Carly Fiorina Wins ‘Happy Hour’ Debate, Positions Herself As Match For Hillary Clinton
Carly Fiorina, a former Hewlett-Packard CEO, emerged as the front-runner in the “Happy Hour” debate that featured the seven Republican presidential hopefuls left out of Thursday night’s primetime debate.
Carly Fiorina’s ‘Happy Hour’ Debate Win
Fiorina sparred with former Texas governor Rick Perry, Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum on the debate stage.
“I started as a secretary and became ultimately the chief executive of the largest technology company in the world, almost $90 billion in over 150 countries,” Fiorina, the only Republican woman running for president, said by way of introduction. “I know personally how extraordinary and unique this nation is.”
The former businesswoman, with admitted connections in Washington that rival that of her more obviously political rivals, also outlined what she would do on her first day in office were she to be elected president.
“On Day One in the Oval Office, I would make two phone calls. The first one would be to my good friend, [Israeli Prime Minister] Bibi Netanyahu, to reassure him we will stand with the State of Israel,” said Fiorina. “The second will be to the supreme leader of Iran. He might not take my phone call, but he would get the message, and the message is this: Until you open every nuclear and every military facility to full, open, anytime, anywhere, for real inspections, we are going to make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system.”
Fiorina’s poise and practiced rhetoric stood in stark contrast to the fellow aspiring politicians on the stage – including the typically TV-savvy Graham. In order to stand out from the competition, Fiorina not only pitted herself against the Republicans that shared the stage with her Thursday and the ones that were to take to the stage later that night – particularly Donald Trump – but also presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Hillary Clinton lies about Benghazi, she lied about emails, she is still defending Planned Parenthood, and she is still her party’s frontrunner,” Fiorina said in her closing remarks. “2016 is going to be a fight between conservatism and a Democrat Party that is undermining the very character of this nation. We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches, and someone who can not stumble before he even gets into the ring.”
Following the debate, Fiorina was declared the winner on Twitter, in polls and by most media outlets. “Carly Fiorina walked in tonight, owned the stage, owned it big,” Karl Rove said on Fox’s post-debate show.
Not impressed with Fiorina was the Democratic National Committee, which highlighted Fiorina’s less than stellar legacy at HP.
“Here’s Carly Fiorina’s record on negotiations—she negotiated a merger with Compaq where 30,000 HP employees lost their jobs,” reads the DNC’s statement. “Then she negotiated a $40 million golden parachute after she was fired. Here’s Carly Fiorina’s policy record: an affinity for sending American jobs overseas.”