WASHINGTON — Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, says the revived “Republican War on Women” line is just a bunch of “baseless propaganda” from the Democrats.
“I think we have to take on the shameless, baseless propaganda that is the ‘War on Women,’” Fiorina said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “It is baseless propaganda. Most of it’s a lie. We have to take it on. Sometimes, the best defense is a good offense, but then you have to pivot out and talk about the issues that matter most to women.”
Democrats don’t have a Todd Akin-like bogeyman this year, but Fiorina says that “isn’t stopping the Democrats” from trying to scare women about Republicans ahead of midterms.
“Remember Nancy Pelosi, recently on the Bill Maher show, literally said if Republicans get the majority in the Senate, it will end civilization as we know it? And the GOP is like Ray Rice?” Fiorina said. “So they don’t need facts. They don’t need a bogeyman candidate. They’re just spinning stuff.”
Fiorina, who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate as a Republican in California in 2010, is trying to help get Republicans elected in the most competitive Senate races across the country.
“There’s plenty of money in the air wars. We’re focused on the ground game,” she says of the new super PAC she leads, called Unlocking Potential. “And we’re focused on engaging women to speak to other women about all the issues. You know, the Democrats are staying on the theme that Republicans are waging a war on women. And unfortunately, it’s worked.”
The organization is playing in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, Virginia and North Carolina. She said they are focused on reaching registered Republican women who don’t always vote and women who are registered as independents or unaffiliated and don’t always vote.
‘We know from the data that women are most persuaded by other women they know,” she said.
When it comes to message, Fiorina said, “The first thing I think we have to do is not get trapped in the cul-de-sac of women’s issues, which is where Democrats want us to be. Democrats want to portray women as single issue voters — all we care about is reproductive rights. It’s not true.”
“Women are prepared to disagree about the very emotional issue of pro-life and pro-choice,” she said. “I happen to be a pro-life woman, but I can have a lot conversations with pro-choice women and we can agree to disagree on that issue. But importantly, then we have to move on. Women are prepared to disagree if the tone is empathetic, not judgmental; if the tone is understanding, not angry. So tone matters.”
Republicans, she said, have to keep talking about the issues women care about the most: jobs and the economy, education, immigration, health care and national security.
“None of that is a surprise,” she said. “Those are the issues that matter to our nation.”
Fiorina’s name has been mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for president, something she hinted she was interested in Thursday. Asked if she’s running, she said, “I’m focused on 2014 right now.”
“You don’t rule anything out in life,” she said when pressed. “I learned that a long time ago.”
She also argued that someone doesn’t necessarily need prior government service to be president.
“I think ours was intended to be a citizen government,” she said. “I think that’s what by, for, and of the people means. And, in fact, if you look over our history, we’ve had a lot of people serve [as president] who haven’t served before.”
“I also think people are kind of tired of a lot of professional politicians,” Fiorina said.