Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina joined Chris Ryan at the Concord Photo Service Main Street Studio for an in-depth conversation about ISIS, economic stagnation, controlling government spending, and broadening the appeal of the GOP. Fiorina, the former CEO of computer giant–Hewlett Packard, identified fear and frustration are the two major concerns of voters. Fiorina stated that people are worried about recent terrorist attacks, and they are frustrated by government ineptitude and incompetence. She believes that Donald Trump has done a good job of playing to these feelings. However, Fiorina feels that Trump does not offer any realistic plans. She was quick to point out what she would do. First, figure out how we keep missing signals given by terrorists like the Boston Bombers and the San Bernardino shooters. Reexamine our visa programs, so terrorists like the Tsarnaev brothers and Tashfeen Malik can’t evade detection. Next, engage the private sector in using technology to fight terrorism. Fiorina mentioned Palantir which is a company which has developed sophisticated algorithms which are able to detect patterns in big data. She also feels that it is necessary that the FBI has access to every piece of information that it needs for counter-terrorism.
On the war front, Fiorina would deny territory to ISIS by employing a more effective air campaign, utilizing more special operations forces, and engage our Sunni Muslim allies in the region. She considers this to be the immediate goal. How to deal with the President of Syria, Bashir Assad, she considers a secondary problem. Fiorina gave a detailed analysis of Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s handling of the situation in Syria. At one time, Secretary of State Clinton described Assad as a positive reformer. We reopened our embassy in Syria. Soon after that, the Assad regime began using chemical weapons on insurgent forces and the famous red line was drawn by President Obama. Three years have passed with our president frequently repeating that Assad must go. Now Russia and Iran have formed an alliance with the goal of keeping the Assad regime in power. Fiorina pointed out that our potential Sunni Muslim allies consider Iran to be an enemy. Carly Fiorina’s ISIS policy can be summed up as follows: stand up with our allies; cut off ISIS supply lines; and take back ISIS territory.
Turning to the economy, Fiorina called for passing a bill called the Zero Based Budget Act which has languished in Congress since 2013. This approach to the federal budget would require analysis of all expenditures. Carly Fiorina feels that this is the best the way to get government spending under control. Fiorina feels that there is a huge amount of government waste. Her favorite target is the Internal Revenue System. Fiorina points out that our 73,000 page tax code requires the government to have more IRS agents than FBI and CIA agents combined. Another troubling economic statistic that she pointed out is that we currently have the highest male unemployment in our history. Also, we have the lowest labor participation in forty years.
When asked how the Republican Party could reach out to women, Carly Fiorina believes that the GOP needs to reach out to all Americans. She cited a recent poll that showed that 75% of us believe that the federal government is corrupt. Also, 80% of the American people feel that the government is run by a political class which Fiorina describes as candidates who are willing to say anything to get elected and then deliver nothing once they are elected. Perhaps, this is why voters in both parties have been attracted to “outsiders” who challenge the status quo this year–Trump, Carson, Sanders, Fiorina, etc. In conclusion, the former CEO explained the difference between managers and leaders. Managers operate within the system, and leaders change the system. Carly Fiorina wants to be the leader who fixes a dysfunctional system.