As America continues the debate over laws securing religious freedom, several of the nation’s CEO’s are taking sides. Apple’s Tim Cook, for instance, excoriated Indiana over its law. But former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is disgusted at how business leaders like Cook are acting.
Fiorina, a one-time GOP candidate for California Senate and possible candidate for president, said that many of these CEOs attacking Indiana over its religious freedom law are bowing to “narrow special interests” and ignoring the larger base of opinion over the situation, especially Cook.
On Monday, drawing much attention, Apple chief Tim Cook jumped to Twitter to attack Indiana over its Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Before that, in a Washington Post op-ed, Cook also spoke out saying, “Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. Regardless of what the law might allow in Indiana or Arkansas, we will never tolerate discrimination.”
Clearly the openly gay CEO finds Indiana’s law “discriminatory.” Still, Apple has a close working relationship to at least four nations—Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—that have laws that punish gays with execution. That is not to mention the many nations whose record on women’s rights and human rights are dismal, to say the least.
All of this strikes Fiorina as “hypocrisy.”
“When Tim Cook is upset about all the places that he does business because of the way they treat gays and women, he needs to withdraw from 90% of the markets that he’s in, including China and Saudi Arabia,” Fiorina said to The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.
Fiorina went on to insist that the Indiana law was not in the least bit controversial.
“I think this is a ginned-up controversy by people who play identity politics that has divided the nation in a way that is really unhelpful,” she added.
Despite her former job as a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Fiorina maintains that big government and big business have gotten too cosy.
“When government gets big and complicated and powerful then only the big can handle it. Now we have a situation where big companies for example are rooting for the FCC to regulate the Internet,” she said.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.