OTR Interviews

Fiorina slaps critics of her stance on vaccinations: 'Usual distraction by left-wing media'

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on her post-debate momentum, her visit to the Iowa State Fair, and her controversial stance on parents and child vaccinations


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 14, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Right now, another political outsider, former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina, she is also surging in the polls and she now barn-storming the stage at Iowa. 

Carly Fiorina goes "On the Record." Nice to see you, Carly.

CARLY FIORINA, GOP 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nice to be with you, Greta. Thanks for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Carly. Welcome to the top of the polls because you're the headline in Slate, "Carly Fiorina Comes Out in Favor of Kids Getting Measles." Are you in favor of kids getting measles? That's what Slate says.

FIORINA: Oh, for heaven's sake. That is ridiculous. It's the usual distraction by a left-wing media. Of course, I'm not.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So what's the story on the vaccine because that was the controversy today? What did you say - what did you say or what were you trying to say?

FIORINA: Oh, for heaven's sake. This isn't even new ground, Greta. I said that parents should have a choice. I also highly recommend that parents vaccinate their kids against highly contagious diseases. And I said that school districts and states have a choice as to whether or not kids, who haven't been vaccinated, unless it's a deeply held religious conviction, have the opportunity to attend public school. This is the law of the land in 50 states.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right because.


FIORINA: I think what's more interesting to talk about.


FIORINA: I was just going to say I think what's more interesting since we have all been listening to Donald Trump, I actually agree with every problem he just recited there, every single one. Everything he said is true. And I think the issue now is how do we solve these problems? There is no question that the political class has failed us. There is no question that every single problem he identified has been festering in this nation for a long time. And so the question is, who can solve those problems and how with you going to solve those problems?

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So when do you - I mean since you and Donald Trump agreed that these are issues and you're both political outsiders and you both have tapped into a lot of the discontent among voters, you're both surging to the top of the polls, where do you differ with Donald Trump?

FIORINA: You see, I think what I'm trying to do is go beyond identifying problems and actually identify solutions. So, I understand how the economy works, having started as a secretary. I'm a self-made woman. I ultimately ran the largest technology company in the world. And so I know that to get this economy going and growing again, we have to lift the weight of government off of the job creators in this nation, which are small and family owned businesses and farms. I understand how the world works. I know more world leaders on the stage today than anyone running. And I have spent a lot of time out there in the world with people like Vladimir Putin and the Chinese and the Israelis, and the Arabs and you name it. And so, I know that, yes, we must have the strongest military on the face of the planet. We must take care of those who have served us. And we almost -- also must push back against our adversaries now.

So that means, for example, we have to equip Australia and Japan with the tools and the resources that they need to push back against China or rising adversaries so they cannot control a trade route to through which $5 trillion word of goods and services flows. It means that I will call Bibi Netanyahu on day one and say we will stand with the state of Israel. I'll also call on the supreme leader of Iran and says unless he opens every nuclear and military facility to inspections that's we're going to cut off his ability to move money around.

And most importantly, perhaps of all, Greta, is I understand how to cut bureaucracies down to size and hold them accountable. And in the end, that's what we are going to have to do here because all these festering problems with the political class hasn't managed to solve are festering because we have a federal government that is bloated, corrupt, inept, and more and more costly and that will take technology, it will take the power of citizenry, and it will take also someone who has done it before, and I have.

VAN SUSTEREN: Today, the news -- there has been news that ISIS may be using mustard agent against some Kurdish fighters. That change -- that's a big difference in their fighting so far. How would you -- what -- how do you respond to that?

FIORINA: That's right.

VAN SUSTEREN: What would you do?

FIORINA: Well, not only are they using mustard gas, but they are also systematizing a culture of rape and sexual slavery. This is an evil that has to be defeated. And so I would hold a Camp David summit very early in my administration and I would gather our Arab allies who are fighting ISIS on the ground as we speak. But they have asked us for very specific things. King Abdullah of Jordan, a man I have known for very long time, has been asking us for almost two years to provide him with bombs and material. We haven't. I would. The Egyptians have been asking us to share intelligence with them. They are fighting ISIS on the ground as we speak. We haven't. I would. The Kurds have been asking us to arm them for three years. We haven't. I would. Ever single one of our Arab allies, the Saudis, the Qataris, the Bahrainis, the Kuwaitis, the Jordanians, the Egyptians, they are prepared to fight this fight, but they cannot fight it unless they sense leadership and resolve and support from the United States of America and I would provide it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Carly, I get a lot of emails from viewers about all the candidates. I was asked to ask tonight in an email from a viewer to ask you about the flat tax -- your position on the flat tax.

FIORINA: You know, here is an example of politicians. We have great ideas for how to reform the tax code. We have binders full of great conservative idea about how to reform the tax code. The flat tax is one idea. The fair tax is another idea. Ten percent tithing is a third idea. And guess what? It never happens. How long have Republicans been talking about tax reform? My own view is that we need to go from a 73,000 page tax code to one that's about three pages because all this complexity in the tax code favors the big, the powerful, the wealthy, the well-connected. It is simplicity that will level the playing field for the small and the powerless. Anybody needs to be able to read the tax code. So to me that means lower every rate, close every loophole. But none of that will happen unless we have a leader in the White House who knows how to focus pressure, the pressure of the American people on the Congress of these United States. So that instead of talking about tax reform, which is what we have been doing for decades now, we actually do it.

VAN SUSTEREN: How do you focus pressure? I mean how do you get this Congress to move? I mean because it's a -- it's like a huge aircraft carrier that does he have difficult to steer and turn.

FIORINA: That's right. Well, you know what I would do. I would focus the anger and frustration of the American people. So I would go into the Oval Office once a week, maybe in the radio address, and I would ask American citizens all over this country to take out their smart phones and I would ask them questions like: do you think it's important that we go from a 73,000-page tax code to a three-page tax code that you can understand and fill out without the help of a high priced lawyer or accountant? Press one on your smart phones for yes. Press two for no. Greta, this technology exists. It's why it's important to have a president in the White House who understands how to use technology because what we know is that politicians respond to pressure. And when the president of the United States and the citizens of this great nation focus our frustration on Congress to make very specific changes, one for yes, two for no, the system will move. You know how we know that? Because when pressure is put on Congress, they do move. It's why they passed the bill a year and a half ago saying that we could fire the top 400 senior executives at the V.A. OK. They haven't fired anybody. And all the politicians have moved on, but they responded to pressure. So the goal, the key, is to focus that pressure, to leverage it with a leader who knows how so that Congress will do their job.

VAN SUSTEREN: Carly, thank you very much for joining us. I was teasing you off the top, by the way, with that headline. I hope you didn't take it personally. Anyway, Carly, thank you.

FIORINA: No. It's the crazy game of politics. Let's distract.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's what happens when you start going up in the polls. Anyway, Carly, I know you have an event it gets back to.

FIORINA: That's right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Thanks for joining us from Iowa.