- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said Wednesday she hasn’t made gender an issue in the 2016 presidential race and that she’s not in it to be a running mate on someone else’s ticket, dismissing such talk as “sexist.”

“I have never made gender an issue in this campaign. I’m not running because I’m a woman. I’m running because I can win this job and I’m qualified to do the job, and I’m going to keep running that way,” Ms. Fiorina said on radio host Laura Ingraham’s show. “And so I think I earned my place on this debate stage, I think I’ll earn the nomination and I’m qualified to do the job.”

Ms. Fiorina got a major boost Tuesday when CNN announced that the main, prime-time GOP debate on Sept. 16 would consist of the top 10 Republican presidential candidates in national polls recognized by CNN released from Aug. 7-Sept. 10 in addition to its original criteria of using polls from July 16-Sept. 10.

The move is thought to affect Ms. Fiorina, whose campaign lobbied aggressively for the rules to be changed and who has risen in polling in the wake of her performance at the Aug. 6 “undercard” GOP debate in Cleveland.

Ms. Fiorina said she earned the spot by virtue of her improved poll numbers. She also dismissed as “sexist” any talk that she’s in the 2016 race angling for the secondary slot on the GOP ticket.

“The people who keep saying I’m in this for vice president — that’s sexist, OK?” she said. “I am as qualified a candidate as anyone running. No one talks about the men being in it to be veep. I’m not in it to be veep. I’m in this to win this job and to do this job, and we’ll see how the debate plays out.”

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