Carly Fiorina, according to US News, is Trump’s “warm-up act” and it is she, not Trump, who will “lead the anti-establishment revolt”. It’s “thrilling”, the left-leaning publication giddily proclaimed. For the establishment, she is the anti-Trump heroine, but that is partly because she might be the establishment.
The definition of anti-establishment for a conservative means the candidate is not part of the establishment, but it also means the candidate is an actual conservative and not one who talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk like Mitch McConnell or John Boehner as two prime examples.
A little background information on Carly Fiorina might prove helpful but people need to research on their own.
After she was fired from HP, she began working for Republican Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign. In 2008, she served as McCain’s economic advisor. She said that she didn’t think McCain could run a major corporation.
While helping steer his campaign during a horrendous financial crisis, she said, “Well, I don’t think John McCain could run a major corporation, I don’t think Barack Obama could run a major corporation, I don’t think Joe Biden could run a major corporation.”
After the McCain loss, she announced she was running for the US Senate against Barbara Boxer in California. Fiorina won the Republican primary handily, but lost to Boxer in the general election.
In May, 2015, she announced for President.
Business Insider pointed to an article about worst CEOs in USA Today in 2005, in which Yale business Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld said that Fiorina was “the worst because of her ruthless attack on the essence of this great company. … She destroyed half the wealth of her investors and yet still earned almost $100 million in total payments for this destructive reign of terror.”
On the other hand, her successor and board members who fired her were fired themselves.
Fortune did their own analysis of her performance at Lucent after Trump told her during the debate that he thought her tenure at Lucent “may have been worse than Hewlett-Packard.” Their analysis was unflattering.
That is not the entire picture of course but there is another side to Ms. Fiorina’s description of her record that people should investigate for themselves.
If the qualifications for being anti-establishment are only that one has not held public office, then she meets the standard, but if it means she also has to be a real conservative, she doesn’t appear to reach the bar. In fairness, however, she has changed her positions and they are far more conservative than they were seven years ago. It’s up to the voters to decide if that is a legitimate change of opinion.
During an interview with Greta Van Susteren in 2008, as McCain’s advisor, she strongly supported TARP.
“I think what the market is coming to grips with is the $700 billion bailout was important, it was necessary, but it wasn’t sufficient. Economic fundamentals are continuing to deteriorate. Consumer spending is slowing all over the world. Businesses spending is clearly down, as well.”
She supported the Stimulus and subsidies to Broadband.
She appeared to praise subsidized home mortgage loans.
“..we ought to have a home mortgage plan that would allow every worthy home owner to step forward and get themselves into a new loan that they could afford, with interest rates and principal that they could afford at a 30-year fixed-year rate. That was a great idea then, and it’s an even better idea now.”
She has presented a more conservative side since then. On August 20th of this year, she said, “What we have now is less and less free market, and more and more crony capitalism.”
While running for senate against Barbara Boxer in 2010, she said, “I think we ought to ban earmarks. I think we ought to give citizens the opportunity to designate up to 10 percent of their federal income tax toward debt reduction. If we did that, we would reduce our debt by $95 billion a year.”
Good on the earmarks, not so good on the debt reduction. The math doesn’t work out and it doesn’t get to the root causes of the problem.
She was interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday on her statement who pointed out that discretionary, non-defense spending is only 16 percent of the federal budget. She wouldn’t talk about any cuts to entitlements or benefits and gave a stock political answer.
To her immense credit, she supports zero-based budgeting.
While criticizing Common Core, she has called for increased federal government involvement in schools.
Fiorina said she supports the Religious Freedom Act but it’s not clear to what degree. She did not comment on the Indiana law and did not suggest any accommodations for Kentucky’s clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.
On environment, Fiorina has sharply criticized California’s practice of allowing most of their rain water to flow back out to sea because of opposition to dams, reservoirs, and water conveyances. However, she seemed to support McCain’s cap and trade system to encourage alternative energy sources.
She came out strongly against oppressive and uncontrolled government regulations. “Citizens should be able to vote on new regulations before they are signed into law. “People think I’m joking but maybe we ought to put every one of those regulations out on the Internet. It’s pretty easy to do actually and ask the American people to vote on them. Five stars will keep you. One star you’re gone. Wouldn’t that put interesting pressure on the political process?”
Her views on immigration have become more conservative. She has, however, been opposed to eliminating birthright citizenship, supports the expansion of H1-B visas, supports the DREAM Act and legalization for illegal immigrants. She no longer supports comprehensive reform though she did at the time of the Gang of Eight bill and she does not believe that we should relax our laws to allow refugees into the country because we cannot properly screen them.
There isn’t much known about her views on the Second Amendment except that she did oppose the 1994 assault weapons ban.
There is much that is not known about Ms. Fiorina and she is handling herself exceptionally well during the debates, however, she might not meet the criteria as a conservative. She might merely be an establishment figure helping them eliminate the candidates they don’t want. She could be the means by which the establishment eliminates the anti-establishment candidates. Most politicos don’t honestly see her as a threat but Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are.
Conservative better describes candidates like Senators Cruz and Paul and Governor Walker. They have a proven conservative record. There are several others who do fairly well such as Dr. Carson, Senator Rubio (not on immigration however), and Governor Jindal. Interestingly, Donald Trump is a lot more conservative or level with the rest of the candidates.
If she does by some fluke become the candidate, we will probably see reruns of her demon sheep ad. It’s pretty funny but the left lambasted her for it and if you watch it to the end, you might agree.