October 26, 2021

Fiorina stands out in Republican ‘happy hour’ debate

Fiorina stands out in Republican 'happy hour' debate

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina stood out Thursday in the first GOP primary debate, taking shots at Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton while showing off her foreign policy acumen.

Fiorina, the only woman among the 17 Republican candidates taking part in Thursday’s two debates, stood out during the GOP undercard for candidates polling outside the Republican top 10.

Minutes into the debate, she took a shot at GOP frontrunner Donald Trump for his connections to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

“I didn’t get a phone call from Bill Clinton before I jumped in the race. Did any of you get a phone call from Bill Clinton? I didn’t,” Fiorina said.

“Maybe it’s because I haven’t given money to the foundation or donated to his wife’s Senate campaign,” she added.

She was referring to reports that Trump, the GOP frontrunner who will be on stage during the prime-time GOP debate, spoke with Bill Clinton ahead of his campaign launch.

Fiorina, who has often been discussed as a possible vice presidential candidate for her party, closed her performance by taking a shot at Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for that party’s presidential nomination.

Fiorina outlined an ambitious agenda for her first days in office if she became president. She would call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Iranian supreme leader to express displeasure with the agreement. Then on the second day, she’d convene a summit at Camp David with Arab allies.

Fiorina criticized Clinton for dodging questions on topics, including the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead.

“We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches,” Fiorina said.

.@CarlyFiorina is top searched in more states than any other #GOPdebate early candidates https://t.co/eyhWX1kJKF pic.twitter.com/45WzRpDNnn

— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) August 6, 2015

Google reported that Fiorina was the most searched candidate during the early debate, and she also received the most Twitter chatter.

Pundits also gave her good reviews, with Washington Post columnist George Will saying she “stood out with precision and fluency” and Fox News host Chris Wallace also praising her.

Fox News pundit Charles Krauthhammer said she won the debate “going away.”

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry also maintained a steady performance throughout the debate, using his time on stage to tout his state’s economic performance and calling for the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama to be torn up.

It was a much stronger performance for Perry than four years ago, when his first presidential campaign quickly came crashing down after he was heard saying “oops” after forgetting that he wanted to abolish the Department of Education in response ot a debate question.

But Perry also seemed to boost Fiorina, by at one point suggesting she should have negotiated the Iran deal on behalf of the U.S. instead of Secretary of State John Kerry.

“I would whole lot rather have Carly Fiorina over there doing our negotiation than John Kerry. Maybe we would have gotten a deal where we didn’t give everything away,” Perry said.