Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Carly Fiorina will both be campaigning in Columbia, South Carolina, on Wednesday, and the Fiorina campaign is making sure reporters know its candidate will be answering questions. Fiorina will be available to speak to the press, says deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur Flores, shortly before speaking with Republican state legislators at the state capitol. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO will also travel to Spartanburg later in the day for another event.
"Our events tomorrow are all open to the press," said Flores in an email to reporters. "And by open press, we mean we'll actually take questions. That's right. We've answered hundreds of questions from reporters because we believe the American people will not and should not elect a president that can't answer for her record, won't explain her positions or for whom the truth is whatever she can get away with."
It will be Clinton's first visit as a candidate to South Carolina since losing that state's primary in 2008 to Barack Obama. The former secretary of state will be speaking to a Democratic women's group and as well as holding one of her "roundtable" discussions with a group of minority business owners, according to the State. Clinton will also visit with state lawmakers of her party at the capitol.
The Fiorina campaign maintains it did not coordinate its candidate's appearance in Columbia to conincide with Clinton's. "We've had this event on our calendar for some time. But we were pleasantly surprised to be able to draw the contrast in such close proximity," said Flores in an email to THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Flores also noted that the campaign's Google Calendar is visible to the public.
Fiorina, considered a longshot for the GOP nomination, has made Clinton a focus of her early campaign:
For the past several months Fiorina’s been performing nonstop. She wowed observers in January at the Iowa Freedom Summit, the first major event of the 2016 presidential cycle. While most possible candidates stuck to the biographical, Fiorina went after the big target: Hillary Clinton. She was a hit.
“Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds and thousands of miles around the globe, but unlike her, I’ve actually accomplished something,” Fiorina said, in what’s become a staple applause line. “You see, Mrs. Clinton, flying is not an accomplishment. It is an activity.”
Sometimes, Fiorina doesn’t even have to make the comparison herself. In New Hampshire, a male voter says he can’t wait to see Fiorina face off against Clinton, womano a womano, in a general election debate. “I just think that would be awesome,” Fiorina replies, and the crowd agrees.
“What Hillary Clinton desperately wants to talk about is that she gets to be the first woman president. What she desperately wants to talk about is there’s a war on women. What she desperately wants to talk about is playing the gender card,” Fiorina continues. “If I am standing next to her on a general election debate stage, she can’t talk about any of those things. You know what she’s going to have to talk about? Her track record.”
On Tuesday the Super PAC supporting Fiorina's candidacy, Carly for America, announced it was opening a South Carolina headquarters in Greenville. According to the PAC, it will be the first headquarters of such an organization supporting a Republican candidate for president in the Palmetto State the cycle. South Carolina will hold its primary election on February 20 next year. An early indicator of success in many presidential primary battles, every Republican since 1980 who has won South Carolina has gone on to win the GOP nomination—with the exception of Newt Gingrich in 2012.