The following is a transcript of Carly Fiorina’s speech at CPAC 2015. While she had some excellent remarks about Hillary Clinton, she makes a monumentally important point about the need NOT to accept what government has become. One of her examples is the treatment of Veterans. To accomplish this, it means that our next president MUST clean house–thoroughly. Clean out the departments, and start over. One of GW’s biggest mistakes was not issuing volumes of pink slips at the State Department. Will we ever learn that the words “career public servants,” means special interests, and sloth, in most cases. Let’s get entrepreneurial people, willing to bring for a few years, clear visions of what is right, and what is wrong for the nation, not just a select few in the nation, and the skills to get it done. The success of conservatism depends on cleaning out the viper’s nest.
Begin transcript, Carly Fiorina speaking:
When I was a little girl, my mother, and Sunday School, gave me a plaque that read “what you are God’s gift to you, what you make of yourself, is your gift to God”. Years later, I would be fortunate enough to enroll at Stanford University, where I would earn a degree in Medieval History and Philosophy–all dressed up, and nowhere to go. That degree has come in handy recently, since our president keeps talking about the Crusades. Yes, Mr. President, ISIS, indeed, wants to drive the whole world back the Middle Ages, but the rest of us moved on about 800 years ago, and while you seek moral equivalence, the world waits for moral clarity and American leadership.
With that degree in Medieval History and Philosophy, I was unemployable, so I went to Law School. I hated it. I quit after a single semester and had to go back to work full-time doing what I had done part-time to help put myself through school. I typed, I filed, I answered the phone for a little nine-person real estate firm. I would eventually become the chief executive of the world’s largest technology company–HP [Hewlett-Packard], and with the great people of that great company, we would double the size the of the company from 45 billion to 90 billion. We would triple it’s innovation to eleven patents a day, and go from a laggard to a leader in every product category and every market segment in which we competed.
I know that it is only in this country, that a young woman can go from secretary to CEO, and that is because our Founders knew what my mother taught me, everyone has God-given gifts–everyone has potential, often far more than they realize. I have learned this over, and over, in my life, from my fellow workers in business, to the slums in New Delhi, India. I have seen it in Norfolk, Virginia as I distributed diapers to young mothers who had the courage to bring young mothers into the world. Every life has potential.
Our Founders believed that this must be a country where everyone has the right to fulfill their potential. This is what they meant when they said, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” And so we became the greatest nation in the world, and throughout all human history, because here, more things were more possible, for more people. from more places. Here people could fulfill their potential.
When I was typing in that little company, and indeed, throughout my career, I needed someone to take a chance on me. When I battled cancer, I needed helping hands. When my husband, Frank, and I lost our youngest daughter, Laurie, to the demons of addiction, we relied on the strength of our family, the solace of our faith, but we were also lifted up by the prayers and kindness of so many strangers who became blessings in our lives. Everyone needs a helping hand, but no one wants to be trapped in the web of dependence that has been woven over decades in our nation. To fill their potential, people need an education: tools, training, support, and they need a job.
The President of the Chicago Teacher’s Union once said this:
“We cannot be held responsible for the performance of the children in our classrooms because too many of them come from poor and broken families.”
Liberals may be prepared to dismiss, and disregard, Americans because of their circumstances. Liberals may be prepared to consign some to lives of dependence, while others, who think they are smarter, and they are better, will take care of them–but we as conservatives, are not. We know that no one of us is any better than any other of us. We know that each one of us has God-given gifts and can live a life of dignity and purpose and meaning.
Work is a central part of such a life, and so we must rebuild Main Street. Elizabeth Warren is right. Crony Capitalism is, indeed, alive and well. Government and government programs have grown so big, so powerful, so costly and so complex, that only the big and powerful can prosper. But Elizabeth Warren is dead-wrong about how to end Crony Capitalism, because you see, whether it is Dodd-Frank, or ObamaCare, or Net Neutrality, all this government complexity means is, the big get bigger, the small disappear, and the powerless are trapped.
We are now destroying more businesses than we are creating for the first time in U.S. history. Most Americans get their start they way I did, in a small business: the dry cleaners, the tacorias, the coffee shops, the hair dressers, and the real estate firms of American Main Street create most of our new jobs and employ half our people, so if we want more jobs, we need more businesses.
And we need more leaders, not managers. Managers are people who do the best they can within existing constraints and conditions. Managers are people who tinker around the edges of a problem. We need leaders who do not accept what is broken, simply because it has always been that way.
Why should we expect that Veterans have to spend many months filling out paperwork when they return from the battlefield, and many more months waiting for a bureaucrat to approve them before they get the services they’ve earned? Why should we accept that?
We must unlock the potential of every American. We must fundamentally reform government, and we must restore American leadership in the world.
I know Bibi Netanyahu, and as I sat in his office five years ago, he spoke then of the dangers posed by Iran. He travels here next week, not to offend our president but to warn the American people that our president’s insistence on a deal with Iran, at any cost, is a danger to the world.
I know King Abdullah of Jordan, and I applauded King Abdullah when his response to the beheading of a Jordanian pilot was to immediately execute two convicted terrorists, and begin bombing. He came to this country seeking our support, and he still has not received it; neither have the Kurds nor the Ukrainians. When Egyptians bombed targets in Libya in response to the beheadings of 21 Christians, this administration stood silently by, and neither condemned, nor condoned, Egypt’s forceful response. This is not leadership.
Nor is it leadership when Secretary Clinton asked “what difference does it make” when our Embassy is deliberately attacked by terrorists, and four Americans are murdered. It makes all the difference in the world, Mrs. Clinton, and the required response has never come.
Like Mrs. Clinton, I too have traveled the globe. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.
I have met Vladimir Putin, and I know his ambition will not be detoured by a gimmicky red, reset button.
Mrs. Clinton, please name an accomplishment, and in the mean time, please accept and explain why we should accept, that the millions, and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments, do not represent a conflict of interest.
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 will not answer basic questions about her own office’s [inaudible]. Hillary might know hashtags, but she doesn’t know what leadership means.
So ladies and gentlemen, now is the time to declare, without apology, and without equivocation, that this is the greatest nation the world has ever known. We are a force for good in the world. Now is the time to reaffirm that every American, regardless of their circumstances, has the right, and the opportunity to fulfill their potential. We must rise together to meet our challenges. Now is the time for citizenship and leadership. Let us declare the end of identity politics that seeks to divide rather than to unite. Let us declare the end of lowered expectations. Let us refuse to accept what has been broken about our politics and our government for so long. Let us, together, restore the promise of this, our beloved, our beautiful, our blessed United States of America. End transcript
In a question and answer session, beginning at about 13 mins-in:
1) She is asked about Obama’s plan to offer community college free. She said she believes he is trying to distract us from the fact that so many of our high schools are failing, and says every parent should have the choice to educate their children to fulfill their potential.
2) Tax code? Our tax code has grown so complex–tens of thousands of pages, so while we should lower rates so that we do not have the highest business tax rate in the world, in an era where we have to compete for every job, what we really have to do is radically simplify the tax code. Regular people and small business can’t deal with the complexities anymore–all those loopholes, all those write-offs, they benefit the powerful and the connected, and the wealthy and the large.
3) Job creation, increasing more quality jobs? We have to recognize that while we talk a lot about rebuilding America, we also have to retrain America. We can’t give up on workers who at 45 or 50, 04 55 or 60, lose their job through no fault of their own. We need to retrain them so that they are qualified for 21st Century jobs. I’ve seen manufacturing facilities with help wanted signs up, with unemployment that is too high. A shocking statistic: we are not destroying more business than we are creating. Destroying jobs for the middle class.
4) How important is it to have a female candidate in the race for the White House for the next two years, going into 2016, and do you have any suggestions on who that should be? I think our party needs to be as diverse as the nation we hope to represent. Women are now 53 percent of voters. As I like to tell some of my Democratic friends who like to talk about the War on Women, we are not a special interest group. We are the majority. If Hillary Clinton had to face me on a debate stage, at the very least, she would have a hitch in her swing.