Carly Fiorina joined me on today’s show:
HH: It’s Hugh Hewitt. So pleased to be joined live by Carly Fiorina. Carly, welcome back to the program, always a pleasure to speak with you.
CF: Always a pleasure to speak with you, Hugh.
HH: Over at the Hill tonight – and Drudge has picked this up – “CNN criteria threatens Fiorina’s chance at main debate stage.” I guess you want your supporters to answer the phone and participate in the polls between now and then.
CF: Well, you know, it’s not the polls between now and then that are the issue. CNN at least published one set of rules that said that they were going to average polls from before the August 6th debate, so if all we’re doing is polling between August 6th and the next debate, I’m in good shape, but the set of rules for the first debate sort disadvantaged me because they were national polls which are based on name ID and if CNN and the RNC reached all the way back to the middle of July and averaged polls over that period, that potentially is an issue as well which is unfortunate. Hopefully it won’t be an issue, but – you know – we’re in the top five in virtually every state poll there is now, so. . .
HH: Well, you’ve had quite a run, I got nothing to do with the rule set, but I’m hoping to ask you questions in the Reagan Library debate. Did you listen to the Hilary Clinton press conference yesterday?
CF: I was not able to listen to it live because I was campaigning, but I did read a transcript of it after the fact. Amazing. I mean, what else can one say about that. Amazing.
HH: Is she lying?
CF: Well, I’ve said on many occasions, I think she’s lying. I think she clearly lied about the existence of her server. She’s lied about the emails from the beginning. She said she had no classified information. I also think this is a woman who is unbelievably ignorant or simply careless about confidential information, about technology, and she strikes me as sort of a woman who just kind of said to somebody “Oh, handle it. I can’t be bothered” – really understanding whether I’m sufficiently protecting confidential information or not.
HH: Carly Fiornia, you’ve done hundreds of press conferences because you were the CEO of a publicly-traded company. How hard is it to hold a long press conference – an hour or two hour conference call and answer all the questions and just answer them?
CF: Well, you have to know what you’re talking about. You have to know what you’re talking about. And clearly, Hilary Clinton – in many cases – doesn’t know everything that she’s talking about or she’s not prepared to be truthful about it. Either answer is bad. As long as you know what you know, and you’re prepared to tell the truth, then you answer any question that comes your way.
HH: That’s my view. If you don’t know, you say, “I don’t know,” but when she said, “You mean wipe it down with a cloth” – what was your reaction to that?
CF: Well, to be honest, I couldn’t tell if she was joking or whether she was truthfully that ignorant about technology. But, you know what this reminds me of? Hugh – if you’ll bear with me here for a moment – when the whole Benghazi scandal was swirling, she made the comment – and people discovered through FOIA – that she had found the documents, turning down request for additional security. And those were presented to her, because she had said, “Oh, I had nothing to do with that.” And they said, “Well, look, these documents have your signature on them.” And her basic answer was, “Well, that was an ‘auto-pen.’ That was one of those things that just signs my signature for me.” Well, I can tell you as a chief executive who sometimes used auto-pen – I looked at every single document upon which the auto-pen would be used. And the reason to use an auto-pen is because you’re out of the country or out of town or something. But you look at it. So this reminds of that where somehow she’s in charge, but she’s not accountable for anything. So again, it’s some combination of complete carelessness, saying to some underling “Handle it,” and prevarication.
HH: Now, I’ve asked you this before, but I want to repeat it for new audience – if you’re the nominee, will a day go by when you do not bring up this server because I think this Republican base do not want “two-rules Clintonism” to get away with it again. They don’t want this issue to go on and then the Clintons say “Asked and answered” which they were doing already today.
CF: Well, look, I think whatever people want – in either party – what I’m going to do as the nominee is make sure that every single American voter know Hilary Clinton’s track record about this issue as well as Benghazi as well as about everything else because it is vital. It’s just vital that people know. This goes to the core of someone’s character and competence, and when people are electing a President of the United States, we better understand their character and we better understand their competence.
HH: And are you saying that she has neither the character nor the competence to be president?
CF: The more she is out there, the more I believe she has neither the character or the competence.
HH: Let me play for you her spokesperson Jennifer Palmieri speaking today about that disastrous press conference yesterday.
Reporter: So a server through her house–
JP: Because her husband was of the former president and–
Reporter: Again, nonetheless, it’s still unprecedented, so why?
JP: I think that – I’ve encountered this a lot in politics – where people think that the answer is a lot more complicated than it really is, and if she’s answered this many times, and she did have her own email account, others have done it before, and it was just more convenient and she took a look at it and didn’t really think that’s the thing. She really didn’t think it through. And she has said, had she, she would’ve done it differently.
R: When I delete email–
R: . . .I hit “delete.”
R: That’s all I do. That’s literally what most Americans do when–
R: . . . they delete email, so did she ask someone to do more than that?
JP: She said–
R: She merely–
JP: She had lawyers to look at all the emails and decide what was personal and what was efficient and what was official and she decided not to retain the personal ones and they were deleted. And beyond, any technical questions about servers–
R: I’m not–
JP: . . . That’s not–
R: That’s not the question I’m asking. You’re saying, she did not direct anyone to do more than merely delete the emails?
JP: I’m saying she had them go through and they, like, deleted the emails.
R: So I’m asking you–
JP: I don’t understand what the–
R: The question is – I think for many people – is the notion that if I had personal emails about my yoga practice or about my daughter’s wedding that I didn’t want people see–
R: If I deleted them, I would hit a delete button.
JP: Right. I don’t know. I don’t know–
R: But lawyers now say that the emails are wiped and that’s what the FBI is gonna look at right now when they come out of the server–
JP: Right, and they’re gonna look at–
R: . . . So the question is, what did she ask to be done with those emails?
JP: To be deleted. And beyond that, I don’t know. And beyond that, I don’t understand. This is like everyone’s an expert at inflating footballs and now everybody’s an expert on wiping servers. I don’t know how that all works.
HH: Carly Fiorina, what did you make of that exchange.
CF: (laughs) Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy – well – first, remember Bill Clinton at the beginning of this scandal? Remember Bill Clinton saying “I think I only sent one email in my life”? Remember that?
CF: You know, she keeps saying, “Well, we did this because my husband was the president.” No. It had nothing to do with her husband. It clearly had nothing to do with her husband. This was done at Hilary Clinton’s direction. Point 1. Point 2 – we now know that the server was sitting at some IT company in New Jersey being wiped clean which is certainly as most people who understand technology realize – far more deleting an email – you delete an email and it hangs around for a very long time. So the fact they went to the trouble of cleaning a server says that it was a very deliberate attempt to make sure that none of those emails could ever be recovered.
HH: Now people do that. I’m curious, Carly Fiorina, have you ever wiped a server down?
CF: I have never wiped a server down, but I do know for example that it can be done. For example, as chairman of Good360 – one of the charities that I served as chairman of until I began running for president – we would get computers from banks to donate to charities around the country and banks would spend a great deal of time and energy wiping those computers clean completely so that they could be used by others and none of the sensitive information was retained. So it can be done, and based on what I’ve heard, I suspect it has been done in this case. And to do that requires the very conscious, deliberate decision and the expenditure of time, money, and resources – it is not simply hitting the delete button.
HH: And when her spokesman said she really didn’t think this through, yesterday, Mrs. Clinton said that they went through a painstaking process. That doesn’t compute. Either you go through a painstaking process or you don’t really think it through. You can’t do both.
CF: That’s right. And the other thing is – and this is why I think it’s clear she’s lying about so much of this as I said in my closing statement in the debate — she’s lying about these things. It seems pretty clear, when you become the Secretary of State of the United States of America that you might occasionally be looking at classified information. I mean it just seems like a pretty basic thing to understand that. And so how could you possible conclude that if all of your communication went over a personal device and a personal server – how could you conclude that you never handled classified information?
HH: You couldn’t, unless–
HH: . . . you’re indifferent to truth or oblivious to common sense. Carly Fiorina is my guest live on the Hugh Hewitt show. We’ll be back to talk about Donald Trump in segment two. Don’t go anywhere, America. It’s the Hugh Hewitt Show.
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HH: I’m joined by Carly Fiorina. www.CarlyforAmerica.com. Carly, Donald Trump is a phenomenon which has puzzled many people as to his skyrocketing popularity and its enduring quality. To what do you put those down?
CF: Well, as you and I have talked about before, Hugh, we now have over 80% of the American people who believe we professional political class that cares more about its position and power and privilege than on getting anything done. I happen to agree with them. That’s why I’m running for president. So people who believe we have a political class that’s letting us down are open to candidates who aren’t politicians. Donald Trump is certainly not a politician. We have a set of people who are very frustrated and very angry by all of these things that don’t work. We have talking about securing our borders for twenty-five years. It still isn’t secure. People have a right to be frustrated by that. We talk about sanctuary cities – San Francisco has been a sanctuary city since 1989. So this has been going on for a long time and people are angry and frustrated about it.
HH: If he were to become the nominee of the GOP, would you endorse him?
CF: I’ve been public in saying that I will support whoever the nominee in the Republican party is. I intend to be that nominee, but of course will support the Republican nominee. I wish Donald Trump would say the same thing, but so far he has refused and he has not ruled out a third party bid, so honestly it’s not clear to me he’s a Republican.
HH: This is a hypothetical, but you’re willing to do what a lot of candidates won’t do in answering good hypotheticals: If he was the nominee and he asked you to be his vice president, would you run with him?
CF: I don’t know.
HH: What would it depend upon?
CF: I don’t know. That’s a theoretical that I’m not willing to speculate about. I’m not willing to speculate about being anyone’s vice president, frankly.
HH: Now earlier – yesterday – Donald Trump was on O’Reilly with a critical exchange. Here was that exchange.
BO: When you say, “Well, we’ve got to have mass deportations. That’s not going to happen because the 14th Amendment says if you’re born here, you’re an American, and you can’t kick Americans out.
DT: Bill, I think you’re wrong about the 14th Amendment, and frankly, the whole thing with anchor babies and the concept of anchor babies. I don’t you’re right about that. There are many lawyers that are saying that’s not the way it is in terms of this.
HH: What do you think of the debate about whether or not the 14th Amendment guarantees birthright citizenship, Carly Fiorina?
CF: Well, I think the 14th Amendment does. I think changing birthright citizenship would require another amendment to the Constitution. I don’t think that is where our political energy should go. I think our political energy should be focused on securing the border and in the end, securing the border is our job. Not Mexico’s job. Not anybody else’s job. Our job. It is the basic responsibility of the federal government to secure its border to protect its serenity. And I also think it’s interesting that three years ago, Donald Trump had a very different view. Three years ago, Donald Trump was highly critical of Mitt Romney for suggesting that eleven million illegals should self-deport. So, look, there are aspects of what Donald Trump has said that I agree with. Yes. We need we to secure our border. Yes. We need to make sure that sanctuary cities follow the law and their funding should be cut off. Yes. We should have an employer verification system that works and that is mandatory. And I’ve been saying these things for a very long time as have many other candidates. But I think saying that the 14th Amendment won’t hold up in court is frankly just a little silly.
HH: Now I’ve had on John Eastman – a great traditional scholar and friend of mine – arguing the opposite point. And there are many others who will argue the opposite point. They are a distinct minority. But the conservative point-of-view is that that settled law that goes back a hundred plus years should not be disturbed after that constitutional amendment. I learned recently – and I did not know this – that you are the daughter of Judge Sneed.
CF: I am.
HH: One of the great – I had no idea, I served with his colleague George MacKinnon and Roger Rob on the D.C. Circuit as their clerk and Judge Sneed was a hero – so obviously you have a conservative judicial temperament and if I ask you what kind of judges you would appoint I imagine you would say judges like Judge Sneed (laughs).
CF: That’s correct. My dad was a great conservative jurist. I watched him on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – obviously one of the most liberal courts in the land – stick to his principles. He wrote many, many, many, many dissenting opinions and was very proud of the fact that when the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit – which happened frequently – that they would just as frequently cite his opinions. So I’ve been asked a lot what kind of justices I would appoint to the Supreme Court and the answer is men and women like my dad. And I also will say, Hugh, because you asked me, that it’s hard to be a conservative jurist. Humility and restraint are required if you aren’t a conservative. You have to be humble enough and restrained enough that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. And in many cases, the humility and restraint to say “You know what, I may not like that the law is this way, but my job isn’t to decide what the law should be. My job is to decide what the law is. I may wish the Constitution were different, but the Constitution is what it is, and our job is to honor and uphold the Constitution. That takes humility and restraint. And I do believe that when we think about the character of our leaders, whether they are presidents or Secretaries of State or Supreme Court justices, we ought to be looking truthfulness – of course – and capability – certainly – and courage is important as well. But I think humility and restraint are undervalued virtues.
HH: Now columnist [Holman] Jenkins at the Wall Street Journal has written about your tenure at HP. What did you make of that column?
CF: Well, I was gratified by it in many ways. You know, Holman Jenkins at the time of the merger was quite critical of the acquisition of Compaq. I obviously disagreed with his assessment knowing the industry as I did and knowing our company as I did and after all, this journalist’s job to know the company or industry as well as the chief executive does. But when he was critical of the Compaq move back when we were doing it, I disagreed and so it was particularly heartening now to hear him say one of the chief executive’s job is to make the best choice they can, given the circumstances of which they find themselves.
HH: So I’m curious–
CF: . . . And then execute that choice.
HH: With a minute left – so you are not afraid of scrutiny of your tenure at HP.
CF: Not at all. In fact, just the opposite. I am proud to run on my record at HP. That doesn’t mean I didn’t make mistakes, but the big things – transforming a company from a laggard to a leader, tripling innovation, doubling the size of the company, saving eighty-thousand jobs when some of our best competitors literally disappeared beneath the waves because they didn’t make the tough choices. Quadrupling the top-line revenue growth rate. The only way you can save a job is to grow and lead, particularly in technology. And we did that, and I welcome the scrutiny. And by the way, the Democrats are attacking and wish they can ignore me, but they can’t ignore me anymore.
HH: www.CarlyforAmerica.com. Carly Fiorina, thank you for joining me on the Hugh Hewitt Show.
End of interview.