Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is running for president in 2016, she announced Monday.
She said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she’s the best person for the job “because I understand how the economy actually works, I understand the world, who’s in it, how the world works, I understand bureaucracies, and that’s what our federal government has become — a giant bloated, unaccountable, corrupt bureaucracy.”
“I understand technology, which is a tool — both to reimagine government and to re-engage citizens in the process of government, and I understand executive decision-making, which is making a tough call in a tough time with high stakes for which you’re prepared to be held accountable,” she said. “I don’t think you read about that — you learn it by doing it.”
Ms. Fiorina mounted an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in California in 2010 and acknowledged that past presidents have more experience in politics than she does.
She said the nation was intended to be a citizen government and that people across the country don’t believe there is a need for a “professional political class.”
“This is a pivotal point for our nation, and so I think it’s totally reasonable to look outside the political class that’s been in Washington for a really long time,” she said.
Ms. Fiorina has been one of the leading critics of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic frontrunner, over Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email system while in office and over foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation that have presented problems for Mrs. Clinton in the early stages of her second run for the White House.
Ms. Fiorina described Mrs. Clinton as someone who is “highly intelligent” and “hard working” and said she’s dedicated her life to public service.
But she said on a conference call later Monday morning with reporters that Mrs. Clinton personifies the “professional political class.”
At the beginning of a video posted to her website, Ms. Fiorina is actually seen watching part of Mrs. Clinton’s announcement video, but she also told reporters she would be running no matter who the Democratic nominee is.
Ms. Fiorina also acknowledged on the call that she wouldn’t raise the most money of any candidate in the field, but said she would raise sufficient funds and that she wasn’t particularly concerned about current polling that shows her near the back of the GOP pack.
She said the first phone call she would make as president would be to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bid to shore up the U.S.-Israel relationship, and the second call would be to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to inform him of a hard-line approach on sanctions (she acknowledged Mr. Khamenei was unlikely to pick up the call).
The third call, she said, would be an olive branch to Democrats to indicate a willingness to work together.
On immigration, she talked about border security and fixing the legal immigration system, saying that the millions of illegal immigrants in the country might be able to eventually earn legal status but that she doesn’t think they have a right to earn U.S. citizenship.
She said nobody gave her a chance in her 2010 race against Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, but that her campaign demonstrated a conservative can reach out to Democrats and independents.
On same-sex marriage, she said she has always supported civil unions and that the government cannot bestow benefits in a discriminatory way, but that the “political class” has used the issue, along with abortion, to divide the country.
Like Mrs. Clinton has, Ms. Fiorina also called for police nationwide to wear body cameras in the wake of incidents like the recent death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in Baltimore, as well as a serious look at criminal justice reform.
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson have also announced they are running for president on the Republican side, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee expected to jump into the race on Tuesday.
Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont Independent, have announced they are running on the Democratic side.