The 2015 GOP presidential field is expected to get crowded pretty soon, but there are already seven candidates officially in the race — Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, and former Senate candidate and Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. And despite being a long shot, Fiorina is getting assertive early, with her campaign releasing online content casting Fiorina opposite Hillary Clinton. It isn't the first instance when she's taken a shot at the former Secretary of State, though: Here are three times Carly Fiorina reminded us she's not Hillary Clinton, because it's clearly something of a strategy.
Fiorina was in South Carolina on Wednesday, the very same state that Clinton was in. In fact, it was even a bit more awkward than that — both women were at the very same hotel, and as detailed by Politico, Fiorina took the opportunity to hold an anti-Clinton presser outside, prior to the former Secretary of State's campaign event. Paired with the launch of her "Ready to Beat Hillary" website, this proximity led to some natural questions — was Fiorina specifically following Clinton to generate some attention? She denied this to reporters, insisting her stop in South Carolina had been planned weeks ago.
So, how much does Fiorina want to stand out — while perhaps standing alongside — from Hillary Clinton? Here are three times she wanted to highlight the distinction.
Downplaying The Significance Of "Titles"
In a TV appearance with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday, Fiorina attempted to downplay what would surely be a mismatch between her and Clinton, and what might be one of her biggest weaknesses as a candidate — her lack of any political experience at any level. She also tacitly denied that she felt enabled to attack Clinton by virtue of her gender.
You know, it's interesting. I come from a word where titles are just titles and talk is just talk. You know, it's only in politics where titles and words mean a lot. In the rest of the world, it's actually about what have you done, actions speak louder than words, people want to know are your words and actions consistent and are they consistent over time? ... are you trustworthy, are you transparent, will you answer questions?
The "questions" part is a distinct jab at Clinton that conservatives have been raising lately — thus far into her campaign, Clinton's been a little stingy with taking questions from the press.
Attacks Over Women's Rights
By and large, Clinton is known as a staunch proponent of women's rights worldwide. It's one of the earliest things she became known for as a First Lady, in fact, after her famed address at the Beijing Women's Conference in 1995.
But Fiorina nonetheless has seen the women's rights angle as one to attack, like during her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February. As Politico detailed at the time, Fiorina blasted Clinton as not knowing "what leadership means."
She tweets about women’s rights in this country and takes money from governments that deny women the most basic human rights. She tweets about equal pay for women but won’t answer basic questions about her own offices’ pay standards — and neither will our president. Hillary likes hashtags. But she doesn’t know what leadership means.
Saying Clinton "Lacks Accomplishment"
When Fiorina appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe in April, she went forward with a criticism that you might not have expected, by virtue of her own lack of political experience. As detailed by Huffington Post, Fiorina accused Clinton of a lack of accomplishments while at the State Department.
I think her time in the position of secretary of state is demonstrably one that lacks accomplishment, but that also has some real blemishes on it.
For what it's worth, it's not as though Fiorina's attempts to castigate and contrast herself against Clinton all go completely scorched-earth. Subsequent to her barb, she conceded that Clinton was a "highly intelligent, hardworking woman," and someone that many women consider an inspirational figure.
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