- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina focused on economics during a campaign stop in South Carolina, telling several hundred voters in this early voting state she would hold federal agencies accountable for every dime they request in their budgets.

“We have to know where every dollar is being spent,” the businesswoman told a crowd at a packed barbecue restaurant in Lexington on Wednesday, saying all agencies would be tasked with defending their budgets annually.

During a question-and-answer session with several hundred voters, Fiorina said the federal government should play no role in the minimum wage debate and that people need to be made less reliant on entitlement programs.

“Work brings dignity to people’s lives,” Fiorina said. “We wrap people’s lives up in webs of dependence.”

Fiorina is spending the week in South Carolina on the heels of her latest GOP debate performance and rise in recent polls. On Monday, she participated in a national security forum in Charleston before discussing legal issues with Attorney General Alan Wilson in Myrtle Beach. On Thursday, she was scheduled to make several stops in the northwestern part of the state before going to campaign in Iowa for the weekend.

After her stop in Lexington, she visited South Carolina’s Republican Party headquarters to officially file her paperwork for the state’s first-in-the-South primary, the eleventh candidate to do so thus far.

Asked by reporters if Donald Trump’s recent challenges to her had boosted her poll position, Fiorina said only reporters, not voters, had asked her about the GOP front-runner.

“I think Donald Trump is apparently very entertaining to a lot of people,” Fiorina said.

Trump was also in South Carolina on Wednesday, speaking to black business owners in North Charleston before a town hall meeting in Columbia with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.


Kinnard can be reached at https://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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