[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/13/art.carlycu0613.gi.jpg caption="'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."
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.