HH: Joined now from Iowa by Carly Fiorina. Carly Fiorina, thank you for joining me on a horrible night. Your reaction to this slaughter in Paris?
CF: Well, I think it is a reminder of the evil that ISIS represents. They are not a jayvee team. They are not contained. They are on the march. Secondly, I think it reminds us that when the United States of America is not leading, the world is a more dangerous and a more tragic place. And our hearts and our prayers go out to the people of Paris, the people of France, the people who are living in terror and fear under the yoke of ISIS in so many parts of the world, unfortunately.
HH: Carly Fiorina, earlier tonight, former Governor Bush said this is the great war of our time. Then Lindsey Graham was on just 20 minutes ago, and someone listening to him said you can hear the agony and despair in his voice that people just don’t understand the threat of Islamist jihad. Do you agree with that assessment, that they don’t get it?
CF: I think there are many people who don’t get it. Unfortunately, I think our president and his administration do not get it. This is an evil that must be defeated. And I think our allies in the region, in the Middle East, I’m speaking of, are so frustrated by our lack of leadership, because many of them, the Jordanians, the Saudis, the Egyptians, the Kurds, these are not perfect regimes or perfect people. But they are fighting ISIS, and they are seeking support, resolve, leadership from the United States of America, and we are not providing it. And so I think they despair, because they are in the neighborhood, so to speak, with ISIS day after day, month after month, and wonder where is the United States of America.
HH: Now I asked both Governor Bush and Senator Graham, and I’ll ask you, do you trace this caliphate, and thus the attack tonight, which it seems obvious that it is connected, and someone has claimed responsibility already, to the fact that we abandoned Iraq in December of 2011?
CF: Of course. Of course, I do, because our complete abandonment of Iraq with President Obama and Hillary Clinton declaring victory and pulling out against all of the advice of the military, they did so for political purposes, not for military rationale. Our abandonment of Iraq permitted ISIS to begin seizing territory. And the seizing of territory, the seizure of territory, the putdown, the terrorization, the crucifixion, the murder of populations, is a large source of their power. And so yes, absolutely, I do.
HH: Do you expect she will be asked that directly tomorrow night? And do you expect this to be a subject of great debate at our next gathering? I’ll see you in Las Vegas in a month, actually, a month and two days. But it did not come up much at the last debate, and I don’t know if it’s going to come up tomorrow night.
CF: You mean at the Democratic debate?
CF: I know absolutely, Hugh Hewitt, that on December 15th, you’re going to ask us questions over and over again, as you should. But in the Democratic debate, who knows? I certainly hope so. I certainly hope that the double standard in the media will not extend to the point where Hillary Clinton won’t get asked a pointed question about how ISIS has been allowed to metastasize under her and Barack Obama’s leadership. I certainly hope someone will ask that question. But you know, honestly, Hugh, the media hasn’t asked her the other question, either. They haven’t asked her why she lied about the terrorist attack in Benghazi. And the reason that’s relevant to the terror we see tonight is when the United States of America is purposefully attacked by terrorists, and four Americans are killed in our embassy, and the Secretary of State does not stand up and say this is a purposeful terrorist attack for which we will seek retribution, the signal that goes out to terrorists is what? Open season. No one will do anything. And so what difference does it make, Mrs. Clinton, when we do not push back on terrorists? More terrorism occurs.
HH: It’s been two and a half hours since President Obama spoke. I don’t know if he has spoken in the interim. I don’t believe he has. He did not want to assess responsibility, but President Hollande has now gone on national television and said we know who these people are. They are terrorists. Long live France. No one has any doubt about this, except the guy in the White House, Carly Fiorina.
CF: Well, that’s right, and just this morning, as a matter of fact, President Obama said, I believe it was on Good Morning America, that ISIS was contained. That is false.
HH: That is false.
CF: That is false.
HH: That’s so false. So what happens to the campaign now? I hope that all the time that you folks are on the campaign trail, this is all you talk about. I mean, I know there are other important issues, but this war is the number one issue. How much, you’re on the campaign trail tonight in Iowa. What do people want to talk about?
CF: Well you know, it’s very interesting, because I literally am at a GOP dinner here in Iowa. I cut my remarks short to be able to speak with you on the radio, but I also said to the gathered Republicans there, I’m going to talk not about other things. I’m going to talk about this, about the war on terror, about why our nation is uniquely obligated to lead in the world, and it is because of the power of our values and our ideals. We are the only nation in the history of the world, honestly, that has vast military superiority, and yet has never used that superiority to conquer territory, but has always used that military might to liberate people. It’s not just that we are strong and powerful. It is that we have the moral high ground. And it is why we must lead in the world.
HH: Now there are only 20 people in the United States, and that’s rounding up, who talk to people in coffee klatches and go into small groups and hear what their questions are. Is the country too tired of war to go back, Carly Fiorina, and do it again, what had been done, and which was thrown away, which is destroy the caliphate and restore order in the Middle East? Is it too exhausted to do that?
CF: I do not think so, but I also think that we need to be, frankly, a bit more imaginative about how to defeat this. And here’s what I mean by that. I actually don’t believe that the only way to resolve this problem is 10,000 American boots on the ground. There is no question we will need Special Ops, we will need more boots. But it’s also true that our allies are asking us to help them. The Jordanians, the Egyptians, the Saudis, the Kurds, they are fighting ISIS on the ground as we speak, and the reason they are fighting them is because literally, they are in the same neighborhood with them. They know that this is their fight also. And so we need to stand with them and seek their help, but we also need to provide them with the support and the resolve and the leadership they’ve asked us for. You and I have talked about this before, Hugh. King Abdullah of Jordan has asked us for bombs and material. We haven’t provided them. We should. We must. The Egyptians have asked us to share intelligence. The Kurds have asked us to arm them. There are things we can do to help our allies help us.
HH: Carly Fiorina, thank you for breaking away from your event to give us your reaction to the horrific events in Paris this evening. Stay safe on the campaign trail.
End of interview.