August 9th, 2015
10:30 AM ET

Carly Fiorina on Trump's "blood" comments: "They were completely inappropriate and offensive comments, period."

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful and former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina, joined anchor, Jake Tapper.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Fiorina: 'When you lead, you make enemies'

Fiorina: Obamacare spawns 'crony capitalism'

Fiorina: Trump's remarks are 'offensive'

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Fiorina reacts to Donald Trump’s comments about Megyn Kelly: “Well, you know, I think presidential campaigns test character under pressure and over time.  And so it's a moderator's job to ask tough questions.  All of those moderators asked tough questions of everyone. And so there's no excuse for personally attacking one of the moderators for asking a set of questions he didn't like. … They were completely inappropriate and offensive comments, period.”

Fiorina on her HP record: “Yes, I was fired.  I've been open about that since the day it happened.  I was fired in a boardroom brawl. And you know why? Because I challenged the status quo.  It is what leaders must do.  And when you challenge the status quo, when you lead, you make enemies.  It's a way so few people lead. But guess what? It is the kind of leadership we need now in the Oval Office, because the status quo of Washington, DC, which has been managed by Democrats and Republicans for way too long, isn't serving this nation any more. By the way, there are some other people who got fired because they challenged the status quo.  Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Mike Bloomberg.  I feel like I'm in pretty good company”

Fiorina on mandated paid maternity leave: “Well, when I was the chief executive of Hewlett Packard, we also offered paid maternity leave and paternity leave.  The government - for the government to tell others how to do things when the government hasn't gotten its basic house in order is not only ineffective, it's hypocritical. … I don't think it's the role of government to dictate to the private sector how to manage their businesses, especially when it's pretty clear that the private sector, like Netflix, like the example that you just gave, is doing the right thing because they know it helps them attract the right talent. What I mean by the federal government not having its house in order, the federal government is in a shambles right now.  It's inept.  The night - TSA failed 96 percent of the time.  That's ineptitude.  That's ineptitude.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, HOST:  Joining me now is Republican candidate for president, Carly Fiorina. Thanks so much for being here. Really appreciate it.

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Thank you for having me.

TAPPER:  Congratulations on all the - all the great reviews you got for your performance at the undercard debate the other night. I want to ask you, obviously, about what's inflaming the political world this week.  And let's remind our viewers again what exactly Donald Trump said to CNN's Don Lemon Friday night when discussing the presidential debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions and, you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, uh, blood coming out of her wherever. But she was, in my opinion, she was off base.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  Your reaction?

FIORINA:  Well, you know, I think presidential campaigns test character under pressure and over time.  And so it's a moderator's job to ask tough questions.  All of those moderators asked tough questions of everyone. And so there's no excuse for personally attacking one of the moderators for asking a set of questions he didn't like.

TAPPER:  But are you offended by him personally attacking Megyn Kelly or are you offended by how many are interpretation - interpreting his remarks about blood?

FIORINA:  They were completely inappropriate and offensive comments, period.//

TAPPER:  But do you think that Trump's remarks were sexist? Do you think he was specifically referring to Megyn Kelly? I can't believe...

FIORINA:  (INAUDIBLE)...

TAPPER:  - I'm even saying this...

FIORINA:  - look...

TAPPER:  - having her period?

FIORINA:  - you know, look, I can - I started out as a secretary.  And as I made my way up in the business world, a male-dominated business world, I've had lots of men imply that, um, I was unfit for decision-making because maybe I was having my period.  So I'll say it, OK? When I...

TAPPER:  I did say it.

FIORINA:  - when I started this campaign, I was asked on a national television show whether a woman's hormones prevented her from serving in the Oval Office.  My response was, can we think of a single instance in which a man's hormones might have clouded his judgment?

TAPPER:  I can.

FIORINA:  The true - yes, me, too.  Maybe in the Oval Office.

TAPPER:  Yes.

FIORINA:  The - the point is, women understood that comment.  And yes, it is offensive.

TAPPER:  Um, let's talk about something else he said.  Donald Trump had this to say specifically about you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  It takes a lot more than being glib.  But - but she's not going to win.  But, you know, she got fired and she ran for office and she lost in a landslide.  I - you know, I don't see that as being necessarily great credentials.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  That's him taking a whack at you.  Glib.  You lost in a landslide against Barbara Boxer and you got fired from Hewlett Packard. Let's just focus on the - on the Hewlett Packard part of it. He's not the first person to criticize you for your tenure at Hewlett Packard.  And the board of directors did ask for your resignation.

FIORINA:  Yes, absolutely.  Look, I led Hewlett Packard through a very tough time - the dot-com bust, post-9/11, the worst technology recession in 25 years.  And tough times, unfortunately, requires, sometimes, tough decisions. But despite those tough times, we took a company from $44 billion to almost $90 billion.  We quadrupled the revenue growth rate.  We quadrupled the cash flow.  We tripled innovation to 11 patents a day.  And we went from lagging behind in every product category and every market segment to leading.

Yes, I was fired.  I've been open about that since the day it happened.  I was fired in a boardroom brawl. And you know why? Because I challenged the status quo.  It is what leaders must do.  And when you challenge the status quo, when you lead, you make enemies.  It's a way so few people lead. But guess what? It is the kind of leadership we need now in the Oval Office, because the status quo of Washington, DC, which has been managed by Democrats and Republicans for way too long, isn't serving this nation any more. By the way, there are some other people who got fired because they challenged the status quo.  Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Mike Bloomberg.  I feel like I'm in pretty good company.//

TAPPER:  When you ran against Senator Barbara Boxer, uh, she went after you - it was 2010.  It was almost a preview of the way Democrats would attack Mitt Romney two years later. She went after you for outsourcing jobs and defending it.  Went out - after you for the 30,000 jobs that were lost as part of a merger with Compaq, although I know that jobs were gained later on. But the point being, how can you reassure Republicans that if you got the nomination, it wouldn't just be the exact same way Democrats took down Mitt Romney?

FIORINA:  Oh, I'm sure that Democrats are going to use every single one of those talking points. And you know what I think a lot of American voters think is wouldn't it be nice if, for once, we shrank the size of the federal government? Wouldn't it be great knowing, as we know, that you can sit in a federal government job and watch pornography all day long and earn the same pay, pension and benefits as somebody trying to do a good job? Most Americans would say, that person ought to get fired.  Most people are appalled that the Veterans Administration has failed to serve our veterans for decades.  Congress passes a bill saying the top 400 senior executives ought to get fired and not one of them has been fired, maybe one. The point is, leadership calls for tough decisions sometimes.  It's never easy…

TAPPER:  One other thing that you want to change is you want to repeal ObamaCare...

FIORINA:  That's right.

TAPPER:  I should point out that you are a survivor of breast cancer, and we're all very grateful for that. Didn't your experience show you that the pre-existing condition part of ObamaCare is crucial, that there are so many people out there like you, but without your means, who wouldn't be alive if it were not for the part of the law that says insurance companies have to take on people with pre-existing conditions?

FIORINA:  I absolutely endorse that goal.  I did at the time.  But guess what? None of that has worked.  Demonstrably, if you look at the results of ObamaCare, what you see is emergency room visits are up over 50 percent.  Health insurance premiums are up almost 40 percent now.  We're dumping more and more people into Medicaid.  Medicaid is a program that fewer and fewer doctors will accept patients from.  That isn't helping anyone with cancer, I can assure you. The problem is this...

TAPPER:  The expansion of the pool allows the insurance companies to pay for the people with pre-existing conditions.

FIORINA:  What is happening to the health insurance market right now, as we speak? And it's what I predicted. Who helped write ObamaCare? The health insurance companies and the drug companies. And guess what's happening? Those companies are consolidating.  That's called crony capitalism.  Let's have a big program.  Let's get bigger to deal with it.  And meanwhile, people are getting left on the sidelines.

TAPPER:  There's been a lot of talk this week about maternity leave, because Netflix is now offering paid maternity leave, a full year for new mothers.  You're opposed to any kind of mandated paid maternity leave. Why?

FIORINA:  Well, when I was the chief executive of Hewlett Packard, we also offered paid maternity leave and paternity leave.  The government - for the government to tell others how to do things when the government hasn't gotten its basic house in order is not only ineffective, it's hypocritical.

TAPPER:  What do you mean its basic house in order? The government shouldn't tell anybody that they have to offer paid maternity leave?

FIORINA:  I don't think it's the role of government to dictate to the private sector how to manage their businesses, especially when it's pretty clear that the private sector, like Netflix, like the example that you just gave, is doing the right thing because they know it helps them attract the right talent. What I mean by the federal government not having its house in order, the federal government is in a shambles right now.  It's inept.  The night - TSA failed 96 percent of the time.  That's ineptitude.  That's ineptitude.

TAPPER: but I don't understand what that necessarily means about why you oppose paid maternity leave.

FIORINA:  I'm not saying I oppose paid maternity leave.  What I'm saying is I oppose the federal government mandating paid maternity leave to every company out there.  //

TAPPER:  All right, Carly Fiorina, thank you so much. Appreciate your coming in.

FIORINA:  Thank you.

###END INTERVIEW###


Topics: CNN • Jake Tapper • State of the Union
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