In a well-received CPAC speech with a heavy focus on foreign policy, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina directly challenged possible presidential rival Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic credentials, asking the former secretary of state to “name an accomplishment” and arguing for a firm response to America’s enemies abroad.
Despite her failed 2010 run for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat, Fiorina has remained active in conservative politics. She’s chairwoman of the American Conservative Union Foundation — one arm of the group behind CPAC. And buzz continues to build over a potential Fiorina run for the presidency in 2016 — a run she seems eager to make.
That ambition was on full display during her speech to a packed ballroom at the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland on Thursday, with the former CEO touting her foreign policy bona fides by taking swipes at the current White House occupant — and aim at her probable presidential challenger.
“I know Bibi Netanyahu,” she said, referring to the Israeli prime minister slated to speak before a joint session of Congress next week. “As I sat in his office five years ago, he spoke then of the dangers posed by Iran.”
“He travels here next week not to offend our president, but to warn the American people that our president’s insistence on a deal with Iran at all costs is a danger to the world,” she shouted, prompting frenzied cheers and applause from the standing-room-only audience.
“This is not leadership,” she said of the Obama administration’s response to challenges from Iran and Russia. “Nor is it leadership when Secretary Clinton asks ‘What difference does it make when our embassy is deliberately attacked by terrorists and four Americans are murdered?’ It makes all the difference in the world, and the required response has never come.”
“Mrs. Clinton, name an accomplishment,” she challenged. “And in the meantime, please explain why we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments don’t represent a conflict of interest.”
Hillary has come under sustained fire from her presidential challengers over the massive influx of cash the Clinton Foundation received from foreign governments — money many are now concerned will start to flow into her burgeoning presidential campaign.
After today’s speech, it seems safe to count Fiorina as one of those challengers. “If Hillary Clinton had to face me on a debate stage, at the very least she’d have a hitch in her swing,” she quipped.