Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and prospective presidential candidate Carly Fiorina accused MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski of reading off “Democratic talking points” on Monday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC.
First Brzezinski asked why she believes Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a “record of accomplishments” Fiorina responded, “because she really doesn’t, she’s had a lot of very impressive titles, but a position is just a position. It’s all about what you do in it, and think her time in the position of Secretary of State is demonstrably one that lacks accomplishment, but that also has some real blemishes on it.”
Brzezinski then said, “I’ve been reading and listening to your criticisms of her, which really are quite searing, again, focusing on her track record of accomplishment. And I’m just wondering, when you talk about blemishes, you have an amazing round of accomplishments in your life, but someone could say it like this, you ran for Senate and lost. You worked for john McCain, you were moved off that campaign, and he lost. You had a tenure at Hewlett-Packard that a lot of people describe as extremely rocky, destroying jobs, and destroying the company’s reputation. Are you really the right person to be criticizing Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments or lack thereof?”
Fiorina responded, “well, you’ve clearly have been reading the Democratic talking points, to which Brzezinski stated, “I’m reading Fortune, I’m reading the New York Times,”
Fiorina continued, “we accomplished a lot at Hewlett-Packard. We doubled the size of the company to almost $90 billion. We quadrupled the growth rate from 2% to 9%, we tripled the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day, we quadrupled cash flow, we went from lagging to leading in every product category, and every market segment, and in technology, if you’re lagging, you’re failing. If you’re leading, you’re growing jobs, and growing products, which we did. With regard to California, yes, absolutely I lost that general campaign, but I won more Republican votes, more Democratic votes, and more Independent votes than virtually anyone else running at any point in that cycle. That’s how big California is, and it’s a demonstration of the fact that a conservative non-politician can reach beyond our party and talk with Democrats and Independents alike.”
Brzezinski then replied, “that same description of your accomplishments could be applied, Steve Rattner, to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as head of the State Department, some say that she did amazing things around the world for women, and for access to capital for women, and for opening doors to the true leaders of countries around the world, or you could see it the way Republicans see it and they can talk about Benghazi. It’s all about how you look at those accomplishments.”
Steve Rattner added, “I think the question Ms. Fiorina made the point that you might have been reading talking points, which you weren’t, but I think the flip side is that I think Ms. Fiorina may be reading her own talking points, in the sense that at Hewlett-Packard, I believe you were actually excused, fired is maybe a less nice word, from that job.”
Fiorina then declared, “oh, I was fired. Absolutely, I was fired.” Rattern continued, “well, there’s fired and fired, but you were fired after a disastrous merger with Compaq, when the stock price collapsed, and a lot of really bad stuff happened” Fiorina disagreed, arguing “it was a very successful merger with Compaq, which everyone now acknowledges it was a very successful merger with Compaq, and set the company up for great success.” Rattner argued back, “it was a successful merger because your successor managed to execute what you were not able to execute, which is why the board fired you, I believe.”
Fiorina stated, “actually, we had a couple board members who were leaking confidential information. It was a two-week brawl. I could have kept my job by casting my vote, I chose not to” and defended her record with the company’s stock price by saying she was in charge during the .com bust which took over a decade to recover from.
She continued, “when we can give women, as well as men, a helping hand, train them to become entrepreneurs and leaders, as I have done with others over the last several years, we can solve so many problems. And that’s actually what we have to do in the United States. We are crushing possibilities for too many people. We’re tangling people’s lives up in webs of dependence. We’re destroying more businesses than we’re creating. This government has gotten so huge, so powerful, so costly, so complicated that only the big, the powerful, the wealthy, and the well-connected can manage it, and you see in the data all across this economy.”
Fiorina concluded, “Hillary Clinton has opened doors for women, and of course she is a highly intelligent hardworking woman, who has dedicated her life to public service, and that is a tribute to her…we also have to be able to talk beyond gender, and talk actually about track record and accomplishment and policies, and I think that’s the ground upon which this debate needs to be waged.”
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