Carly Fiorina joined me on today’s show:
HH: As we come in running into the corner of the New Year, everyone is not working this week unless they’re running for president, but I have a feeling that Carly Fiorina is working somewhere today. Maybe in Iowa, maybe in New Hampshire, maybe in South Carolina, that’s where I’ve been catching up with her recently when it’s not Las Vegas. Carly Fiorina, Happy New Year. I hope you had a Merry Christmas.
CF: I did Hugh. How about you?
HH: A wonderful one, but where do I find you today? Are you at home or back on the trail?
CF: Well, believe it or not, I am at home today.
HH: (Laughs) Oh good. I found Governor Huckabee in a duck-hunting thing, so maybe everyone gets the week off (laughs).
CF: Well, I’m happy to talk with you.
HH: Now let me begin by playing for you a clip of Donald Trump talking this morning with Savannah Guthrie about Hilary and Bill Clinton. As a woman candidate, I want your perspective on this. [Audio file delay] Have you heard this exchange yet, Carly?
CF: Well, I’ve heard some versions of it, but–
HH: Here we are, now we can play it.
DT: There was certainly a lot of abuse of women and you look at whether it’s Monica Lewinsky or or Paula Jones or many of them and that certainly will be fair game, certainly if they play the woman’s card with respect to me. That will be fair game.
SG: You mentioned Monica Lewinsky. Are you saying an alleged extramarital affair that of course he has now admitted, is that fair game in a campaign?
DT: Is that alleged? I don’t think that’s alleged.
SG: No, he’s admitted it.
DT: Well, he’s admitted it, as you know, I just used the alleged.
SG: Right, exactly, so are you saying [an] extramarital affair by Bill Clinton is fair game, it’s something you think should be in the campaign.
DT: I’m not saying [that], what I’m saying is very simple. If she is going to play the woman card because I’ll do more for women than Hillary Clinton is going to do for women, including the safety of our country which is good for everybody. But if she’s going to play what she started about a week ago talking about, “Oh, he mentioned the whole thing,” playing up the woman card very strongly, and if she’s going to play that game, and he’s going to be out there campaigning, then he’s certainly fair game and I think just about everybody agrees with me on that.
HH: Carly Fiorina, do you agree with him on that?
CF: Well of course Bill Clinton is fair game, but that isn’t the way to beat Hilary Clinton.
The way to beat Hillary Clinton is to talk about her position on healtchare which is going to be bad for women and men. But of course, maybe Donald Trump isn’t prepared to do that. As far as I can tell, he agrees with Hillary Clinton on healthcare, that single-payer’s the way to go. The way to beat Hillary Clinton is to not talk about Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs, we talk about the fact that she doesn’t have a plan to defeat ISIS, but maybe Donald Trump doesn’t want to go there because he doesn’t have a plan to defeat ISIS. THe way to beat Hillary Clinton is not to let her play what Donald clals the woman’s card, he’s right about that, and of course, she’s not going to play that card with me. The way to beat Hillary Clinton is to beat her on her abysmal track record of failure.
HH: Now I agree with this, but I’m curious, what is the woman card? What do people mean by that?
CF: Well I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Donald Trump. I wouldn’t start now by trying to explain what Donald Trump is saying. What I think Hillary Clinton wants to do is talk about the historic nature of her candidacy. She wants to talk about being the first woman president and I’m not going t ask for people’s vote because I’m a woman although I’m proud to be one, I’m going to ask for people’s vote because I’m the most qualified candidate to beat Hillary Clinton and to be the commander-in-chief. However, she cannot talk about the historic nature of her candidacy if she faces me. What she’s going to have to talk about, because I’ll make her talk about it, the media never will, so we better have a nominee who will, I’ll make her talk about how she got everything wrong in the Middle East, absolutely everything wrong from Bashar al-Assad to ISIS to Libya. I’ll make her talk about the fact that lied to the American people. I’ll ask her to explain how it is that Bill Clinton made millions of dollars in speaking fees while she was Secretary of State and apparently her staff was approving it. Boy, talk about a conflict of interest.
HH: Now when you were at HP, obviously you had to deal with personnel issues all the time or maybe HR would do that, but sexual assault’s a big deal, and I was talking with Don Lemon last night. I don’t know if the Millennials really have an understanding that the Bill Clinton issue is far more complex than a consensual affair with an intern – the Paula Jones, Juanita Broderick, Catherine Willey allegations – are all about assault, Carly Fiorina. Do you think matters to the Millennials or too much of ancient history to them?
CF: Well, I don’t know. I think what should matter more to them is the policies that a President Clinton would put in place, but look, President Clinton is fair game. Donald Trump threw George W. Bush under the bus several months ago. A former president is fair game, but in the end, attacking Bill Clinton isn’t going to beat Hillary Clinton because in the the end, elections are about looking forward. And what is somebody going to do in the Oval Office and in particular, what is someone going to do for Millennials to the point of your question and Hillary Clinton will continue the federal government takeover the student loan business. President Carly Fiorina will put the student loan business back into the private sector so that people actually have to compete for those Millenials’ business.
HH: You know the very first time I sat down with you at a dinner event, it was in Iowa, I think a year and a half ago, and the room was, all women, with the exception of me, I was doing the interview, and there was some young women there. I’m curious how you find your experience connects with younger women, the Elise Stefaniks of the world, The 30-year-olds coming into their prime years of career and juggling children and work and all those issues come up with that. How does Carly Fiorina resonate with that group?
CF: Well, I think I resonate very well. These are women who face every single day the realities of, as you say, trying to juggle it all. These are women who understand that despite incredible progress, that a woman’s experience still is different than a man’s. You know, I’m still called a bimbo to this day. I’m still called the other B-word to this day. After the last debate, one of Ted Cruz’s most powerful surrogates called me the v-word, said that I played the gender card simply because I told my story. A woman’s experience still is different. Now is every issue a woman’s issue, and Hillary Clinton wants to play up an imaginary war on women, but I think that women understand to go from secretary to CEO is a hard road. I’ve been tested.
HH: Now I went and saw the “Big Short” last night, Carly Fiorina, and I don’t know if move-going is part of a candidate’s life. I don’t know if you’ve seen “Siccario” or the “Martian” or any of the fine films of this year.
CF: Nope, nope, nope.
HH: (Laughs) I didn’t think so, but the “Big Short” is about the housing collapse and the premise of this movie is that it had nothing to do with George W. Bush, it had a lot to do with tranches and financial instruments and Freddy & Franny and a lot of abysmal oversight by everyone involved, but it wasn’t George W. Bush, but he got blamed for it. My question is, do you think that people understand what that 2008 collapse is about yet and is it an issue in this campaign because the underlying fear that it might happen again is still out there, I think.
CF: Well, one of the things I try and do at every opportunity is explain what happened because it’s endemic of what’s wrong and why we have to take our country back. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac government-sponsored entities supported by members of the political class of both parties got engaged in engineering of the housing market. And everybody on Wall Street played as long as they were making money and nobody in teh government was minding the store and when it was all over, we hadn’t reformed a thing. We created another huge government bureaucracy, 10 Wall Street banks that were supposedly too big to fail had become five even more powerful Wall Street banks who helped write Dodd-Frank, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still there and all those government agencies that weren’t minding the store are still there and nothing’s changed, but here’s the thing. Who benefits from all of that? It’s who always who benefits from big, powerful government – the big, the powerful, the wealthy, the well-connected. That’s who benefited from the housing crisis and the aftermath. And meanwhile, the small and the powerless got crushed, and unless we take our country back and unless we cut this government down to size and hold it accountable, another crash will happen, guaranteed.
HH: Now you went through the “dot-com bubble,” do you think that crash and the housing crash had similarities or were they completely different factors?
CF: No, they had similarities. Were there differences? Yes. But here are the similarities – government got engaged in engineering markets for a political goal. The political goal in the “dot-com crash” was let’s make sure everybody is wired. The political goal in the housing crash was let’s make sure everybody owns a home, but the problem is when government gets engaged, when government starts picking winners and losers, when government starts manipulating markets so that people win artificially for too long, when the crash comes, it crashes hard, and in that process of government intervention, one thing is always true: the big, the powerful, and the well-connected come out better in the end than at the beginning, and the small and th powerless get crushed. It’s true in every bubble.
HH: It absolutely is true in every bubble. My guest is Carly Fiorina from not-the-campaign-trail. She’s taking a rare day, but she’s back for another segment, don’t go anywhere America except CarlyforAmerica.com. Stay tuned, it’s the Hugh Hewitt Show.
– – – –
HH: 21 minutes after the hour, it’s Hugh Hewitt with Carly Fiorina. Coming up after the break, I’m tracking Governor Mike Huckabee in a duck hunt somewhere so stay tuned for that. Carly Fiorina, you seemed to have worked with everyone I have ever thrown at you, but I don’t think I’ve asked before. Have you worked with Janet Yellen, the chairman of the Fed?
CF: I have not.
HH: And what do you think of her performance thus far and the uptick in rates. What do you think of monetary policy in general and what would ask the chairman of the Fed if you were the president to do?
CF: Well, first of all, the Fed has become far too politicized in part because of this dual mandate that it has to focus on full employment and that in my opinion has caused the Fed to ekeep interest rates far too long for too long. This inevitable uptick is not enough, and by the way, this is yet another of another policy that favors the wealthy. If you think about a zero-interest rate policy, who does that favor? It favors the investor class.
HH: Yes it does.
CF: It favors people in the stock market, it favors people who own property, and it hurts middle-class savers, retirees who were saving, a young couple – that 30-year-old woman we were talking about who’s maybe saving up for a new house. Those are the people who are harmed by this policy. Ultimately, I think we should get rid of the dual mandate and, by the way, there’s no way that there’s less than two handfuls of people can be that smart and that powerful, so we need more transparency and less power in the Federal Reserve for sure.
HH: So do you think–
CF: But, she’s a political appointee. Obama has appointed every single one of those people on the Federal Reserve today and so they are pursuing policies that help him.
HH: And so do you think that in the next eight years we will return to a normal fiscal, monetary policy where people can expect with prudent investing, a four-percent or a five-percent return on their money without taking ridiculous risks?
CF: Well, that all depends on who we elect to be President of the United States. If we elect a Carly Fiorina, then absolutely. If we elect a Hillary Clinton, then absolutely not.
HH: Okay, I want to turn to judges because it didn’t get any time. I think I’ll put in the third debate in Miami, and when I do, I want to put judges on my list because judicial philosophy matters a lot. You are a daughter of a very-famed 9th Circuit judge. Did he ever have table talk with you about people who got appointed, like Harry Pregerson just took senior status, for years and [they had] opposite views of the spectrum, but I’m sure they respected each otehr, but would he ever talk to you about judicial temperament?
CF: Well, what my dad would talk to me about was not personality. He would talk to me about temperament and he would talk to me about philosophy, and what in particular I learned from my father, which I think is vital in selecting Supreme Court nominees, and let us remember, the next President of the United States will probably have the opportunity to appoint four Supreme Court nominees, that’s a lot of power.
HH: That is.
CF: Arguably, it’s the most powerful thing a president will do.
CF: What I learned from my father is the ability to withstand pressure is vital because as a conservative on the 9th Circuit, my father would withstand unbelievable pressure for decades, and we’ve had a couple Supreme Court justices that we thought were conservatives, but where they fell down was where they couldn’t stand up to the pressure, the pressure to conform, the pressure of public opinion, the pressure of the media. So if you can’t stick to your principle under enormous pressure, then you’re not going to be a good jurist.
HH: And how do you determine that? You obviously hired a general counsel for HP, you’ve hired a lot of lawyers in your life. I’m sure your campaign has lawyers, but how do you figure out who won’t flex with a lifetime appointment?
CF: Well, the first thing I would do is I would not delegate that responsibility to the White House counsel. I will spend a lot of time with people before I make a nomination because as I say, that is probably one of the most awesome powers that a president has, and I would want to know who I’m going to nominate. And I think you determine it based upon their track record. What have they done in their life? Have they submitted themselves to situations in which their principles were tested and when their principles were tested, how did they stand up?
HH: I read John Mitchum’s new book on George Herbert Walker Bush. He devotes exactly two pages to the suitor Edith Jones choice, the most consequential bad decision of George Herbert Walker Bush.
CF: That’s right.
HH: He spent almost no time with either of them. They were both at the White House that day, Edith Jones would have taken this country in a completely different direction had she been on the Supreme Court and that was made in a day without much conversation.
CF: Exactly, which is why I start by saying I will spend a lot of time with these people because it’s the only way you get to know someone’s measure is to have time to ask questions, time to observe how they will respond, time to examine their record.
HH: Carly, we’re running a little low on time, and we’ll talk again before Iowa obviously, but do you think running a Fortune 50 company is as closed to being president of anyone of the field. Trump’s got some executive experience as the head of a big organization as well, but it’s not a public company.
CF: No, it’s not a public company, it’s not a global company. We operated in a 170 countries. Yes, it’s highly-relevant experience. It’s not the only relevant experience I have, but the experience that it gives me is knowing how to make an executive decision – a tough call in a tough time that only you can make when there is enormous pressure.
HH: And how many decisions a day does an HP CEO make because that’s what a president does, as George W. Bush said, the “decider-in-chief.”
CF: Dozens and dozens, and they are consequential decisions about people’s jobs, consequential decision about other people’s money, consequential decision about how to cut bureaucracy down to size, consequential decisions about how to keep people safe. You’ll recall how at the last debate, I said I too remember 9/11, and I remember scrambling on the phone for days and days and days to make sure that we can keep employees in 170 nations safe because we were convinced as was the government that the next interest to be hit were soft corporate targets. Look, there’s nothing like being commmander-in-chief. There’s nothing like being President of the United States, but having experience, standing up and making tough calls in tough times is vital experience and that matters in who we nominate.
HH: Let me close with a political question. What’s the path right now? What are your expectations for Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada – the first four contests which are less than 60 days away.
CF: I will continue to exceed expectations as I have in every step of the race.
HH: Well, that’s nice and ambiguous, but what does that mean in terms of when place show, in 4th, 5th, 6th – what’s in your line?
CF: You know, you’ve interviewed me many times, you know that I always answer your questions and I have just answered your question.
HH: (Laughs) You will exceed expectations. . . Well, Carly Fiorina, where are you spending your time then, what’s your calendar for the next two months?
CF: Ah, well the next two months are going to be Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
HH: (Laughs) And do you actually have that laid out already? Do you know where–
CF: Yes sir.
HH: And did you divide them 25-percent, 25-percent, 25-percent?
CF: No, not exactly, but look, polls never win an election, votes do, so I’m going where the voters are.
HH: Carly Fiorina, always a pleasure. Happy New Year to you and Frank and I will see you down the trail if not sooner, than later. Carly Fiorina, CarlyforAmerica.com, America.
End of Interview