On the heels of her campaign announcement, Carly Fiorina told the audience at TechCrunch Disrupt on Tuesday that she is the right person for the role of President of the United States. Fiorina defended her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and spoke of her desire to reform Washington.
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“Our government is one big giant bureaucracy,” Fiorina reiterated to the crowd of technology professionals. The candidate said that her experience at a large corporation like HP helped her “understand bureaucracies.”
“We don’t have any idea about how our government spends money,” Fiorina exclaimed. She spoke of a vision for government where pay is based on “merit and contribution,” rather than seniority.
Fiorina said that unlike career politicians, her experience running a large corporation gave her the real-world experience necessary to shake up the government. “We’ve gotten this idea that only the professional political class will run for office,” Fiorina griped. “I understand how the world works.”
Fiorina, the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 company, took the helm at HP in 1999, just before the dot-com bubble burst, and was ultimately pushed out in 2005. “When you disrupt the status quo you make enemies,” Fiorina said of her departure.
She defended her record at HP, which has come under fire for layoffs and a controversial merger with Compaq. We “managed it through the depths of the worst technology recession in 25 years,” said Fiorina. And “despite those tough times we doubled the company” and “went from lagging behind in every market category to leading,” Fiorina said of her tenure. “We created a lot of jobs in this country and around the world.”
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Fiorina opposed the recent net neutrality regulation voted for by the FCC, a move that would regulate the Internet like a utility, using Title II. Fiorina said she would like to “roll back the 400 pages of regulation,” calling it “ridiculous.”
When asked about women in the workforce, Fiorina said that “women are half the nation and they represent half the potential of the nation.”
While the United States has yet to have a female president, Fiorina is not the only woman in the race. “It’s a great thing that there are women on both sides of the aisle that are running for the highest office in the land,” said Fiorina, but she emphasized that she is “running to beat Hillary Clinton.”
Fiorina, who lost a 2010 senatorial race in California, remains optimistic that her presidential campaign will prevail. “I’m running because I think I can win this job and I think I can do this job.”