August 18th, 2009
07:38 PM ET
5 years ago

Fiorina takes initial step to challenge Boxer

Fiorina is considering a run for the Senate .
Fiorina is considering a run for the Senate .

(CNN) - Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is taking the initial steps to challenge California Democrat Barbara Boxer for her Senate seat, a move that could lay the groundwork for one of the most high profile and expensive contests of 2010.

Fiorina, the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company and a former surrogate for John McCain's presidential bid, filed a tax identification number and registered a campaign committee with the IRS Tuesday called "Carly for California."

"The people of California have serious concerns about job creation, economic growth and the role of government in solving problems that touch each of ourlives," Fiorina said in a statement. "I have received a great deal of encouragement to make a run for the Senate in 2010 from people across the political spectrum because these are all issues that need focused attention in Washington, D.C."

Under the new committee, Fiorina will begin to aggressively raise money as well as speak with policy experts and campaign advisors, spokeswoman Beth Miller told CNN.

Boxer's campaign coffers are already loaded: the three-term senator's latest filing with the Federal Elections Commission shows she raised well over $2 million during the first half of the year and has close to $5.5 million cash on hand.

Though Fiorina does not have a set timetable to formally announce a Senate bid, Miller said the former Hewlett-Packard CEO's window to make a decision is only a couple of months given a GOP primary is set for next June.

A former economic adviser and visible presence on cable news, Fiorina was largely sidelined from public appearances from the McCain campaign after telling an interviewer she didn't think either member of the GOP presidential ticket was qualified to run a major company.

Democrats wasted little time in attacking Fiorina's latest move.

“This is a person who was fired from Hewlett Packard for running the company into the ground, fired from the McCain Presidential Campaign for incompetence, and now thinks the people of California are going to hire her," said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Eric Schultz.

Should she ultimately jump into the Senate race, Fiorina would be the second high-profile former CEO running for statewide office in California. Former e-Bay CEO Meg Whitman announced last month she was exploring a run for California governor.


Filed under: Barbara Boxer • Carly Fiorina • Extra
soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. Chad in Cincinnati

    Qualifications for Office:
    Ate Compaq and ran HP into the ditch... check.
    Advised McCain that there really wasn't a problem with the economy last summer... check
    Pompous stooge/insider (pick one) for Corporate America at a time when they're largely responsible for the mess we're in... check

    Wants to do the same in the US Senate? Hey, sign me up!

    August 18, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Concerned in North Carolina

    I am a native Californian, having moved to the East Coast 3 1/2 years ago. I am fully aware of the magnificent job Barbara Boxer has done for California, unlike our last two governors. To think that a discredited former CEO would be able to fill Ms. Boxer's shoes is completely insane....yet another Republican idea frought with empty headedness.

    August 18, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Jacob

    She would be so much better than that fool Boxer. I cringe ever time I hear that woman. Boxer is either insulting someone or making some moronic statement but what do you expect from California. They used to be a strong state that led in education and other segments but with high taxes and unaffordable housing quality workers are leaving.

    August 18, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Margaret

    FINALLY, someone of real substance to send Boxer home to do her knitting.

    The Senate WILL be "a much better, and more productive place with her out of it".

    It is time to send all career politicians HOME.

    August 18, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. Chase

    So the woman who was kicked off of McCain's campaign for a political gaffe wants more public scrutiny?

    August 18, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. Andy

    Interesting comments. If Fiornia is a "failed CEO" it is because she didn't send enough jobs to India/China. Too many of you are too out of touch with the current business environment. Can you say "protectionist"? Sure, I knew that you could. Our founding fathers wanted our elected representatives to be dragged kicking and screaming to the seat of government. Our "best and brightest" who would do their duty and then exit as quickly as possible to get back to their real jobs. Like her or hate her, this is exactly what they had in mind. Its about time. If you don't think she can do the job you will have to opportunity to tell her so on election day. In the mean time, you go girl. By the way, I'm writing this from my HP laptop. It's a really, really nice machine.

    August 18, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. Jim of Raleigh

    Almost anyone would be an improvement on Boxer. In fact neither one of the present Senators from CA are people who should be return to the Congress. While Carly has issues she certainly can't do a worse job than Boxer.

    August 18, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. safari

    Carly Firiona is a qualified person to run for office. She should beat Boxer "hands down". Excuse me. She will beat "Senator Boxer", hands down. I remember Boxer telling some General at a hearing, she deserves to be called Senator. Not mam. What a joke!

    August 18, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Andrew

    It is absolutely refreshing to hear of Carly's candidacy. Senator Boxer and the policies she pursues have produced a massive, crippling debt and long term unemployment. It is high time for a change.

    August 18, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Margaret

    Not crazy about either CAL Senator, but of the two, Feinstein does a much better job of representing the views of all Californians and she does it more tactfully and politely.

    We need more solid business experience in Congress. Ms. Fiorina has all the right credentials.

    Time for change.

    August 18, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Jim in San Jose 2

    So, let's get this straight. She drives HP into the ground, illegally wiretaps and email taps her employees, gets bought out so she can't harm the company any more, and now she's gonna be a Senator? Who's gonna buy her out then? When she helps drive the country even further down?

    August 18, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. RSB

    Girl fight!!!

    August 18, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. Welcome to Rome

    I just saw another photo of Fiorina when I googled,"Corporate Fascist".

    August 18, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. California Needs Reform!!

    Let the games begin! Does anyone know who might be running against Pelosi? I'd like to practice some "socialism and send campain contributions to Carly and whoever else can get these two dim wits out of office.

    August 18, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. Disappointed Democrat

    Those who criticize Fiorina's employment as a "greedy" CEO and take issue with her qualifications to represent California, ask what Barbara Boxer did before getting into politics: she was a stockbroker (but I guess not a "greedy" one). Oh, and she wrote for the local Marin County paper. How qualified was she to represent CA? Given her voting record and support of the current Socialists who have hijacked my party, I'd say "not very."

    I'm one Democrat who will NOT be voting for anyone (from any party) who votes in line with big government control and less personal freedom. This is the United States of AMERICA. Land of the FREE. So may it always be.

    August 18, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  16. Zivo24

    I worked for a company that was under contract to provide a specific service to HP while Fiorina was CEO.

    Not only did we see thousands of HP employees lose their jobs or have to take pay cuts during Fiorina's tenure, our own company suffered a substantial negative financial impact (staff reductions, pay cuts, etc) because of Fiorina's over-projection of profits, over reaching on projects, and failure to deliver on all.

    I don't live in California, but from my own experience of having been affected by Carly Fiorina's leadership in the past – I strongly recommend you tell her "NO THANKS".

    August 18, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. reeba

    At least she would not have much more to ruin..... CA is already there !! She failed at Compaq/HP – - prior to that it was AT&T and Lucent – - all "going down the tubes" by the time she left. Also shows grace and diplomacy with her statement the regarding the GOP nominees not being qualified to run a business !! Like she is qualified to run anything but her mouth.! ! !

    August 18, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  18. Fed Up

    OK, so Fiorina ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground (in others' opinions), and Boxer has helped run this country into the ground (in my opinion). Sounds like they start out on an equal footing.

    August 18, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Rob

    Seeing what Pelosi and Boxer have done/are doing to California (as well as the rest of the US), Fiorina can only do better.

    August 18, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. Gary

    We need some fresh ideas in this Congress. I think that Carly would make a great Senator. Honestly however the California politician who really needs to be replaced is Nancy Pelosi. She is extreme and pushes extreme policies and laws. Someone needs to run against Nancy Pelosi.

    August 18, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. Guy in India

    Yay...We'll have more jobs in my country! I love Fiona...she employs us at the detriment of her own company and now she'll do it to an entire state, one of the top ten economie in the WORLD. India is going to LOVE this. I hope California doesn't catch on of how she has laid off every employee she ever met. Now she can do it to every constituent that votes for her!

    August 18, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. billp

    Who cares about their politics. Fiorina is much easier on the eyes than Boxer, so she'll have my vote.

    August 18, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Gee....only the GOP would think that the answer to a state (California)that is bankrupt and is on the verge of collapse...is a former CEO who led her company (HP) the the verge of bankruptcy and collapse. Fortunately, the HP Board of Directors had the wisdom and foresight to fire her before she did any more damage – I certainly hope the people of California have the same level of wisdom and foresight.

    August 18, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. Post always rejected by CNN

    So we know what party still has the money. I guess they all think they can BUY their way into office. Why do you think they want the health bill to fail...jeezes then they could still pull in that lobbyist and campaign money from the drug and health industries.

    They egos reach the moon. Let's bust their balloons and inflate them a little bit. And by the way she got fired from her job what makes her think she would be qualified for office.,,,oh oh oh I forgot she's a republican and boy they think they're it .....

    August 18, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  25. Kat

    California is a willing welfare state. They have continually vote for hand outs!!!!

    August 18, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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