Carly Fiorina joined me on today’s show:
HH: I begin today with Carly Fiorina, GOP presidential candidate. You an follow her on Twitter @CarlyFiorina or CarlyforAmerica.com. Carly, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show. It’s always pleasure to talk to you.
CF: Thanks so much for having me back, Hugh.
HH: What was your reaction to yesterday’s 11-hour hearing with the former Secretary of State?
CF: Trey Gowdy did a fantastic job. Secondly, I think Jim Jordan did a good job of trying to demonstrate that Hilary Clinton knew about these terrorist attacks and nevertheless, lied the next morning. But I also think these hearings remind us that Hilary Clinton will not be accountable until we have a nominee who will face off against her in a general election debate and hold her accountable.
HH: Do you believe the emails she sent to Chelsea Clinton, that Jim Jordan produced, were allowed? Do you think Chelsea Clinton is clear to receive that kind of information on ongoing terrorist attacks?
CF: Well, that’s an interesting question. I doubt it.
HH: Is there a difference between that and what David Petraeus did with his author-girlfriend?
CF: I would say probably not.
HH: And so do you have confidence that the FBI will follow that line of inquiry and an others concerning classified information on her server to wherever it takes it?
CF: I do not, unfortunately. You and I have had this conversation before, Hugh. I said, “I would like to believe that the FBI is not politicized.” On the other hand, it’s also true that the Justice Department decided just yesterday or perhaps today that they weren’t going to pursue any inquiry any further on Lois Lerner.
It is true that the President of the United States said on 60 Minutes, “Oh trust me, there is no issue of classified information being abused or mishandled in any way.” In other words, this administration has already said loud and clear, “Nothing to see here, move on.” So I wish I could believe they would pursue it, but I have no confidence of that.
HH: There were a couple of other points in yesterday’s hearing I want to play for you. This is Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas making a point about the Secretary of State’s indifference to increasing chorus of request for help.
MP: Do you know how many security request there were in the first quarter of 2012?
HC: For everyone or for Benghazi?
MP: I’m sorry. Yes ma’am, I meant Benghazi in Libya. Do you know how many there were?
HC: No, I do not know.
MP: Ma’am, there were just over a 100-plus. Second quarter, do you know how many there were?
HC: No, I do not.
MP: Ma’am, there were a 172-ish. Might have been 171 or 173. That’s how many there were in July and August and in that weekend a few days before the attacks. Do you know?
HC: There were a number of them. I know that.
MP: Yes ma’am, 83.
MP: . . .by our count. That’s over 600 requests. You’ve testified here this morning that you had none of those reach your desk. Is that correct?
HC: That’s correct?
MP: Madame Secretary, Sydney Blumethal wrote you a 150 emails. It appears from the materials that we’ve read that all of those reached your desk. Could you tell us why security request from your professionals that you just testified and which, I agree, are incredibly professional, capable people, trained in the art of keeping us all safe, none of those made it to you. But a man who was a friend of yours, who never been to Libya, didn’t know much about it – at least that’s his testimony – didn’t know much about it. Everyone one of those reports that he sent on to you that had to that he sent on to you that had to with situations on the ground in Libya. Those made it to your desk. You asked for more of them. You read them. You corresponded with him. And yet the folks that worked for you didn’t have the same courtesy.
HH: Now I’m going to spare the audience the filibuster, Carly Fiorina, that followed. But isn’t that the heart of the indictment of Hilary Clinton’s tenure at the Department of State?
CF: I think it’s certainly part of it. What Hilary Clinton was demonstrating there, was that while she expressed an interest interest in Libya the year before to craft a policy of intervention which she herself takes credit for, she then lost interest. She lost interest when it wasn’t going so well. She lost interest, became isolated as so many at the top of a giant bureaucracy do, and never bothered to inquire. Never bothered to inquire apparently about how it was going. How Chris Stevens was doing. Whether or not he felt safe. She kept saying, “Well, the bureaucracy was handling it.” That’s basically what she said. We have protocol, we have procedures, we have processes, we have people beneath me who are in charge of these things. That’s the answer of a typical bureaucrat. But it’s not the answer of an involved leader who understands their accountability and responsibility is to follow through on a policy that they pushed for. And of course, the other heart of the matter, is the fact that she knew as her own emails demonstrate that this was purposeful terrorist attack and yet she stood up the next day, in the State Department, addressed the American people, and talked about a videotape that didn’t represent the values of this nation. She stood over the bodies of the fallen and said the same thing. Everyone in the administration including her, said this for weeks, when of course, what she should have said was, this was a purposeful terrorist attack upon our nation. Four Americans were killed, including an ambassador and we the United States of America will seek retribution.
HH: Now Carly Fiorina, as we speak, CNN is running a story by Jeff Zeleny, a very fine reporter, the lower-third of which is “Hilary Clinton riding high after ‘a week.’” A lot of the mainstream media, the Manhattan media elite, are saying that she did so well yesterday, and won the first debate so conclusively, that the damage of the summer of the server has been undone and reversed. What do you think of that?
CF: That’s my point exactly. Until we have a nominee, and I believe I will be that nominee who can hold her to account, she will not be held to account. I have said to you all along, Hugh, HiIlary Clinton will be the nominee of the Democrat Party, and now all of the media is saying, she’s going to be the nominee, there’s a coronation going on. She will not be held to account until we have a nominee who can hold her to account and all of your listeners who are trying to make up their minds from a wide array of highly qualified candidates, in their heart of hearts, they know, they cannot to see me debate Hilary Clinton because people know I have been on her from the moment I launched my campaign, and I’m going to stay on her because she in the end is who we must beat.
HH: At the conclusion of yesterday, some people say she held her composure well through 11 hours, but there were moments when she laughed at Martha Roby inquiring whether she was alone. I assumed staff had accompanied her home in the middle of a terrorist attack as well, but she laughed at it, her head and her hand. All these different poses that she struck. What was she doing yesterday? Was she trying to give that committee information or was she trying to make a political bit of theater?
CF: Oh, I think she was trying to make a political bit of theater. Look, I will give Hillary high marks for stamina. I really will. I give her relatively high marks for style. I think this was a huge bit of political theater. And remember, it was Hillary Clinton and her staff who insisted that this be televised. And I think they did that or a very specific reason, they thought if she can stand there and keep her composure and answer every question relatively convincing, not to you or I, not to the American people. She’s going to come out of this the winner despite all the great efforts of Trey Gowdy and Jim Jordan and Mike Pompeo and others. And I think they capitulated that well, unfortunately, all the way back to the beginning, we must have a nominee who will hold her accountable. Remember, in 2012, we thought Benghazi was going to bring Obama down. It didn’t because our nominee, as wonderful of a man as he is, would not pursue that fight to the bitter end. We can’t make that mistake again.
HH: So coming up to a big debate next week, Ben Carson has big numbers in Iowa, other hve big numbers. You had a bounce that has faded a little bit. What’s your objective for next Wednesday’s debate in Boulder, Carly Fiorina?
CF: Well, first, I remind folks that when I launched this campaign in May, nobody gave me a chance. In August, I wasn’t even on the debate stage. In September I had to fight my way onto the debate stage and in October, I’m number four on teh debate stage. SO I’m very pleased with our trajectory and our momentum. M objective is to continue to introduce myself to the 40% of the American people tuning how don’t know and don’t know I’m running for president. Last debate it was 50%. This time it’s 40%. We’re slowly building our name ID. My objective as well is to have those who don’t know me, and I continue to be the least well-known candidate in the field, to get to be known better. My objective is to distinguish myself from everyone else running: Why I will be different as a nominee, why I will be different, most importantly, as somebody who can do this job.
HH: Carly Fiorina, always a pleasure. I will see you, if not in Boulder, then soon thereafter at the Venetian on December 15th. Thank you always, it’s good to talk to you, Carly Fiorina.
End of Interview