Fiorina: Now Is the Time to Have a National Conversation About Women in the U.S.

“A few years later, my boss introduced me to my new team as the ‘token bimbo.’ When I started at HP, I was also called a bimbo – and a word that also starts with B and rhymes with witch – words that definitely weren’t used to describe male CEOs at other, similar companies.”

Fiorina said a reporter, referring to Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner, told her he had never talked to a presidential candidate with pink nail polish.

“Another reporter asked me if I thought hormones would prevent a woman from serving in the Oval Office. Here’s a question for you, ladies. Can you think of an example of when a man’s judgment has been clouded by hormones – including in the Oval Office?” she said to laughter from the crowd.

Fiorina, who is gaining traction in recent polls, argued that the progressive view of feminism is not about women but about ideology.

“Their policies are not working for women. The economic policies of this administration have been devastating: 3 million women have fallen into poverty in the last 6 years – 1 million fewer women are working under President Obama,” she said. “In California – a state that has been governed by liberal policies for a decade – they have the highest poverty rates in the nation with over 3 million women living below the poverty line.”

Fiorina called for removing women from “webs of dependence” that prevent them for moving forward.

“Under our current system, a woman who is making less than $30,000 dollars is actually punished by these programs if she is offered a raise to $55,000 dollars. She will take home less to her family and be ineligible for the benefits on which she—and they—were depending. In fact, regardless of income, women are more likely to be downwardly mobile than men,” she said.

“The bottom line is that the policies of our government today make tough decisions even tougher. We have too many people tangled up in webs of dependence that we have created. Our government programs must be reimagined from top to bottom not because we want to save taxpayer money – although we will – but because we need to save lives.”

Fiorina declined to answer follow-up questions after her speech.