June 13th, 2010
06:24 PM ET
4 years ago

Fiorina expresses regret for hot mic comment

'I regret this whole situation. I gave people the opportunity to talk about something petty and superficial,' Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina said Sunday.
'I regret this whole situation. I gave people the opportunity to talk about something petty and superficial,' Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina said Sunday.

(CNN) – Republican Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina expressed regret Sunday for a recent, unguarded comment about her rival's hair style that was caught on a live microphone as she prepped for a television interview last week.

"God, what is that hair?" Fiorina said of Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California. "So yesterday."

Related: Open mic catches Fiorina dig at Boxer

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Fiorina tried to move past the embarrassing moment.

"Well, I was quoting a friend of mine," Fiorina said, according to a transcript. "But look, I regret this whole situation. I gave people the opportunity to talk about something petty and superficial. And this is a very serious election year about serious issues."

But Fiorina did not directly respond Sunday when asked whether she'd called Boxer to apologize.

"You know, what I think I owe the voters is a commitment to stay focused on facts, on issues and on the things that really matter, and I will keep that commitment to the voters," the California Republican said.

On the issues, Fiorina said that her race against Boxer is about the economy, the need for job creation, and the proper and reach of the federal government.

"We're not just going through tough economic times in California. We are destroying jobs. And we're destroying them because of a government that is too big, taxes that are too high, regulations that are too thick. So this election is about jobs, but it's also about out-of-control government.

"And the reason I am running for the Senate is because so much of the Senate's work impacts every family and every business in California."

In a separate appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Fiorina sought to play up her outsider credentials during a midterm election year that some political observers see as an anti-incumbent, anti-Washington election year.

"I've never been in politics before. I've never run for office. But I think our founding fathers intended this to be a citizen government. It's what of, by and for the people means."

Fiorina added, "If I am fortunate enough to win this seat in November, it will be because the people of California send me to Washington, not the Republican Party. I am my own person, and I will continue to be my own person."

Two recent nonpartisan polls conducted before Fiorina secured the GOP nomination both suggested that Boxer is leading Fiorina by single digits in a general election matchup.

Both polls also indicated that Fiorina is within striking distance of the Democratic incumbent, with roughly 13 percent of those surveyed in each poll saying they had not decided who they would support in November.


Filed under: 2010 • Barbara Boxer • California • Carly Fiorina • Popular Posts
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. artie

    Well if that female on female comment is unallowable what have we become? Stupid or what? Maybe all comments on democrats are politcally verbotin!

    June 13, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  2. 2waystreet

    Am I the only one that thinks this was funny? A former chemo patient who is still growing back her hair criticized someone else's hair? That to me means there is a LOT of truth to her statement.

    June 13, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. John in Brooklyn

    Fiorina's "outsider" status is tainted by her lack of business competence and, more concerning, her business ethics (she hired spies to report on the activities of her own board of directors! – which led to her forced resignation at HP). Her gaffe about Senator Boxer's hair is simply a glimpse of her lack of professionalism or, in fact, decent manners.

    The GOP is not well-served by this self-financed would-be candidate. Clearly the California GOP was mesmerized by her wealth and failed to adequately vet her.

    June 13, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  4. Augsbee

    Oh please, women are always critical of each other's hair, make-up, dress, jewelry, etc...

    June 13, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  5. Mark Ferbet, KCMO

    Wow... when the public's response to childish and Jr. High like behavior, the party in question apologizes. Funny, I seriously doubt she is sincere. Carly is incapable of running a corporation, let alone a campaign. I am pretty positive that Ms. Boxer will continue to be the Senator from California, whilst Fiorina hopefully disappears into the footnote of American History that MIGHT mention her attempt to run for office.

    June 13, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Yes, we were quoting a friend.

    Who will she be "quoting" when she explains where stands on the issues?

    And, "I am my own person." One that quotes her "friends" instead of expressing her own thoughts, right?!

    June 13, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. jack

    it is nonsense to make a big deal about this. what is a big deal is the disrespect boxer showed for our military when she upbraided one of our generals appearing before a committe on which she sat for addressing her as "ma'am" and saying to him that he should address her instead as "senator".

    June 13, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. Gina

    Quoting a friend? Really, we are supposed to believe that? When was the last time a non pro-choice candidate won in California? Like Meg, you will fail, thankfully.

    June 13, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. A Not So Stupid American

    We don't know a whole lot about this lady but from her own mouth we can conclude that she's clearly a petty person. Not exactly what I want my Senator to be know for.

    Something else we know, what we know is that she was fired for poor performance as the CEO of Hewlett Packard. This was her 1st and only top executive job in business and she failed. In her other jobs, she wasn't much of a decision maker ... marketing was her background, I believe.

    One thing I'm sure of is that HP lost thousands upon thousands of JOBS under Carly Fiorina's leadership. She outsourced them overseas so her commitment to the American worker is non-existent.

    June 13, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  10. TamarS

    We are most who we are in those unguarded moments. She showed her true colors that day. She will equivocate about issues and attack her opponent instead of telling us what she's going to do about anything. She believes she can buy her way into government just as Bloomberg did in New York and Whitman intends to do.

    June 13, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. anthony

    She apologized to Hannity because she needs the tea partiers. But what she said cannot be unsaid. What she said is true. After winning the primary, it did not make sense for Whitman to appear on Hannity's show. Whitman needs the voters in the middle, not the tea partiers, if she wants to win the general election.

    June 13, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. cleveland brown

    " I gave people the opportunity to talk about something petty and superficial". maybe you are petty and superficial. and come november, your political career will be so "yesterday". nice hair lezbo

    June 13, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. DAVE

    you regret that you gave people the opportunity to be reminded that you dragged HP down a bigger hole than Bush/Cheney dragged the country and reminmded voters that they would be stupid to give you reins to a public office

    June 13, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. Jim

    Did Fiorina apologize to Boxer? I'm guessing not.

    June 13, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  15. In the West

    Fired from HP, no political experience. This woman has no hope of coming close to Boxer's service.

    June 13, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. Ed

    Carly is so mean. She should be more sensitive about "hair" comments since she was bald from chemotherapy. She was unsuccessful as HP's CEO and was also unsuccessful in John McCain's campaign.

    June 13, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. Pam Myers

    I decided to leave a comment. How tacky. I thought Carly had a little more class than that. She need to think what she will do for California. Like maybe outsource more JOBS. I hope Carly is reading this. Because I am little disappointed of her....

    June 13, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  18. Richie

    I destroyed Hewlett-Packard, I can destroy America, too!

    June 13, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. melanie

    We all recognize the 'mean girl' from high school. It's nice that her honesty reveals her true character, a nasty egomaniac. This anti-environment corporatist, famous for outsourcing American jobs is wrong for California. Plutocrats controlling government is just 'so yesterday.'
    Her comment, 'I am my own person' is quickly negated with her claims that she 'was quoting a friend of mine' and her inability to apologize for her remarks speaks to her willingness to assume responsibility for her behavior. Time to toss the teabag and grab a cup of coffee.

    June 13, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. BurkeMtn

    "I gave people the opportunity to talk about something petty and superficial" ... no, it's you who are petty and superficial.

    June 13, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Randy, San Francisco

    This non-issue only diverts attention from her tenure as CEO at HP: thousands were laid off and the millions of dollars she received as a golden parachute when she left.

    June 13, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. Beth60

    Speaking of hair, Fiorina's hairstyle is too short for her big head. And no, I'm not being facetious – her head is big – and the hairstyle is way too short for it.

    June 13, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. juge

    Well, Garfield, you certainly looked and sounded like a catty fool. MEOW

    June 13, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Roger

    carly IS stupid and superficial...what a joke

    June 13, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. ib

    The comment should have been what is that woman not hair. How anyone could vote for Boxer is beyond me; you would have to be so far left you can't see 2 foot in front of yourself. The way this woman puts down our military is unreal. I hope she looses. It would be great to see her Pelosi both go.

    June 13, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
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