Carly Fiorina’s recent rise in the polls is due to her forceful personality and clear-headed thinking on the issues.
But GOP primary voters might be interested to know that back in 2008, Fiorina effusively praised Hillary Clinton and told Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus at the time that if she weren’t supporting McCain, she would be backing Clinton.
In one video uncovered by BuzzFeed News, Fiorina delivers a long and forceful praise of then-Senator Clinton for a political organization that promoted women in politics. Fiorina called Clinton “incredibly intelligent,” “determined,” and said she took great pride in her presidential run.
“I have such great admiration and empathy for Hillary Clinton,” Fiorina says in the video. “I have great admiration for her because I know what it takes in some small measure to do what she has done. She is obviously incredibly intelligent, focused, tough, determined, empathetic of all the tens of millions of people that she was trying to represent in her quest to become the first woman president of the United States.”
“And as a woman, I take great pride in the fact that Hillary Clinton ran for president. And I also watched with a lot of empathy as I saw how she was scrutinized, characterized, talked about as a woman,” continued Fiorina.
“While I think woman have made great progress in so many ways I also known from personal experience that women in positions of power – particularly bold women – who are trying to drive change as Hillary Clinton must surely is…bold women, women in power are characterized, scrutinized differently than their male counterparts are.”
That glowing praise is in line with a statement she made at another 2008 gathering, a press conference where she said Clinton had been subjected to sexism, albeit not by the Republican Party.
Fiorina said any woman in politics owes a debt of gratitude to Clinton.
“I have said numerous times, I disagree politically with Hillary, but I also have great admiration for Hillary Clinton,” declared Fiorina. “Her run for the presidency was historic. She was a great candidate. She has helped millions of women all over this country. Women of any political party owe a debt of gratitude to Hillary Clinton and I will bet that every woman up here agrees with me.”
Fiorina was not running for anything at the time, although she was part of the McCain for President campaign and it probably should have raised some eyebrows that she praised so effusively a potential opponent in the general election.
But really, most of those words of praise were related to gender-pride. And as far as admiring Clinton, Hillary consistently turns up in the top 5 of the most admired women in America. In truth, Fiorina’s publicly expressed sentiments about Hillary shouldn’t disqualify or even injure her campaign.
Except that crack to Ruth Marcus about supporting Hillary over the GOP candidate in 2008 if it wasn’t McCain.
Fiorina’s attacks on Clinton in this cycle focus on her abysmal record as Secretary of State. That record post-dates the favorable comments she allegedly made about Clinton in 2008. Thus, there is no inconsistency on Fiorina’s part.
What’s worrisome, though, is that Fiorina was prepared (if Marcus is telling the truth) to back Hillary for president based on her pre-2008 record. Clinton hasn’t always been an incompetent Secretary of State, but she has long been a leftist and a shady character.
Thus, if Fiorina was at all favorably disposed towards Clinton in 2008, conservatives should hold it against her, just as they should hold Donald Trump’s indisputable admiration of Hillary against him.
The lesson here is obvious. Conservatives should be wary of high-level corporate executives who espouse anti-establishment views but who have no record of public service to back them up. A “career politician” will have made hundreds of public policy decision, some of which, inevitably, will displease us.
Non-politicians, unburdened by such calls, can invent themselves as they see fit based on the exigencies of the campaign at hand. But their sincerity will be untested.
It should make all Republicans uncomfortable that just 7 short years ago, a major presidential candidate was willing to support the nominee from the Democratic Party over the GOP candidate — especially a candidate like Hillary Clinton who thinks the rules don’t apply to her and who has demonstrated a viciousness few politicians can match. Fiorina’s inability to see beyond Clinton’s history-making gender breakthrough should raise questions about her judgment. And I would hope she addresses the issue with the same forthrightness she has demonstrated in the campaign so far.