Wait for it.
Carly Fiorina, it turns out, is a former donor not only to the Democratic Party at large, but to one high profile Democrat in particular: Hillary Clinton. And unlike Donald Trump, who has been quite open about his own donations for business reasons, Fiorina has tried to convey the exact opposite impression, as in her first debate appearance in August, when, looking around at her fellow candidates on the “second tier,” Fiorina went after Trump with this line:
I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race. Did any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn’t. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t given money to the foundation, or donated to his wife’s Senate campaign.
If Fiorina, unlike Trump, has deliberately misrepresented her campaign contributions, what else is she misrepresenting?
Hello? That statement is false.
The Federal Election Commission records that Ms. Fiorina was a donor to the Technology Network (Technet) Federal PAC. The FEC documents that Technet’s “In Kind Contributions”—represented by the provision of goods or services in lieu of actual capital—included nine separate donations to Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign, as well as one contribution to her presidential campaign in 2007. Other recipients of Technet’s generosity, divided between “Contributions” and “In Kind Contributions,” include Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer (later Fiorina’s 2010 Senate opponent), Senate Democratic Leaders Harry Reid and Tom Daschle, and the late Ted Kennedy. Contrary to the impression she seeks to make, Mrs. Fiorina’s generosity, it would seem, does not differentiate party or principle.
Even more startling is that as CEO of Hewlett Packard, Fiorina was giving to HP’s own Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company PAC—a committee that represented the company she was in charge of and presumably was responsive to her personal direction. And among the beneficiaries of the HP PAC? Six separate contributions to Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid; eight to House Speaker/Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; and nine to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (an independent donor to Hillary Clinton in its own right).
At the very least this is evidence of considerable hypocrisy. If Fiorina, unlike Trump, has deliberately misrepresented her campaign contributions, what else is she misrepresenting?
The truth can emerge in the funniest of places. Like during hair and make-up preparation for live television.
It was back in 2008, when Carly Fiorina was a surrogate for GOP presidential nominee John McCain and…well…let’s let the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus tell the story, since the tale involves Marcus herself. The headline for Marcus’s August of 2015 story on Fiorina read:
Carly Fiorina says some, well, interesting things while waiting to go on camera. In 2010, the then-GOP Senate nominee went all middle-school-cafeteria on her Democratic opponent’s hairdo. “God, what is that hair? Sooo yesterday,” Fiorina, already miked up, commented, quoting an aide’s assessment. Two years earlier, in the makeup room at ABC’s “This Week” with me, Fiorina said something that, at the time, was mildly interesting, but is now revelatory. It was May 2008, close to the end of the long primary battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and we were discussing the two Democratic contenders. At which point Fiorina, then a campaign surrogate for presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, offered some unprompted praise for Clinton: If Fiorina hadn’t been backing McCain, she told me, she would have been for Clinton.
Now comes this story in People Magazine with the headline:
The story reads in part:
Carly Fiorina has said that women “are not a special interest group,” but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel a certain kinship with her fellow females – even her Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. “I feel empathy with every woman who is working really hard and giving it all they’ve got – and Hillary is,” the GOP presidential hopeful tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “She’s smart, she’s hardworking, she’s giving it all she’s got.” ….Fiorina said in a 2008 interview with MORE magazine that she’d been to Clinton’s office “to talk about various issues,” adding that the former secretary of state even asked Fiorina for her support early on in her first presidential campaign. Though Fiorina declined for obvious reasons, she told MORE at the time, “I have enormous admiration for Hillary Clinton. And I felt empathy for her” after she had an “incredibly grueling several weeks” on the campaign trail. Fiorina tells PEOPLE she stands by those comments and still feels that “enormous admiration.”
The obvious question for Fiorina is not only why she seemingly deliberately misled about her contributions to Clinton and other Democrats, but whether she is truly the conservative she claims to be.
Earlier this year, the LA Times was quick to juxtapose Fiorina’s attacks on the Democratic frontrunner with her past participation in at least two Global Clinton Initiative events. The same article also cited Fiorina’s joining Hillary Clinton on a 2014 panel discussion of how best to rescue those in poverty, during which Fiorina had no problem pointing to some core tenets of the Clinton Global Initiative as “the hope of this country.”
So, what to make of this? Fiorina says she never contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but in fact, both the records of the HP PAC—which was at least tangentially under her influence—and the Tehnet PAC demonstrate that she most certainly did. And when she volunteers to the Post’s Ruth Marcus that her second choice after John McCain in 2008 was Hillary Clinton? And signals to People Magazine that she maintains an abundance of empathy for Hillary? One has more than enough reason to suspect that if Fiorina is the nominee, the GOP is headed for another campaign of mush—a repeat of 2012 where the GOP praised President Obama personally with the afterthought that he happened to be taking the country in the wrong direction; meanwhile Team Obama and the media were attacking Romney as the murderer of a steelworker’s wife, a man who helped terrorize a gay classmate in prep school and who cruelly strapped his dog to the roof of his car for a family road trip.
The obvious question for Fiorina is not only why she seemingly deliberately misled about her contributions to Clinton and other Democrats, but whether she is truly the conservative she claims to be. Over at Townhall, John Hawkins had a devastating takedown of Fiorina-as-conservative, writing in a piece titled The Conservative Case Against Carly Fiorina:
Here’s Redstate on Carly Fiorina back in 2010.
From her praise of Jesse Jackson, to her playing the race and gender cards against DeVore, to her support for the Wall Street bailouts, to her qualified support for the Obama stimulus, to her past support for taxation of sales on the Internet, to her waffling on immigration, to her support for Sonia Sotomayor, to her Master’s thesis advocating greater federal control of local education, to her past support for weakening California’s Proposition 13, to her statement to the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board that Roe v. Wade is “a decided issue,” Carly Fiorina’s oft-repeated claim to be a “lifelong conservative” was only plausible in the universe of NRSC staffers who recruited her in the first place. …She endorsed Federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research for “extra” embryos. She endorsed the California DREAM Act, which grants in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. …Fiorina also strongly supported Marco Rubio’s amnesty plan that even he claims not to back anymore, endorsed cap & trade and attacked Ted Cruz for being willing to shut down the government to stop Obamacare. How do you trust Fiorina on immigration, small government issues, taxes, pro-life issues, global warming or to even try to kill Obamacare after that?
Note well the beginning of that last Hawkins sentence. It begins: “How do you trust Fiorina…”
When you add the news about her cagey deceptiveness on her campaign contributions to her past views on critical issues…“How do you trust Carly Fiorina?” becomes a very good question indeed.