GOP candidate Carly Fiorina tells People magazine that she won’t slam Hillary Clinton’s character, but would criticize her record as Secretary of State.
“So I never make a personal comment about Hillary Clinton – my criticism of her is fact-based, based on her actions and track record. And that is fair game,” Fiorina says.
“I feel empathy with every woman who is working really hard and giving it all they’ve got – and Hillary is,” the former Hewlett Packard CEO recently told the magazine. “She’s smart, she’s hardworking, she’s giving it all she’s got.”
Fiorina’s claim she won’t hit Clinton’s character is a sharp contrast from Donald Trump’s attacks on his rivals’ character — that Jeb Bush is ‘low energy,’ for example.
Clinton and Fiorina met when the Republican delivered the 2001 commencement speech at Stanford University, Fiorina’s alma mater. That was also the same year that Clinton’s daughter Chelsea graduated.
People reports that in a 2008 interview, Fiorina told MORE magazine how she visited Clinton’s office “to talk about various issues.” Fiorina also said that Clinton had asked Fiorina for support during her first presidential run; however, Fiorina declined. Fiorina told MORE, “I have enormous admiration for Hillary Clinton. And I felt empathy for her” after Clinton had an “incredibly grueling several weeks” while out campaigning.
People reports Fiorina stands by her previous comments and still has “enormous admiration” for Clinton.
“These days the two women’s political differences are even more at the forefront, but even though Fiorina has been critical of Clinton in her campaign, she says she’d never take a low blow against her Democratic counterpart,” reported the magazine.
“We as women, especially in presidential politics, need to play by the same rules as the men. If we want to play this game as equals, we need to play by the same rules, and that means our track record is relevant,” stated Fiorina.
Fiorina regularly criticizes Clinton’s record as Secretary of State and did so last week during the second GOP primary debate hosted by CNN. “If you want to stump a Democrat, ask them about Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments as Secretary of State,” Fiorina mocked.
Clinton responded during a CNN interview the day after the debate saying she was “very proud” of her record.
The two female presidential candidates have very different opinions on Planned Parenthood, which has become a political issue after undercover videos went viral of Planned Parenthood officials allegedly selling aborted baby body parts.
Fiorina challenged Clinton again during the GOP debate, saying, “I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”
Clinton has said Republicans are “misleading” and making “inaccurate allegations” about the undercover videos. Clinton did not reference Fiorina by name.
“To shut down the government, which some Republicans are advocating, over funding for Planned Parenthood, which takes care of millions of women’s health needs, is just the height of irresponsibility,” Clinton stated on CBS’ Face the Nation.
“I think there are many, many Democrats who find it impossible to admire a woman that they politically disagree with,” Fiorina told Peoople. “So when you have Democrats saying my candidacy is offensive to women, that’s about politics. That’s not about an admiration of a fellow woman. That’s not about kinship. And I think that’s too bad.”
“I don’t have to agree with someone politically to admire them,” explained Fiorina. “I have empathy for any woman who gives it her all and works hard.”
Florin’s campaign has acknowledged several previous news reports that have highlighted Fiorina’s respect for Clinton.
Campaign spokesperson Sarah Flores responded, “Carly (along with many Republicans) has said she would have supported Hillary over Obama in May 2008 if she had been voting in those last few Democrat primaries. Of course, she didn’t vote in those primaries… because she was a top surrogate for the Republican nominee. As one commenter said, “Was there a point to this?””
Florina’s campaign also references a previous Buzzfeed story with audio from Carly in 2008 complementing Clinton.
“In response, I sent them many more examples of Carly saying nice things about Hillary — from three months ago. GASP!” Flores mocked, saying she provided several clips from earlier this year where Fiorina stated:
Hillary Clinton’s a highly intelligent woman, hardworking, she’s dedicated her life to public service but unfortunately she does not have a track record of accomplishment or transparency.
“Note to Buzzfeed: It turns out you can say nice things about someone and simultaneously not believe they should be President of the United States,” Flores noted.