Carly Fiorina told Fox News’s Chris Wallace that her fundraising had spiked since her standout debate performance. She also told John Dickerson of CBS’s Face the Nation that Thursday’s debate helped increase her name ID, noting that just “40% of Republican primary voters” had heard of her prior to Thursday’s debate.
During her interview with Chris Wallace, Ms. Fiorina didn’t hesitate in criticizing President Obama’s economic policies before attacking crony capitalism. Particularly striking was Ms. Fiorina’s statement that President Obama’s policies are “crushing” small businesses, adding that Congress should take “a 70,000 page tax code and make it three pages,” because “only the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well connected can deal with” big government. Ms. Fiorina said that complex regulations and a 70,000 page tax code drives “crony capitalism.”
Ms. Fiorina is the first presidential candidate to speak enthusiastically and consistently about a pro-growth economic agenda, insisting that she’d get small businesses up and growing again by reducing the power, the scope and complexity of government.
Prior to Thursday’s “Happy Hour Debate”, Ms. Fiorina’s opponents for the GOP presidential nomination complimented her politely while quietly hoping that her message wouldn’t reach primetime. The thing that most pundits are highlighting when talking about Ms. Fiorina is her grasp of complex issues, her policy fluency and her leadership qualities.
If Ms. Fiorina’s message gets out to the nonpolitical public, she might go from the “Kiddie Table Debate” last week to being a top tier candidate very quickly. Naturally, Donald Trump had to take a sexist cheap shot at Ms. Fiorina saying through Twitter that “I just realized that if you listen to Carly Fiorina for more than ten minutes straight, you develop a massive headache. She has zero chance!”
Eventually, Mr. Trump’s stock will drop because he’s a non-stop insult machine. That will wear thin when compared with Ms. Fiorina’s or Sen. Rubio’s substantive policy statements. Donald Trump isn’t worried, at least in public, but he should be.
He’s admitted that he’s bought politicians, which doesn’t sound like a limited government conservative. It sounds like an experienced crony capitalist who’s bought special favors. Ms. Fiorina also attacked Hillary Clinton:
“I would point out to Hillary Clinton is that every single one of the policies that she’s currently pursuing make income inequality worse,” Fiorina said. … I spent 12 years in the state of California, a state that’s been ruled by liberals for a long time. And guess what you have: about 130 billionaires — good for them — the highest poverty rates in the nation, the exodus of middle class and destruction of industry after industry after industry. Income inequality is worse under progressive policies because progressive policies favor the wealthy, the well-connected, the big and the powerful.”
At this point, Ms. Fiorina has enunciated a series of solutions. Mr. Trump has come up with a campaign slogan while criticizing his GOP presidential opponent. Ms. Fiorina sounds like a conservative leader. Mr. Trump sounds like a thin-skinned politician.