September 24th, 2010
07:28 PM ET
12 years ago

Fiorina: Boxer 'dressing down' military officer was 'outrageous'

(CNN) - California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina expounded on the message of her new television ad on Friday, saying her Democratic opponent's insistence that she be addressed as "senator" by a high-ranking military officer during a hearing last year was "outrageous."

"Nothing symbolizes stale, entrenched incumbency more than a senator dressing down a general for using the wrong title," Fiorina said on John King USA. "People are tired of politicians who think that the point is their job, when the point is everyone else's job."

Watch the interview here.

The incident at hand took place during a June 2009 Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing. While responding to a question, Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh addressed Sen. Barbara Boxer as "ma'am," which prompted her to interrupt.

"Do me a favor? Could you say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am'? It's just a thing. I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it," Boxer said.

Fiorina told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that Boxer's assertion is "symptomatic of what people are tired of in Washington and symptomatic of what people are tired of in Barbara Boxer."

A Field Poll released Friday has Boxer six points ahead of Fiorina among registered voters, 47-41 percent. A CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released two weeks ago showed Boxer with a 48-44 point lead over the former Hewlett-Packard CEO.

Filed under: 2010 • California • Carly Fiorina • JKUSA • John King USA
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Cindy

    This is dumb. Fiorina's petty ad is what people are most tired of.

    September 24, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. Gpenn

    She absolutely deserves to be called Senator. I don't know a General who doesn't want to be refered to as General.

    September 24, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  3. Kenneth

    If Boxer knew anything about Military courtesy that is how we are told to address women not in uniform. Sir when in uniform.

    September 24, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Perkins Gey 2

    Yep Fire-orina is so concerned about jobs she shipped them to China whie at HP

    September 24, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. Kris L

    The only thing Senator Boxer is guilty of is not recognizing that to the military, "ma'am" is a title of respect given based on rank or position.. She did nothing wrong asking to be called Senator, though her reasoning may have been iffy.

    September 24, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. Steve (the real one)

    Agreed 100% BUT that is old news! Please move on!

    September 24, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. PacificView

    Give me a break Carly, is that the best you've got on Boxer? Seems more symptomatic of you grasping at straws. Women are senators too, not "ma'ams"!

    September 24, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Outrageous? The only thing outrageous is dumb Carly trying to make a situation out of nothing. If the military jerk was acting in a professional capacity then he should have called her Senator. DUH. What would Carly want to be called? Hey You? Old Babe?

    September 24, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. Cheryle

    Fiorina is totally wrong. Lets not forget who works for who. Sir and ma'am are forced terms of respect in the military..........commander or general are voluntary. She was correct in asking for the proper respect. The general would have been the first one to dress someone down for not giving him the respect he has earned.

    September 24, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  10. Former Republican - Now Independent

    So was illegally tapping the phone of the HP Board. No I'm sorry, that was CRIMINAL Ms. Fiorina.

    September 24, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. Dave

    Like, OMG, oh no you didn't, you best step back girl..... please, enough with this petty crap. Next.

    September 24, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. Jennifer

    It was absurd and rude of Boxer to make such a big deal out of it, honestly. In the Army, you refer to *anyone* of a higher rank than you by sir or ma'am. You don't say, "General, so & so has been done." You say, "Sir, so & so has been done." To rip into the General was unacceptable. He was giving her the respect her rank deserves (although it's clear her attitude doesn't deserve any respect at all).

    September 24, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  13. toughlove

    Democrat or Republican, this WAS stupid and petty.

    September 24, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. Pat

    That comment sealed the deal for me on Boxer. How dare she say she has worked harder than a Brig Gen. And as a member of Congress she doesn't know that military addresses a female as ma'am??? He should have called her what she really elitist that is far removed from the serfs she is supposed to represent. He will have no reason to address her in any way when she's gone. Buh bye Boxer!

    September 24, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  15. Why are Rush and his Mafia in hiding all the time?

    The only one outragous is you Carly and all the lies you tell,hahaha

    September 24, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. keeth in california

    Fiorina has nothing else to run on, so why not nit-pick Boxer's request to call her by her right and honorable title?

    September 24, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. Monster Zero

    If Californians quit smoking the grass and started mowing it they might realize what a tool Boxer is...Al Gore in drag so to speak. You wonder when did we all of the sudden need the Federal Government to be involved in athletic investigations of steroid use, or what kind of lite bulb we can use, or what kind of appliance we can buy? Take a look around and see how regulated you are on your own property, from HOA's to local codes to State regulatory rules. You can't fart anymore without breaking a law or an ordinance, if you realize what has transpired over the last twenty years then you understand what the Tea Party truly means, it has nothing to do with race or right wing extremism, it has to do with reigning in an out of control government that has forgotten its place and left us all hung out to dry!

    September 24, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. jim

    I remember the first time i saw this on T.V. and i said to myself what a pompous senator Barbara Boxer is. The military instructs from the day you enter service the proper way to addresss officals and this officer was following proper procedure and was not being disrespectful to her.But being the person that she is she wanted to make a big scene and draw attention to herself and this was shameful behavior on her part.Please voters bring her down to earth and remove her from office.

    September 24, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  19. malabar

    Boxer is stale. give her the boot Cali! or not, either way u shud enjoy ur financial mess over there for a good long while so watever

    September 24, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  20. Sick of Tea

    I agree that Boxer should have let the “ma’am” issue slide, but Fiorina must be getting desperate to play this card. It’s a non-issue. Fiorina is trying to target Boxer as an out-of-touch elitist, when she’s absolutely no different herself. At least Boxer is a voice for the disenfranchised and works to level the playing field for all. Fiorina is so far removed that she would never lower herself to even try.

    September 24, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. Dan J

    Boxer's sense of entitlement and nasty attitude disgust me.

    September 24, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. True Conservative Masking As A True Conservative

    Boxer apologized to gen. Walsh and they are good friends.
    Fiorina outsourced jobs, screwed up HP and got a golden parachute.

    Seriously, what bothers you more?

    September 24, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  23. RobRoy

    I really feel that the Fourth reich is in deep trouble because of its leaders and sekf centered inrests rather than the intrest of the United States of America and its citizens. They have raised themselves higher than the average American which is what we all are when you get down to it. These people were elected by the Average American to act on thier behalf, instead they have created the Fourth Reich which if continues on its current path, will not survive it will implode on itself. A major upheavle is needed to wake these Politicians up and begin to help America and its people instead of thierselves and thier out of control EGO'S

    September 24, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  24. Robert Moses

    Ok - all the HP employees who this shrew dressed down for every petty thing please start coming forward now. ALso, please start running some ads concerning her use of spies on her own employees at HP and replay the stories about why she was uncerimoniously dumped as CEO after nearly destroying one of Ameria's flagship tech companies. HP was never the same after her disasterous tenure.

    September 24, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  25. Gareth

    Senator Boxer is right: she earned the title, she should be called Senator (or madam Senator); same thing with members of the military, they earned the title, they should be referred to by their title. It's that simple.

    September 24, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
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