Two GOP candidates joined the presidential race yesterday.
Carly Fiorina is touting herself as an alternative to Hillary Clinton because of her six years as the first woman to run a Fortune 500 company. Between 1999 and 2005, she gained infamy for her thousands of layoffs and missed earning targets and she criticizes President Obama for doing nothing to improve the economy while he tries to redistribute the wealth. After painting Clinton as dishonest, Fiorina is trying to use her business background as a vital qualification. The Guardian describes her lack of business acumen:
“Those who watched what Fiorina did to HP–mishandling the $25bn acquisition of Compaq, getting ousted by the board in 2005 with a $21m golden parachute, repeatedly being named one of the worst CEOs in American corporate history–say those supposed accomplishments are already coming back to ‘haunt’ her run for the White House.”
Former colleague Jason Burnett, a member of the Packard Foundation board of trustees, said, “She put herself ahead of the interests of the company and I fear she would do the same as president. I don’t want her to do harm to this country.” Roy Verley, Hewlett-Packard’s former director of corporate communications, said Fiorina was more interested in promoting herself than acting in the best interests of the company during her time as CEO. “She didn’t know what she was doing and couldn’t deliver on her promises,” Verley explained.
Despite HP’s officially supporting action against climate change, Fiorina questions climate change. Her support this year for the House GOP 20-week abortion ban ran counter to the opposition from moderate and female Republicans who helped kill the kill.
Fiorina has never held public office. She spent $5 million of her own money in her failed 2010 race against Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), leaving her $500,000 in debt. That was the year that the GOP swept the country. Two years earlier the presidential campaign team for McCain/Palin team pulled her from speaking on their behalf.
Fiorina blames the gender gap in wages on unions and government bureaucracies, but the wage gap for unionized women is 40 percent smaller than for non-unionized women. Women in unions make almost 90 percent of what male peers do. The gender gap for federal employees is only 13 percent, a great change from 30 percent just ten years ago. One reason for the smaller gap is transparency, which Fiorina wants to eliminate. Only 18 percent of women working for the government are told they can’t discuss pay at work, compared to 60 percent of women working in the private sector. Although Fiorina claims that current laws protect women against discrimination, only one-third of pay discrimination complaints brought to the Equal Employment Opportunity Office have been won in the past 17 years.
On MSNBC’s conservative program Morning Joe, host Mika Brezinski summarized Fiorina’s problems in her interview with the new candidate:
“Someone could say it like this: ‘You ran for the Senate and lost. You worked for John McCain, you got moved off that campaign, and he lost. You had a tenure at Hewlett-Packard that many describe as extremely rocky, destroying jobs and destroying the company’s reputation. Are you really the right person to be criticizing Hillary Clinton’s achievements?’”
Guest Steve Rattner added, “You were fired [from HP] after a disastrous merger with Compaq and the stock price dropped.”
The past head of a high-tech company failed to get the website CarlyFiorina.org. It is currently being used to criticizing her for her layoffs with a graphic depicting these people before the finale:
“That’s 30,000 people she laid off. People with families. And what does she say she would have done differently? ‘I would have done them all faster.’—Carly Fiorina”
Today, “tech authority” Fiorina said that she would “roll back” the new rules on net neutrality despite their support by 85 percent of the Republican voters. When Sarah Lane asked Fiorina if she would consider the vice-presidential position, she snapped back, “Would you ever ask a man that question?” Both John Edwards and Bill Richardson were asked the same question, and the same possibility has been raised about former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, a possible Democratic candidate.
Fiorina told George Stephanopoulos when she announced her candidacy on Good Mroning America that she would make a good commander-in-chief because she “understand[s] technology, which is a tool to reimagine government and re-engage citizens in the process of government.”
Fiorina’s 2010 campaign may be best remembered for a creepy demon-sheep television ad that featured a flock of sheep, one of them with scary red eyes. Her message was that her opponent was “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” The ad went viral and became the object of much ridicule. Fiorina, however, beat her GOP opponent by 35 points.
Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon, announced his candidacy on the same day as Fiorina but put off his campaign kickoff until next week, perhaps hoping for more publicity. He compares Obamacare to the destruction of 9/11 and slavery as well as equating the U.S. to Nazi Germany. Women’s liberation and single motherhood are responsible for Michael Brown being killed on a Ferguson street, and veteran suicide is “a gift from God” to show people how horrible bureaucracy is. Yet Carson advocates the elimination of for-profit insurance companies “to make the government responsible for catastrophic health care.”
Like Fiorina, Carson has never held public office, but he uses his visibility to push his inflammatory ideas such as spreading fear that anarchy might cancel the 2016 election. To Carson, the growing national debt, ISIS, and the Senate Democrats’ refusal to consider House legislation is proof of this trend. These could cause President to call off the election by declaring martial law, Carson concluded.
The safety net would disappear if Carson had his way, despite the fact that his mother was forced to use welfare to supplement wages from her two jobs.
Carson is also one of a small group that believes Congress should remove judges who support marriage equality. His premise that “Congress actually has the right to reprimand or remove [the judges]” is wrong: removal of judges is only for impeachable offenses, defined by the constitution as “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Far-right Congressional members are still contemplating a law to keep judges from ruling on the rights of same-sex married couples.
Carson also calls marriage equality a “Marxist plot,” describes marriage equality supporters as “enemies of America,” and compares homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality. Later he apologized for his “poorly chosen words” in the last accusation. LGBT people demanding cakes from businesses could get poisoned. Carson also drew fire for his claim that male rape in prison against other males proves that homosexuality is a choice and had to backtrack.
The Geneva Conference means nothing to Carson: he doesn’t want trials for war crimes, such as those against the Nazis after World War II. He has said that the military should not be subject to any war crimes law:
“If you’re gonna have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says no war. Other than that, we have to win.”
Carson’s lack of knowledge seems to match that of former candidate Herman Cain. When asked to name his favorite secretary of the treasury, he finally came up with “Andrea Mitchell’s husband.” That would be Alan Greenspan, former chair of the Federal Reserve—not Treasury secretary. Carson was also surprised to discover during his recent trip to Israel that the country has a legislative branch. He is also confused about NATO and placed Islamic radical violence several centuries before Islam existed.
A booster of GOP-backed voter-ID laws that disenfranchises many blacks, Carson cites discredited anecdotes of voter fraud. The 95-percent share of the black vote for the president, comes from ignorance. Carson justifies his outrageous claims by denouncing the importance of “little details” and claiming that there’s nothing “crazy” about his beliefs.
Carson is sixth in an average of four polls at five percent, and Fiorina is at the bottom of 14 candidates at 1 percent. Both of them must realize that they have no chance of achieving the highest position in the country, but they may be angling for vice president. Each represents a minority—female and black—that the GOP desperately wants.
Both Carson and Fiorina claim that they want to unify the country. They might begin by no longer bashing over half the people in the country.