June 10th, 2010
03:06 PM ET
5 years ago

California Candidates Quickly Move To Seize Momentum

(CNN) – In the same southern California hotel Carly Fiorina declared victory in the GOP Senate primary several hours earlier, she and the rest of the state Republican ticket gathered in hopes of seizing momentum in the key races for U.S. Senate and governor.

Both Fiorina and GOP gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman emphasized they were the outsiders running against Democratic veterans and said their business experience as former CEOs best equipped them to fix the state's massive economic problems: a $19 billion budget shortfall and a 12.6 percent unemployment rate.

"You know career politicians in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. have just woken up to their worst nightmare: two businesswomen from the real world who have created jobs, know how to get things done, know how to balance budgets and deliver the results," Whitman said to the cheering crowd. She was referring to herself, a former eBay CEO and Fiorina, who used to head Hewlett Packard.

Fiorina is running against Sen. Barbara Boxer, the three-term Democratic incumbent who has been considered vulnerable because of her poor showing in recent polls. Even before she captured the GOP nomination, Boxer started attacking Fiorina for her stewardship at HP, during which thousands of workers were laid off or whose jobs were outsourced overseas, and yesterday launched a website specifically looking at her troubled tenure while at the company.


Whitman and Fiorina, both of whom are running for office for the first time and who advised John McCain during the 2008 election, went on the attack against their Democratic opponents who are political veterans. They are hoping their outsider status will help propel their candidacies in a year of upheaval for those in office.

"I am ready to give Jerry Brown the hardest and toughest fight he has seen in his 40 years in politics," Whitman said.

"This election is about the future, not the past–not the tired old politics of a bunch of tired old career politicians," Fiorina told the audience.

For his part, Brown tried to put Whitman on the defensive by inviting her to a series of 10 town halls to discuss the economy, jobs and the state budget deficit.

"If I never see another political ad in my life, I'll be happy," Brown told a news conference in Los Angeles. "And I'll bet that most people feel the same way. The town halls will show the voters that we can act as adults and actually treat each other with respect."

Whitman responded that "there will be plenty of debates in the future. But in the present what I recommend to Jerry Brown, instead of playing political games, is to lay out his plan for California."

Brown also jabbed Whitman over the huge amount - more than $71 million - she poured of her personal fortune into the primary race, asking why she doesn't spend of some of that money to help the state. She has said she would be willing to spend up to $150 million to win the governor's seat.

Whitman had her own jab back at Brown: "Now speaking of money, people ask me all the time, 'Can elections be bought?' The answer is elections cannot be bought, but candidates can and Jerry Brown is bought and paid for by the union bosses," she told the GOP gathering.

– CNN's Tim Hart and Tom Larson contributed to this story


Filed under: 2010 • California • Carly Fiorina • Meg Whitman
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. GaryB

    Carly Fiorina created jobs? Well, maybe in India. And I suppose she probably used her golden parachute after she was fired from HP to hire an interior designer or two.

    I love the fact that Whitman and Fiorina are touting their status as "outsiders" as if that's a magic cure-all . People seem to forget that Arnold was an outsider too.

    June 10, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. PalmReader

    "You know career politicians in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. have just woken up to their worst nightmare: two businesswomen from the real world who have created jobs, know how to get things done, know how to balance budgets and deliver the results," Whitman said to the cheering crowd. She was referring to herself, a former eBay CEO and Fiorina, who used to head Hewlett Packard.
    ____________________________________________

    Ah, Meg. No mention of the number of jobs out-sourced to various locations OUTSIDE of the United States during Fiorina's tenure at HP? If in doubt, google HP CEO Carly Fiorina. Google E-Bay CEO Meg Whitman, as well. Quite telling, actually.

    Typical GOPer ego. However, I am as equally sure hundreds of thousands of Californians would beg to differ on how, you, Meg - and Carly as well - created jobs, got things done, balanced budgets, AND delivered results.

    It is THESE voters who will be speaking loud and clear come November. Against both of you, I am sure.

    June 10, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. GL

    Neither one of the women have any clue about being poor and how to work with people that is not rich. They are both going to lose in Nov. Florina got fired from her CEO job so why should be believe she will go a better job running government. We all know how the Republicans are with Fiscal Responsbiity. Let these two Sara Palin sisters keep running their mouth and make stupid comments like Sara Palin continue to do.

    June 10, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Naqib

    "a $19 billion budget shortfall and a 12.6 percent unemployment rate."

    Don't forget the largest debt in any States history
    Dems and their unions have controlled California for decades...
    and they want to run the fed the same way...

    Bye Bye Boxer... I mean Ma'am!

    June 10, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. GL

    Whitman and Fiorina, both of whom are running for office for the first time and who advised John McCain during the 2008 election, went on the attack against their Democratic opponents who are political veterans. They are hoping their outsider status will help propel their candidacies in a year of upheaval for those in office.
    --------------------------------------

    You two were advising John McCain and look where it got him – NOTHING! You two are losers just like Sara Palin and John McCain. This two women are too stupid to realize running as Corp. CEO's is going to be their Waterloo. After the bank bail and now the oil mess, most Americans by Nov. is going to HATE CORP AMERICAN!

    June 10, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Dana White for Nevada Senate

    If Boxer is a 3 term incumbant, is her record really so weak that she needs to run a negative campaign. Why doesn't she campaign on her accomplishments and experience. It only furthers the point that incumbants suck when their record is so poor that they need to be negative.

    June 10, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. valwayne

    CA has a clear choice. The same old arrogant left wing Elites with the massive corrupt spending and taxes (Brown/Boxer), or smart competent talented problem solvers who will start digging the state out. If CA goes with the spenders and taxers in Nov that will tell people who work for a living to flee!!!

    June 10, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Rich in PA

    How is Meg Whitman running against a Democratic veteran? Arnold Schwarzenegger is the current governor and he is a Republican. I don't see that reported in the article. By the way, weren't both these ladies terrible CEOs of the companies they ran.

    June 10, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. Allen in Hartwell GA

    "When Fiorina became CEO in July, 1999, HP's stock price was $52 per share, and when she left 5 1/2 years later in February, 2005, it was $21 per share—a loss of over 60% of the stock's value."

    Fiorina was fired by HP. Who will fire her if she wins the election?

    June 10, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. ehwilson429

    answer for California is bankruptcy or cede it to Mexico.

    June 10, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. Mike in MN

    I think Whitman needs to check her facts about Fiorina creating jobs.

    June 10, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Two women from the real world who created jobs????

    Carly scuttled 30,000 HP workers and outsourced jobs overseas... I repeat: 30,000!

    But beyond that little fact, exactly HOW do these CEOs plan to "balance budgets and get things done" ?

    Typical GOP BS: they yap about this stuff but never put forth any actual ideas or plans. Exactly how?

    Tell us again about the 30,000 employees, Carly.....

    June 10, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Obozo's Record Deficit + Higher Taxes

    Anybody but that evil wench Boxer, and the woodstock leftover Brown.

    Both BOXER and BROWN are anti-business, want to raise taxes and fees even more...................

    June 10, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Let's see:

    "created jobs"

    Didn't Fiorina lay off something like 30,000 HP workers?

    "know how to get things done"

    That's right, you pay a private investigator to bug your Board of Directors and sell your products to intermediaries so they can still be snuck into Iran.

    "now how to balance budgets and deliver the results"

    Well, if almost bankrupting HP was the balanced result intended, then kudos!

    "The answer is elections cannot be bought, but candidates can and Jerry Brown is bought and paid for by the union bosses"

    Well, I'll give her one thing. She's got the formula correct: Complete lie followed by robotic talking point that reaffirms their preconceived ideologue world view = votes.

    June 10, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. DIANA

    Fiorina should update her hair too. Boxers hair my be so yesterday, but Fiorina as a whole is so last year. She also needs to promise not to go on Hannity like she commented on Whitman going so soon.

    Whitman reminds me of the line from Legally Blonde, "did she just wake up one morning and decide she wants to run for governor?" For somebody who hasn't even voted in her lifetime.......

    Anybody backed by Palin isn't getting my vote.

    June 10, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Chuck Anaheim, Ca.

    Fiorina is a corporate tool, I am sure that there will be not let up on letting people know how many jobs this traitor sent to india and china during her outsourcing spree at HP. Thank God the republicants were not wise enough to elect the person that have might have knocked off Senator Boxer.

    June 10, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. Enough

    Boxer needs to go...plain and simple. California cannot afford another term with Brown as governor. We are bankrupt and their only solutions are to tax and spend some more. Anyone would be better than Boxer or Brown. We can't be taxed anymore, we just don't have more to give to their entitlement programs and Union strong holds over this state. I would much rather have someone with business experience than a career politican. Businesses leave California if they have a choice......it is too expensive to business here.

    June 10, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. InlandEmperor

    Ask the HP group what they think of Fiorina's leadership. She single handedly took a national business treasure and turned it upside down. It's no coincidence that HP has rebounded once she was given her walking papers...and a ridiculous amount of money to leave and never come back.

    June 10, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Independent

    whitman and fiorina will not win in California. Who would vote for someone that outsourced jobs and someone that spent 71 million of their own money to get elected disgusting!!! BROWN/BOXER all the way !!!!!!!!

    June 10, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Meg Whitman sure knows how to make friends among the millions of hard-working union workers in California: "..Jerry Brown is bought and paid for by the union bosses"

    Radical Republican politics at its best. Just blame the workers and unions for everything. Only elitist billionaires have the answers right Meg?

    June 10, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Nadeem

    "Two business women who have vreated job" – yea jobs in India!

    June 10, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Carly's campaign motto, "Hair today, gone tomorrow." It has to be hard to have to defend your own remarks in the open mic, by blaming mainstream media.

    June 10, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. Robert in Texas

    It is hard to believe that California would give up their influence in Congress and elect another robot of the minority Party of No who will have almost no influence in public policy. Her concern is only Big Business and the very wealthy.

    June 10, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    Boxer started attacking Fiorina for her stewardship at HP...
    _____________________________________________________
    As if she knows anything about running a newspaper route let alone a company like Hewlett-Packard. As it turns out Carly Fiorina set up HP with some very fortuitous strategic visions. I bet Barbara Boxer has no understanding about that.

    I guess that is easier than creating a website discussing the issues. But this is Barbara Boxer's brand of politics. No thank you.

    June 10, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. phoenix86

    Let's see, Boxer the leftist idiot or Fiorina the former CEO?
    Moonbeam Brown or Whitman the former CEO?

    If California re-elects Boxer or elects Brown, the state should be removed from the US.

    June 10, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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