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Boxer-Fiorina debate: Boxer blasts Fiorina on HP (video)

Republican challenger Carly Fiorina took aim at the nation's troubled economy during her first debate with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. The recession and California's unemployment rate loomed large in the debate.

There were multiple scuffles over Fiorina's time as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. The Republican candidate argued that attacking her tenure was attacking the company itself, "a treasure of California."

Fiorina tried to avoid questions on abortion and Proposition 23, "a measure that would roll back climate change legislation in California until the state's unemployment rate stays at or below 5.5 percent for a year." She did come out in support of the DREAM act, which would help undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents go to college.

By 44 Editor  |  September 2, 2010; 9:32 AM ET
Categories:  Capitol Briefing  
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Comments

Since when is a FAILED corporate executive deserving of a seat in the U.S.Senate? The people of California are surely not so stupid to support a demonstrated failure such as the right-wing Fiorina.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | September 9, 2010 5:45 AM | Report abuse

""If the Property tax rollback laws in California were repealed, the state would go back to being solvent in two budget cycles." Maybe so, but the damage to ordinary homeowners would be enormous. Posted by: anon99"

Not likely. Either the vastly overvalued houses would be appraised at their vastly over valued amount, and taxed at some piddling millage, or correctly appraised at a more normal amount and taxed at an appropriate millage. Either way, with property taxes available to base a budget on, cities could try to meet their own needs instead of going to the legislature hat in hand. Remove the demands of cities and counties from the State budget and it might actually be possible for the state to get its budget under control.

Prop 13 didn't actually tax Californians out of their homes, as was claimed, but, rather, made a tax base available for cities to work with. But since Californians were in an absolutely insane push to value their homes far above ANYONE's actual ability to buy them, some massive tax liabilities did show up where tarpaper shacks ended up being valued at $100k and up. Prop 13 prevented common sense from attacking California housing prices for almost a generation. Eventually the crash of 2008 got a modicum of sense into housing values, but California is STILL unaffordable for most Californians. Make taxes go back to being related to property values and Californians would demand their appraisals be adjusted downward.
California's budget woes are a result of California's having to find ways around Jarvis and his Republican friends.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 2, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Boxer isn't to blame for the mess this country is in. Republican policies put us where we are. Changing politicians just to see if they can do better is crazy. They're all just people. There is nothing magic about any of them. They all turn out to be disappointing in some way after being elected. Fiorina won't be any better in govt than she was in business. Boxer has at least learned the job and does care.

Posted by: bgormley1 | September 2, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

"If the Property tax rollback laws in California were repealed, the state would go back to being solvent in two budget cycles."

Maybe so, but the damage to ordinary homeowners would be enormous.

Blaming Jarvis and Prop. 13 for California's fiscal woes is just, well, stupid. Prop. 13 passed THIRTY-FIVE years ago, guys. If the political establishment is still busted up over its passing, they need to get over it and move on.

There are lots of reasons for California's fiscal mess, but failure to adapt to Prop. 13 isn't one of them.

Posted by: anon99 | September 2, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a very high opinion of Boxer. However, a vote for Carly is a vote for Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority leader. So, it's a no-brainer, Boxer is less bad.

P. S.: DiFi, hop on a plane soon, your voice is needed to prevent disaster.

P. P. S.: I'm also no fan of "Nutmeg". It will be interesting to see whether voters continue to see Carly and Meg as a "two-fer". Assuming yes, in my view, Meg is hurt by being dragged down by Carly.

Posted by: jtmontclair | September 2, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

"California's a financial disaster, due to bad legislation, bad management, too much liberal influence, fraud, Incompetence, Posted by ohioan"

California is a financial disaster because Republican Conservatives, led by Howard Jarvis, bankrupted local governments with their various Tax roll back initiatives.

As Jarvis was stripping California cities and counties of their tax base, the California Legislature was trying to make up some of the difference by using state funds to keep libraries and community colleges open. The result is that the REALLY wealthy have immensely over priced houses, on which they pay ridiculously under valued taxes. And the houses cannot be reappraised under any conditions until they get sold. So the very wealthy get the civic services they demand, and don't begin to pay for them.

If the Property tax rollback laws in California were repealed, the state would go back to being solvent in two budget cycles.

Ohio, with its mini version of Jarvis' stupid property tax limitations would be at least as financially better off if WE repealed our version of Jarvis anti tax laws.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 2, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Ohioan: You can't even begin to describe just what Fiorina DID to HP, can you?

HP was an amazingly competent technology company known for its particularly high quality test gear, things like preecision oscillators and O'scopes and network analyzers. Because it was convenient to that product line to develop all kinds of computers, from particularly massive mainframes to the business equivalent of PCs to Pcs, as well as all the really important peripherals, (Like 14 inch real data recorders, back up tape drives, the works.)to the most sophisticated calculators ever built.

Fiorina walked in to the top job at HP and ruined the company.

When she got done, the REAL HP was sold off as Agilent, (still a real neat company) and the HP computer line was teetering on collapse.

Finally the Board of Directors realized what a Bozo she was and fired her. Being Bozos themselves they paid her 21 million to go away and leave them alone so she couldn't do any more damage.

She says her business credentials are what we should look at.

Well, with HER credentials she isn't qualified to work the drive through window at Jack in the Box.

All, by the way, a matter of record well known in California.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 2, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Boxer is a loser, and she will lose in November. She kept talking about all the jobs she is creating. If that is true, why has California's unemployment rate gone up? Plus, let's be real, Boxer is totally anti-military. Her comment about not being called maam (despite her attempt to explain it away) was just a vocal show of the contempt she has. Plus, no one will work with Boxer because they think she is a see you next tuesday.

Posted by: columbiaheights | September 2, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey "ohioan" outsouring American jobs is wrong and Fiona nearly destroyed HP. We all know what evil she was and so did the company. SHE WAS FIRED! Next time you worry there is no revenue to pay the debt for services like clean water, air, streets, etc. it's becuse the taxes are not there, because jobs are not! We the tax-payers bailed out Wallstreet and they are giving themselves record bonuses. Get a clue.

Posted by: crrobin | September 2, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I live in California, and I was employed by an HP reseller before, during, and after Carli was CEO. She nearly trashed the company, which was pretty good before her, and much better after she left.

If that is the record she is running on, I'll pass. California needs to be represented, not sold out or downsized.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | September 2, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse


Fiorina is the "lesser of the two evils."

She is a RINO, not a true conservative, but she's still a lot better than Boxer who rubber-stamped Obama's disastrous programs.

For that, Boxer should be defeated.

It will take a few years to weed out all those in both parties who put their own agenda & party, before the best interests of ALL US citizens and our country.

America is waking up. Finally!

Posted by: janet8 | September 2, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I watched the debate and thought there was a clear winner. There was no comparison between Boxer and the fired HP exec.

Jobs, jobs, jobs. That's what California needs. That's what the country needs. Florina outsourced 30,000 jobs and drove HP into the ground - the stock LOST 50% of its value under her rule. And all she got was FIRED and $20 million dollars SEVERANCE.

Now Florina is trying to buy this election with her millions. IF Billionaires continue to BUY elections, before long only Billionaires will be in the House and the Senate and then where will we, the little people, be?

Florina is no better than these Wall Street executives who drove our economy into the ground and then received big bonuses. No thanks to that.

My vote is for Barbara Boxer - an experienced representative OF the people, FOR the people, elected BY the people.


Posted by: dalilobo | September 2, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Choice? Huh? Boxer and cronies are busy trying to get rid of plastic bags while unemployment in this CA county is 15%. Boxer criticizes Fiorina for outsourcing jobs at HP but in this county illegal immigration is rampant and business owners prefer to hire for less. Tough to land a job in this area if you aren't bilingual. Next maybe the Indian employees of HP and elsewhere will insist that we speak Hindi if we need customer service?

Posted by: slmpickens | September 2, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Fiorina drove HP into the ground and left in disgrace. Whitman bought Teletubbies to the US and and spent most of her career in marketing. We in California have had a parade of incompetents as political leaders including tap dancer George Murphy, Ronnie Reagan, and most recently, Schwarzie. Are the voters of California going to continue to make fools of themselves by voting against their own interests yet again?

Posted by: jeffl240 | September 2, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Boxer is a career politician and it's clear where they have all gotten us - in a mountain of debt and no stimulus package that has created private sector jobs - only more government spending. Carly is unproven in government but is very proven in business. At this point I'm willing to give an outsider a try - I'm voting for Carly. We need change. We need a new way of doing business as a government.

Posted by: Centrist_in_Calif | September 2, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I live in California!

Posted by: Progressive1 | September 2, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Barbara Boxer is a COMPLETE FAILURE, plain and simple and if you don't live in CA and have to experience her failures you should have no comment, hopefully Mrs. Fiorina will be the "CHANGE" we need in California!

Posted by: tcsandiego | September 2, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

You can say what you want about Boxer's political track record, but I after watching this debate I have come to the conclusion that Carly Fiorina is pure evil! She represents the absolute worst possible candidate for the position of senator of California. She isn't dumb, she she make have leadership ability,and business experience. But if she is so misguided in her beliefs on woman's rights, job creation, the environment, then she will use all her wonderful "business skill" to lead California down the wrong path! I think she picked the wrong state to buy her senate seat in. Bad business planning. We don't need another multi-millionaire who wants to now become a politician and think they can buy the vote. Go pick a red state where they carry guns into bars and think an abortion is something you do in a back ally with a coat hanger. You might have a chance to win there and save yourself a lot of MONEY.

Posted by: Progressive1 | September 2, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to refer to her as "former" Senator Boxer. Or just Barbara.

Posted by: Miguel66 | September 2, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Boxer has a been our Senator for 17 years( plus 10 years in the House). At what point does she assume resposibility for the disaster the country is in. While in the House she wrote bad checks to the tune of 10s of thousands of dollars and voted not to investigate the scandal. She is a mean vicious cruel egotistical woman. She helped create the environment that forced companies to outsource jobs overseas. She is a Senator because she her husband became a millionare as an ambulance chasing worker comp attorney.

I will be voting for Carly Fiorina in November.

Posted by: Miguel66 | September 2, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Sure glad "Ohioan" isn't voting here in CA; that person clearly doesn't understand the role of Senator vs. Governor. It'd be nice if Fiorina answered the questions on global warming and civil unions, and whether she'd create more jobs overseas (like she did at HP, before firing 30,000 workers) than in the Golden State.

Posted by: bjornbjoel | September 2, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse


Boxer won hands down. No contest.

I was originally intrigued by Fiorina, but the more I learned about her reputation & her views...the more negative I felt, and last night's performance confirmed why I believe Carly would be a disaster for California, jobs, the environment, industry, American middle class & women's rights:

1. If "opportunity presented" she would vote to overturn Roe vs Wade, taking the most significant advance in women's reproductive rights back into the dark ages.

2. She is dishonest & lacking in integrity: In 2002 she got HP involved in an illegal kickback deal to try secure Govt contracts for HP products - DOJ is collecting $55M in fines from HP for Carly's little indiscretion! As Tony West, assistant attorney general, DOJ Civil Division, said "As this case demonstrates, we will take action against those who seek to taint the government procurement process with illegal kickbacks." Not surpisingly, she told a pack of lies last night.

3. Any CEO who shipped American jobs overseas (& fired 30,000 workers)and excuses it as "something you have to do sometimes in biz" will do the same as a senator & justify as "something you have to do in politics". She talks a fine game but her record shows she wouldn't fight for US jobs & protect workers' rights in free trade agreements.

4.Her supporters here say she's vy intelligent - how then could she pour $millions into a senate run, spend months working on her campaign, collect donations from Big Oil & Coal and "not decide yet what her position is on Prop 23"???

That was a lie..disingenuous & either of 2 possible explanations bury her for me:

i)She hasn't grasped the importance of Clean Energy to California's economy, new industry development & 1,000,000+ potential new jobs, or the critical implications for the environment - - in which case, she's dumb.
ii)More likely - - she knows that BP, Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil & Valero have donated over $200,000,000 to GOP & RW Think Tanks, plus spent another $150,000,000 on lobbyists, to fund the bogus Climate Denial campaign & derail Clean Energy legislation, including Prop 23 in California & donations to Carly...and, since Climate Denial has been debunked now, she didn't want to get drawn into a complicated discussion about how devastatingly destructive repealing AB32 would be. And she didn't want to be asked about all the fossil fuel special interests funding the GOP on this, who don't care about jobs just their profits. So, despite having been interviewed about Prop23 before & discussed it in campaign platform, on C-Span she pretended that she didn't have a position.

Confirming her dishonesty, disregard for California's economy & jobs, and partisan GOP pro-business anti-middleclass bias.
With that exposed, there was only one choice - - Barbara Boxer.

Posted by: TruthFairy | September 2, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Carly Fiorina was declared one of the 6 worst CEOs. She & Meg Whitman claim that their experiences as CEOs qualify them to run a state/legislative office. That is a myth. During bad financial times a CEO can lay off people. A governor/president cannot do that. California voters should think before they vote.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | September 2, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Carly Fiorina was declared one of the 6 worst CEOs. She & Meg Whitman claim that their experiences as CEOs qualify them to run a state/legislative office. That is a myth. During bad financial times a CEO can lay off people. A governor/president cannot do that. California voters should think before they vote.

Posted by: sarvenk63 | September 2, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Just about everyone has been "fired" at some point in their careers, especially if they take risks, which high-level leaders must do, at times.
If you compare the diversity of experience of Fiorina and Boxer: Fiorina wins.
If you compare the leadership ability
of Fiorina and Boxer: Fiorina wins.
If you compare the Level of leadership between Fiorina and Boxer..Fiorina wins.
If you compare intelligence of Fiorina and
Boxer: Fiorina wins
Etc., etc...
Its all up to Ca. voters in the end. It will set the perception of Ca. back pretty
far if they accept "business as usual",
same-old, same-old failed liberal policies,
however.

Posted by: ohioan | September 2, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Fiorina...a "proven businesswoman" who was FIRED!

Californians will make the right decision and re-elect Barbara Boxer, a national leader, to the senate.

Posted by: Coloradem1 | September 2, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Why are we again forced to choose between the lesser of two evils in just about every election for nearly every office in the land, from local to federal? Can I assume that they are ALL evil to begin with? If so, why are we tolerating this endless and mostly non-productive ping-pong game called "politics?" First one party is dominant, screws things up and loses to the other party who screws things up equally as bad. It goes on forever and we, the stupid voters, foolishly expect things to be different, "the next time". Apparently we just don't get the lessons of history and so are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. The only thing that is clear is the fact that almost ALL of our so called "leaders" are irrevocably corrupt and getting worse, and that the American people are so ignorant or complacent of what's actually happening to their country, that they continue to allow it all to happen. It's OUR government and if we don't stop all the petty bickering (engineered no doubt by the politicians themselves and supported by ratings-greedy news media) we stand to lose everything for which this country stands. Who will emerge to put this country back on track? I don't know, but it's a certainty that NONE of our current politicians have the courage or ability to do so.

Posted by: larrypoke | September 2, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Barbara Boxer is an imperious and conceited person. She talks down to people and is enamored by her personal status, which the California voters have bestowed upon her. The comment that Barbara Boxer is 'condescending' speaks volumes. She does not represent Californians very well when she repeatedly votes for bills BEFORE reading or understanding their contents. She is out of touch with the people and is part of the herd which is moving away from common sense.

Posted by: Migrant1 | September 2, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

California's a financial disaster, due to bad legislation, bad management, too much liberal influence, fraud, Incompetence,
too much union influence, etc. California is the "Greece" of the U.S.! When things are going so tragically wrong, you have no choice but to change leadership, especially if you've had the same, stale so-called leadership that doesn't see the bigger picture, for decades!

Posted by: ohioan | September 2, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Fiorina won't pick up any votes with that performance, she just comes across as a nasty woman who has spent her whole life
screwing the working guy.
Sure corporate America has to do what she did but the average voter doesn't understand things like that. All they know is she shipped away their jobs.
It will take an unbelievable wave for Carly to unseat Boxer.

Posted by: jtemple1 | September 2, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Boxer seemed weak and condescending! If this is the only debate, chalk up a win in the GOP column for California!

Posted by: wheeljc | September 2, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Boxer's a "box of rocks", a career politician who's had her chance to make the correct changes in Ca. already, and didn't.
Fiorina is a proven businesswoman, manager, a leader.
The actions Fiorina took at HP were necessary actions that leaders have to make
in private industry.
Its a shame that Boxer doesn't understand how private industry is forced to make hard decisions every day.. they have to be profitable to survive; only the irresponsible companies like GM, who fail to make the hard decisions..end up with taxpayers bailing them out.

Posted by: ohioan | September 2, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

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