For Episode 2 of Trail Talk, Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin spoke with presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. Following are excerpts of the interview where she discusses RNC debates, Hillary Clinton, her departure from HP, and being underestimated. Download the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes.
ON BEING INCLUDED/EXCLUDED IN THE RNC DEBATES
MS. FISCHER MARTIN: Do you expect to be in the debates?
MS. FIORINA: I do.
MS. FISCHER MARTIN: And have you talked to the RNC about that, and what do you think the criteria, if anything, should be?
MS. FIORINA: I have not had a specific conversation with the RNC about that. It’s not something they’re prepared to talk to candidates about. They need to go through that, their decision-making process. But, I know what it feels like on the ground, and I know that we are, look, I’m not a professional politician, so a lot of people don’t even know who I am yet [chuckles].
MS. FISCHER MARTIN: Right, which is going to be hard when you’re polling with 15, 16 other people in a poll, there naturally is going to be a large group of people who are polling at 1 or 2 percent.
MS. FIORINA: That’s right.
MS. FISCHER MARTIN: And, if the RNC says, “We are going to cut it off at 5 percent,” how do you make the case or what do you do if you’re not included?
MS. FIORINA: Well, it’s May and my candidacy is ten days old.
MS. FISCHER MARTIN: So you expect to be higher in the polls by August.
MS. FIORINA: Of course.
ON HILLARY CLINTON AS A FORMIDABLE CANDIDATE
She’s a formidable woman, and she’ll be a formidable candidate. She will raise more money than anybody. She will have a great ground game, which the Democrat Party has built up over two election cycles. She’s hard working. She’s very smart.
ON HILLARY CLINTON AND TRUSTWORTHINESS
She has peddled fiction…the story about the server in her basement; I mean nobody believes that that was anything other than a purposeful attempt to shield her communications from people she didn’t think deserved to look at them. It’s inconceivable to most people that she didn’t consider it a conflict of interest when foreign governments are providing millions of dollars to her family’s foundation and paying her husband huge speaking fees while she is serving as Secretary of State. And despite an agreement to disclose all this, she did not disclose any of it. I mean people understand that that indicates a lack of transparency and trustworthiness.
ON BEING FIRED FROM HP
When you challenge the status quo, you make enemies. But leaders challenge the status quo. It’s their job. Managers operate within the status quo. Managers do the best they can within the existing system. And I would argue we got lots of politicians who are managers.
ON BEING UNDERESTIMATED
MS. HADDAD: Any lessons along the way you want to share?
MS. FIORINA: Well, actually I was a scared goody-two shoes, shy middle child. And [chuckles], you know, I started out as a secretary. And perhaps one of the things I’ve learned along the — I mean I’ve been underestimated all my life, starting as a secretary and ultimately becoming a chief executive of the largest technology company in the world, lots of people underestimated me along the way.