Carly Fiorina was only announced as Ted Cruz's VP pick this past Wednesday, but she's already been given a warm welcome by the internet through its friendly neighborhood trolls. Fiorina's VP nomination was gilded with a brand-new domain, CarlyFiorinaForVicePresident.com, which redirects to a donation page for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. I guess Fiorina hadn't caught on to the golden rule for political candidates: Make sure you claim all your domain names, or else you'll go the way of Jeb Bush, who fell victim to JebBush.com redirecting to Donald Trump's website.
The redirect is a clever mix of trolling and activism, and at the time of publication, it is not yet known who is behind it. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO has a murky record (to put it as kindly as possible) on reproductive rights. Specifically, Fiorina has spoken out against Planned Parenthood on a number of occasions. At a Fox News GOP debate in January, she said, "In a President Fiorina budget, there will not be one dime for Planned Parenthood." Her campaign claimed that Planned Parenthood practices "butchering babies and selling their organs." Last year, she even cited a doctored video to push her point, saying it showed "a fully-formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says, 'We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.'”
However, the bad feelings are mutual. Before Cruz officially announced that Fiorina would be his running mate in the increasingly unlikely situation he'll need one, Planned Parenthood criticized a Cruz-Fiorina ticket. In a statement to ThinkProgress, Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said:
A Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina ticket give women in this country nightmares ... Together, they form the most loathsome pair in America.
This is the third time Fiorina has fallen victim to poor domain name management, which makes it even more awkward for her. (And really flaunts her savvy business acumen.) Last year, a Fiorina critic bought CarlyFiorina.org and filled its landing page with 30,000 frown emoticons to represent the 30,000 employees who were laid off when she served as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak had a similar idea as the not-yet-known troller behind CarlyFiorinaForVicePresident.com. He bought CruzFiorina.com to redirect it to a donation page for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, though he's admitted he would sell the domain to the Cruz-Fiorina campaign.
Fiorina has proven to be an easy target for internet trolling. Social media users mocked her lullaby for Cruz's daughters. Others are having a blast making anagrams out of the words "Cruz Fiorina," including "Lucifer ran; try Zodiac." (Chills.) Memes have been around for months swapping Fiorina with Carly Rae Jepsen, her celebrity sister-in-name.
It's only been about 24 hours since the Cruz-Fiorina ticket announcement, and Fiorina will have to face plenty of pundits in the days to come. But Fiorina already has her work cut out for her by internet denizens — some of the most ruthless critics out there.