Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins has yet to meet Carly Fiorina in person, but she is now the first member of Congress to publicly endorse the former Hewlett-Packard CEO for president.
“I have not even met her,” Jenkins said in a Tuesday morning interview with The Daly Caller. “We’ve spoken by phone. This is just strictly based on my research of the field, and I think she’s exactly the strong, steady no-nonsense businesswoman that the nation needs so desperately right now.”
The Jenkins endorsement comes as Fiorina, benefiting from a strong debate performance and rising poll numbers, has risen to the top tier of the Republican presidential contest.
But Jenkins said she decided to endorse Fiorina before last week’s CNN debate in California.
“Several weeks ago, it became apparent to me that there was one person that had the skill sets necessary to take this country in the direction we need to go,” she said. “And that was Carly, so we contacted her campaign and asked how we could be helpful. That led to an endorsement Sunday.”
“She’s not a woman that’s been handed anything in her life,” Jenkins said. “She’s had to work hard for every little bit of success that she’s achieved. And I think that’s really important.”
Jenkins rattled off a number of reasons for supporting Fiorina. “We need a Washington outsider like Carly who has real world executive experience and who understands how the economy works.”
“I’m also impressed with her extensive experience on the international stage,” she said. “She’s worked closely with many of our current foreign leaders, including Prime Minister Netanyahu.”
“Also important,” Jenkins said, “is the fact that she’s the best person to run against Hillary Clinton in the general election. She’s proven time and a again that’s she not afraid to hold Hillary accountable for Hillary’s failures, and I think Carly’s personal narrative of success in the private sector really stands in stark contrast to this career political operative with a largely failed and empty record on the national stage.”
Jenkins will serve the campaign’s co-chairman in Kansas. “I obviously have my own race in 2016 and so always will put Kansans first, but will be happy to help the campaign in any way they need me,” she said.