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Transcript: Carly Fiorina on 'FNS'
Written by Chris Wallace / Published June 13, 2010 / Fox News Sunday
The following is a rush transcript of the June 13, 2010, edition of "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace." This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: On Tuesday, several high-powered women won big victories in primaries around the country, and one of the biggest was the GOP Senate race in California where the former head of Hewlett- Packard, Carly Fiorina, won the right to take on three-term Democratic senator Barbara Boxer.
Boxer turned down our invitation today, but Carly Fiorina joins us now from Mountain View, California.
So, Ms. Fiorina, let's start with the hair comment, because that's what everybody is talking about. The day after the primary you were caught on camera talking about Senator Boxer, and you said this, "What is that hair? So yesterday." I can't do proper justice to your reading of that.
But since then you've been called a mean girl, catty, tart and unpleasant. How do you plead?
CARLY FIORINA, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR SENATE: Well, I was quoting a friend of mine. But look, I regret this whole situation. I gave people the opportunity to talk about something petty and superficial. And this is a very serious election year about serious issues.
WALLACE: Well, we're going to get to that in a second, but I do want to ask, have you called Senator Boxer to apologize and say, "Let's not talk about petty and superficial things?"
FIORINA: You know, what I think I owe the voters is a commitment to stay focused on facts, on issues and on the things that really matter, and I will keep that commitment to the voters.
WALLACE: All right. Give us an overview of your sense of this race. Take a minute and lay out what you think the choice is for California voters.
FIORINA: I think this election is about the direction of our state and of our nation. And in particular, it is about the direction of our economy. We are destroying jobs in California.
So while Barbara Boxer comes to California to tout the impact of the stimulus bill, the reality is that the unemployment situation in California has deteriorated since the passage of the stimulus bill.
We now face 12.6 percent unemployment. We have 2.3 million Californians out of work, hundreds of thousands of them for more than six months. Hundreds of thousands of Californians have quit looking for work.
We're not just going through tough economic times in California. We are destroying jobs. And we're destroying them because of a government that is too big, taxes that are too high, regulations that are too thick. So this election is about jobs, but it's also about out-of-control government.
And the reason I am running for the Senate is because so much of the Senate's work impacts every family and every business in California and, indeed, in our nation. The Endangered Species Act...
FIORINA: ... the health care bill, taxes — all of these things are helping to create an economic situation that is getting worse in our state, not better.
WALLACE: But, Ms. Fiorina, if the issue is jobs, Senator Boxer says your record is what you did as the head of Hewlett-Packard. And the record shows, according to her — and it's not just her; the facts are that during that time you laid off more than 30,000 American workers, and many of those jobs went to India and China.
FIORINA: It is true, I managed Hewlett-Packard through the worst technology recession in 25 years. And in those tough times, we had to make some tough calls.
It is also true that, net-net, we created jobs. We doubled the size of the company from 44 billion to 88 billion. We tripled the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day. We quintupled the cash flow. We improved the...
WALLACE: But — but — but...
FIORINA: ... profitability in...
WALLACE: ... but if I may...
FIORINA: ... every product segment and ...
WALLACE: ... what about the 30,000 American jobs that you let — you laid off?
FIORINA: You know, every family and every business in California knows what it means to go through tough times. And every family is cutting back, and every business is laying off right now.
I don't say that with delight. I say that with sorrow. But yes, it is true that jobs are being taken out of California. By the way, China fights harder for our jobs than we do. Texas fights for our jobs. Nevada fights for our jobs. North Carolina fights for our jobs. We have to start fighting for our jobs in this nation and in our state. And what does that mean? It means something really basic, like let's give a tax break to bring manufacturing home. Let's make sure that agriculture remains a good credit risk. It has become a poor credit risk because of the impact of no water as a result of the Endangered Species Act.
Let's make sure that when we turn up wind factories in Texas the wind turbines aren't manufactured in China, which is what's going on now. The truth is in California you can't build a new manufacturing facility, and businesses are leaving in droves because of bad government policy.
WALLACE: All right.
FIORINA: That's what we have to turn around. And by the way, I know how to create jobs, and I know why they leave. And Barbara Boxer believes the only way to create a job is to tax people and grow government.
The reason people in California are outraged is because while they are going through tough economic times, and suffering with 12.6 percent unemployment rates, the federal government is growing its employees at 14.5 percent a year.
WALLACE: All right. Let me get to some of the other issues, because some analysts say, Ms. Fiorina, that you had to move to the right during the Republican primary to win that, and you took some positions that are going to be hard sells to the general electorate come November.
And let's talk about a couple of those. First of all, during a debate, you said that people on the no-fly list for alleged terror connections — people on the no-fly list should be able to go out and buy guns. Isn't that a security risk?
FIORINA: Well, it might be if the no-fly list was better managed. But the truth is Ted Kennedy was on the no-fly list. A 7- year-old boy was on the no-fly list. My wonderful sister-in-law was on the no-fly list. My chief of...
WALLACE: But there are also some bad guys who...
FIORINA: ... staff's husband was on the no...
WALLACE: But there are also some...
FIORINA: That's right. And if...
WALLACE: ... bad guys on the no-fly list. Don't you want to prevent them from getting guns?
FIORINA: Well, sure, if we really knew who the bad guys were, and those were the only people on the no-fly list, but the truth is the no-fly list, by the government's own admission, is far too broad.
So why should a law-abiding U.S. citizen who has the right to bear arms be prevented from doing so because of government incompetence? This is what people are crazed over. We have a government getting bigger and bigger, taxes getting higher and higher, but we don't see improving competence. We see deteriorating competence. And...
WALLACE: All right. Let me — let me ask you about another question. On illegal immigration, you support the Arizona crackdown, the new law in Arizona. What do you say to those Latino voters — and it's a big voting bloc in California — who say this is going to lead to racial profiling?
FIORINA: You know, I'm very proud of the large number of Hispanic endorsements that I've received. And when I talk with members of the Latino community — and I will continue to reach out to them — what they say to me is you know what, this is a question of criminals crossing the border.
The truth is this. The federal government isn't doing its job. It's the federal government's job to secure the border. The Obama administration has de-funded securing the border.
And while Barbara Boxer stands up and challenges the constitutionality of the Arizona law and vilifies people of Arizona, what she should be doing — what I would be doing — is figuratively standing on the president's desk and saying, "Mr. President, the federal government needs to do its job and secure the border."
WALLACE: OK. You oppose abortion, except in the case of rape and incest. Now, I don't have to tell you that Barbara Boxer has made choice a big issue in prior elections. And we've looked at the polls. Most Californians agree with her.
FIORINA: But you know, most Californians disagree with Barbara Boxer's extreme views. She believes in taxpayer funding for partial birth abortions. Most Californians don't agree with that.
And yes, there are Californians who disagree with me on the sanctity of life. But the vast majority of Californians also say that the issue in this election is jobs, and the issue in this election is out-of-control government spending, out-of-control debt, out-of- control regulations and out-of-control taxation.
WALLACE: So are you saying...
FIORINA: And those are the issues...
WALLACE: ... that the social issues — are you saying the social issues should not be what people vote on?
FIORINA: Look, I believe what I believe, and I will not run away from what I believe, and I've been very open about what I believe. And I'm not a career politician, so for me this isn't about running to the center, or changing who I am and what I believe.
But I also know this. This election is about jobs, and it is about out-of-control government, and those are the issues upon which this election will be won and lost, and that is why I believe I will win, because Barbara Boxer's track record on jobs is terrible, and she has never met a tax increase she didn't love or a spending bill she didn't approve, unless, of course, it was to fund body armor for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, or give them extended family leave, or any of the things that are necessary to protect our nation.
WALLACE: Ms. Fiorina, we have less than a minute left. Democrats have won the last seven straight Senate races in California. In less than a minute, how do you break through?
FIORINA: Well, records are meant to be broken. And the people of California have had enough. It's what every poll says, whether they're Democrats, independents or Republicans.
The people of California have had enough of the destruction of jobs, of bad government policy, of out-of-control government spending, government taxation, government debt. The people of California have had enough, and they know that to take their government back, make it listen and make it work, we have to change the people we send to Washington.
WALLACE: Ms. Fiorina, we're going to have to leave it there. We want to thank you so much for joining us today, and we promise we'll stay on top of your race all the way to November.
FIORINA: Thanks so much, Chris, for having me.
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