Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker received most of the plaudits from attendees, media and political pundits coming out of last weekend’s Iowa Freedom Summit. However, Carly Fiorina is also receiving high praise for her stem-winder.
“She moved me,” said former U.S. Senate candidate and conservative favorite Sam Clovis. “I had never heard her and so maybe that was why I was just blown away, because it was a perfect delivery of a perfect topic in a perfect venue for her at a perfect time. Of all the speakers, I think she hit all the notes exactly right. I thought she was really powerful.”
Sam Clovis was a Rick Santorum supporter in 2012, becoming one of the first prominent in-state Republicans to endorse the eventual Iowa Caucus winner. Clovis has not decided on a candidate yet for 2016.
Another prominent 2012 Santorum backer heaped praise on Fiorina.
“The surprise of the day was Carly Fiorina,” said Johnson County activist Karen Fesler. “I had met her at dinner on Friday night, but her speech on Saturday was thoughtful. She is definitely one to watch in this race.”
Fiorina is the first woman to become CEO of a Fortune 50 company. She worked her way up from secretary to the top spot at Hewlett Packard. Fiorina is now the chairperson of the American Conservative Union. Her only previous campaign foray was an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in 2010.
The most prominent aspect of Fiorina’s speech on Saturday was her verbal decimation of likely Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at the 18-minute mark.
“Like Hillary Clinton, I too have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe. But unlike her, I have actually accomplished something. You see, Mrs. Clinton, flying is not an accomplishment, it’s an activity,” Fiorina said to thunderous applause.
Fiorina did not stop there. The verbal smackdown of Hillary Clinton continue as Fiorina played up her foreign policy bonafides:
“I have met Vladimir Putin and know that it will take more to halt his ambitions than a gimmicky red ‘Reset’ button. Having done business in over 80 countries and having served as the Chairman of the External Advisory Board at the CIA for several eyars, I know that China and Russia are state-sponsors of cyberwarfare and have a strategy to steal our intellectual property.
I know Bibi Netanyahu and know that when he warns us that Iran is a danger to this nation as well as to his own, that we must listen. And unlike Hillary Clinton I know what difference it makes that our American Ambassador and three other brave Americans were killed in a deliberate terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9-11 in Libya. And apparently unlike Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, I know that the response of our nation must be more forceful that the arrest of a single individual a year later.”
Fiorina also talked at length about the life issue and shows she will be a valuable asset in rejecting the so-called War on Women meme the Democrats will surely try to thrust on Republicans in 2016.
“She hit every note,” Sam Clovis added.
Myrna Beeber, a longtime Republican activist from Guthrie County, concurs.
“I was most impressed with Carly Fiorina and wonder if this was a campaign opener. That would be refreshing,” said Guthrie County activist Myrna Beeber.
None of those quoted in this story indicated they are backing Fiorina for president at this point. To earn their support, she still has a lot of work to do. However, Fiorina’s performance Saturday gives her the opportunity to make an impact in the 2016 presidential primary.
“She is a person that should be considered to be on the ticket, whether it’s at the top or not. And I really think we have several really good choices to consider and to vet as we go forward. I really do. Man, we’ve got a good bench,” Sam Clovis said.
You can view Fiorina’s entire speech below:
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