Carly Fiorina joined me today to provide an update on the race two weeks out from Iowa:
HH: I’m joined by Carly Fiorina, who like me, a few years younger than Glenn Frey and therefore we both we both have the soundtrack of our lives shaped a little bit by the Eagles. Am I right about that Carly Firoina?
CF: Yes you are, and you are playing one of my absolute favorite songs. Really sad news today.
HH: It is very sad and the music world is mourning, but I will come back to that after the break. I got to take our limited time to focus on Iowa and New Hampshire. First question, Carly Fiorina, the media is trying to say, this a two-person race now between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. What’s your response?
CF: Well, they’re wrong. They’re not out here on the ground, they’re sitting in cozy boardrooms in New York City, they don’t have a clue what’s going on here. I’m out here day after day after day in Iowa and New Hampshire and most people haven’t made up their minds yet. This is a wide open race, we have an incredibly robust ground game in both Iowa and New Hampshire. This is not a two-person race, but you’re right, the political establishment wants to get this over with as fast as possible and the media wants it to be the cage-match between Trump and Cruz. Let’s just wait and see what happens when people start voting.
HH: Now it’s two weeks away, how does a leading contender like you focus two weeks of resources and effort, are you spending all on Iowa or going back and forth?
CF: We have always thought this as a long race and while Iowa and New Hampshire are very important, the race is going to continue beyond Iowa and New Hampshire, so in the last five days I have been in Iowa New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, and I’m back in Iowa.
HH: Now talk to me a little bit about if in fact, Ted Cruz wins Iowa and Donald Trump wins New Hampshire. What’s your strategy for South Carolina at that point and does it much matter whether you’re third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh?
CF: I don’t answer hypothetical questions, Hugh. I’m a law school drop-out, you may remember.
CF: I learned early on in law school, you don’t answer hypothetical questions, so let’s see what happens when the voting starts.
HH: Alright, then take me to last night, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – it’s sad to lose a rock n’ roll legend like Glenn Frey, but it reminds us of the Woodstock generation is having their last hurrah with Bernie Sanders. Both of them went full-swing, Carly Fiorina.
HH: What did you make of that?
CF: Yes they did. Well, look, Bernie, at least give the courage of his convictions, he really is a socialist, and okay, so he’s never changed. Hillary Clinton is pandering to the left-wing of her party, she will say anything to get elected. However, we need to be realistic as Republicans. She may have escaped prostitution more times than El Chapo, but she may be fatally flawed candidate, but she has raised more money in the last quarter than any candidate in history. She will have a fantastic ground game, and she’s not a bad debater, so we need to put somebody up against her who can beater her. I can, and I will. And not everybody running can beat her.
HH: What do you make of the Cruz-Trump exchange on so-called New York values?
CF: Frankly, I think the whole thing, I’ll just be honest and say, I think that whole exchange back-and-forth, both of them are insiders trying to cast themselves as outsiders. Ted Cruz has been in politics all his life and has demonstrated that he’ll say whatever he needs to say as any other politicians would and Trump is the opposite of the coin of Hillary Clinton and Hillary Clinton has made millions selling access and influence from inside-government and Donald Trump has made billions buying people like Hillary Clinton off. These are two insiders who want to be outsiders this year and I think the media is going to continue to obsess over that, but just remember this, Hugh. It’s interesting, I was just thinking about this today. It’s January, in January of 2015, the media was convinced that Scott Walker had it in the bag and we all might as well all go home.
CF: That didn’t turn out that way, did it?
HH: No. Now today Donald Trump gave a speech at Liberty University in which he referred to “Two Corinthians.” Now I often actually refer to 2nd Corinthians as “Two Corinthians” and that became a story and I can’t for the life of me understand why that’s a story other than to try and make him not affluent in “Evangelicalese.” What do you make of media coverage of things like that when in fact we got Iranian hostages, we’ve got $1.7 billion being transferred to Iran today, this very day, Tom Cotton just gave me that hard-currency number. Does it matter, 2nd Corinthians, “Two Corinthians,” or does the Iranian money transfer matter?
CF: Well, Hugh, let me just ask you, we’re sitting on the phone today and you’re not asking me about Iran, you’re asking me about Donald Trump and “Two Corinthians.”
HH: I’m actually asking you about both.
CF: Let me respond to Iran. This Iranian deal is a little bit like Obamacare. The more we learn, the worse it gets and apparently this deal was complete capitulation by President Obama and his administration to Iran on every single item. We now know, by the way, after the United States on top of the $1.7 billion, on top of the fact that we didn’t put sanctions on the new test-fired two ballistic missiles in direct violation of the agreement they had just signed because oh, we would have jeopardized the negotiations for the release of the four Americans, Americans we should’ve gotten before this deal-making ever started, on top of everything else, we now learn, after the United States of America thanked Iran for handling our sailors well while the SIM cards were stolen out of their phones. Iran is an adversary. This is a terrible deal which is why on day one in the Oval Office I will inform the Iranians that there is a New Deal with a new president.
HH: Have you seen the movie “Thirteen Hours” yet?
CF: I have not.
HH: There is quite a controversy over whether or not there was a stand-down order given that day and I have been following a debate about this and Mike Pompeo won’t tell me what the committee has learned yet, and so we don’t know. They continue to take evidence. What do you think, Carly Fiorina?
CF: Here’s what I think. I think that Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State knowingly left our embassy and our personnel exposed in a highly dangerous situation. I think that when Mrs. Clinton stood up the day after a purposeful terrorist attack and lied about a video that did not represent our values instead of saying this is a purposeful terrorist attack on our embassy in which our ambassador and three other brave Americans were murdered and we the United States of America will seek retaliation and retribution. When she lied in the way in that she did, she basically told every terrorist open season on the United States of America.
HH: Does the same thing happen as a result of the hostage swap and would you have made the deal that the president made to get the Americans back?
CF: Would the same thing happen? Yes. Would I have made this deal? No. I wouldn’t have made any aspect of this a deal. This is a terrible deal. It is a complete capitulation and Iran over and over again – – first of all, Iran decided what the inspections regime would look like. They’re in charge of it, we’re not, which is why when I make that phone call on day one, my new deal with the supreme leader of Iran is until you open every military and every nuclear facility to real anytime-anywhere inspections by our people not yours, we the United States of America will make it impossible for you move money, we have to cut off the money flow because the money being used is on terrorism, to fund a military build-up, to fund the nuclear build-up, and no, it is not peaceful and no, the IAEA knows what’s going on.
HH: Carly Fiorina, as always, bracing, thank you for joining. CarlyforAmerica.com, America.
End of Interview