Carly Fiorina says she disagrees with her Republican rival for president Donald Trump on the issue of Planned Parenthood. Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday that "we have to look at the positive also for Planned Parenthood" and said abortions were just a "small part" of what the organization provides. The GOP frontrunner had also suggested keeping most taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, despite earlier saying the group should be defunded.
In an interview with THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Fiorina knocked Trump's position. "I profoundly disagree with that statement by Donald Trump," said the former Hewlett-Packard CEO. "They need to be defunded. There are many organizations that provide the kind of services that he mentioned. Planned Parenthood must be defunded."
Fiorina, coming off a widely praised performance in last week's "undercard" presidential debate, spoke with TWS about a wide range of policy and political issues. While she had struggled to move up in the polls amid a crowded field of better known candidates, several polls following the Cleveland debate show her moving up nationally as well as in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Nevertheless, another political outsider and businessman, Trump, remains the leading Republican candidate. How does Fiorina pitch herself to fans of the Donald?
"People are angry. They’re frustrated. They’re sick of the talk and no action," she said. "And so what I would say to a supporter of Donald Trump is you’re right to be angry and frustrated, and I agree with you that the politicians have gotten us into this mess and most of them can’t get us out of this mess. And I have a track record of producing results, of challenging the status quo."
What about Jeb Bush, whom Fiorina has surpassed in one recent poll of Iowa Republicans and appears to be gaining on in New Hampshire? Why should Bush supporters consider her?
Fiorina listed off several qualifiactions for the next president, including someone who understands the economy, the world, and technology, as well as someone with "a track record of leadership and problem-solving and challenging the status quo."
"Finally we need someone who can win the job. And I think to win the job is going to take a nominee who will throw every punch and who will contrast in vivid terms the difference between what the Democrats say they want to do and what I will do," Fiorina said. Does that mean Jeb Bush is not someone willing to "throw every punch?" Fiorina declined to directly answer.
"I think voters will have to decide that, won’t they? That’s up to voters," she said. "My point is, I think that when we accept Democrat talking points, we set ourselves back."
That was a reference to Bush's recent comment about cutting funding for "women's health" in the midst of the scandal over Planned Parenthood. Several conservatives pointed out that the comment played into the Democratic view that Planned Parenthood's chief contribution is to women's health, and Fiorina herself had called it "foolish."
Fiorina also criticized Ohio governor John Kasich, for expanding Medicaid in his state under provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
"I don’t think it was the right call," she said. "We have fewer and fewer doctors accepting Medicaid. So how are we helping people? How are we helping people by throwing them into a program that is supported by fewer and fewer doctors and whose future is not secure? We’re not helping them." Fiorina said she believes states should run their own high-risk insurance pools as part of a replacement for Obamacare.
"The closer you put decision-making to the people who are impacted by that decision-making, the more accountable the decision-making is. And that’s why as a general rule, I would push as much responsibility to the states as possible," she said.