Or do you think he has something of merit in his argument?
CF: Oh, there’s no question Donald Trump has been advantaged by all this media coverage. You know, I’ve compared him to the Kim Kardashian of politics. They’re both famous for being famous. And the media plays along. And when Donald Trump gets so much free media day after day after day, when his ads are playing almost 40 times in full on cable television, of course it helps him.
HH: And so that sophisticated voter that you spoke about earlier, do they take that into their OODA loop, their observe, orient, decide and act voting OODA loop?
CF: Yes, I think they do. I think they absolutely do. I’m not saying that Donald Trump doesn’t have support. He clearly does. I am saying that his support is propped up by a media that features him way too often. I mean, he gets more coverage than all the other candidates combined. On the other hand, why do I have confidence in the common sense and good judgment of the American people and the people of New Hampshire and Iowa and the early states? Because I started out 17 out of 16. The pollsters didn’t even ask my name. Less than 3% of the people had ever heard of me, and I don’t get nearly as much coverage as Donald Trump, and yet here I am tied with governors who have been in politics all their lives, have spent tens of millions of dollars on television advertising. I haven’t spent any, and I’m right in the hunt.
HH: When it comes down to it in New Hampshire, they do vote contrarian. Is Carly Fiorina positioned well to tap into that?
CF: Well, I certainly hope so. I certainly think so. That’s what I see here on the ground. I talk every day to the people of New Hampshire, as I have to you and the people of America. It is time to take our country back.
HH: www.carlyforamerica.com. Carly Fiorina, thank you, always a pleasure, stay warm out there in the colds of New Hampshire and Iowa.
End of interview.