- - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

That Carly Fiorina had two stellar debate performances is not up for argument. Neither is the fact that after her last debate performance the pro-life movement owes her a thank you, because her eloquence forced the lamestream media to actually cover the macabre Planned Parenthood videos they’d prefer to ignore.

But what also isn’t up for argument is that she has now signed up for the vetting equivalent of that Texas kid who made the – ahem – “suitcase clock.”

He insists he’s just a science geek trying to promptly make his way in the world. She insists she’s a conservative.

In both cases, we should verify before trusting.

Now in Ms. Fiorina’s case, let me preface that by saying how badly I want to give her the benefit of the doubt based on the fact she is one of the most effective messengers I’ve seen the Republican Party produce in eons. Like her aforementioned and much-deserved bashing of the child dismemberment death cult. What she did was heartfelt and powerful, and I thank her for sounding the alarm on the murderers in our midst.

In my world such conviction certainly opens the door, but it’s not enough to close the sale. Full disclosure: I am endorsing Sen. Ted Cruz for president.

See, the candidate who is polling second-place this week in meaningless media polls has a track record that doesn’t require a deep dive in order to unearth some troublesome nuggets.

Sure, the same exact thing can be said about Donald Trump. But she’s not Mr.  Trump. She’s not a reality star who eats “jump the shark” brand cereal for breakfast, and has pulled off campy stage appearances with the likes of Liberace and professional wrestling’s Vince McMahon.

She doesn’t deport rude amnesty pimps masquerading as pseudo-journalists from press conferences when they disrobe the camouflage. And she doesn’t own other grown men running for president like Mr. Trump owns Rand Paul and Jeb Bush. She just rents out Hillary Clinton’s mortally wounded carcass from time to time.

Ms. Fiorina can’t pull off what the Donald can, and isn’t trying to. She wants to be taken seriously on substance, therefore she has a more standard level of explaining to do.

Of course, if she were a woman treasured by the Left, Ms. Fiorina wouldn’t have to answer at all for being not just the first female to lead a Fortune 50 company, but the first female to partially run one into the ground as well. No, she would get to claim eternal victimization and shake her fist at the great patriarchy lurking around every corner.

However, if she wants to win an election where the conservative base would rather burn the place down than remain chained to the status quo for one more millisecond, then it’s time to be weighed and measured.

For example, Hewlett Packard merged with Compaq under her watch, which in turn caused Hewlett Packard’s stock price to merge with the Titanic – otherwise known as dropping by more than $35 a share. Oh, and then there’s the part about tens of thousands of her workers being let go. If this is starting to sound a bit like an Obamacare-esque nightmare to you, that’s not Barbara Boxer whispering in your ear.

Her CEO record is one of the main reasons Ms. Boxer beat Ms. Fiorina resoundingly in their 2010 U.S. Senate campaign. Ms. Boxer did to Ms. Fiorina what the Left did to Mitt Romney four years ago, when he received — get this — “47%” of the vote. Ms. Fiorina’s last campaign also included her mocking Ms. Boxer for her hairdo when she was unaware the camera was rolling prior to an interview, and enthusiastically supporting Common Core.

Ms. Fiorina also favored raising the debt limit rather than limiting the size and scope of government back in 2011. She was actually disappointed by how that mean, old Ted Cruz and the conservative base was picking on John Boehner with the Obamacare-related shutdown talk in 2013. Oh, and she was a cheerleader for the Gang of Eight amnesty scam as well. Then there’s the fact Ms. Fiorina was one of the first candidates in this field to surrender on the marriage issue, and she also sided against Kim Davis and thus against religious liberty.

Here in Iowa her caucus campaign is being run by former House Speaker Chris Rants, a defrocked establishment proxy who is utterly loathed by the conservative grass-roots. When he still mattered in Iowa politics, Mr. Rants always opposed us, just as I see no evidence of Ms. Fiorina ever lifting a finger to do anything on behalf of the grass-roots the past few years.

I mean, really, outside of her debate performances I’m trying to figure out what exactly this resume offers those of us on the front lines of the battle to preserve American Exceptionalism.

Again, I wish this were as simple as trusting Ms. Fiorina on her pro-life debate proclamation and hoping the rest turns out for the best. But when so many of the country’s foundational principles are rotting away before our very eyes, we don’t have the luxury of such fanciful thinking. Not to mention every time we have tried this with “campaign conservatives” we’ve always gotten burned.

The quality of Ms. Fiorina’s communication skills, her depth of knowledge on a multitude of issues, her demonstrated ability to come across as both tough and fun, and the fact she is a woman in the race who isn’t named Hillary are all tremendous assets. Nonetheless they shouldn’t blind us to an otherwise obvious truth:

Ms. Fiorina has a long way to go to be confused with the Founding Fathers, but it’s a pretty short trip to put her in the company of Mitt Romney and John McCain.

(Steve Deace is a nationally syndicated talk show host and also the author of the new book “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can “like” him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.)

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