Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina criticized President Trump for “impeachable” conduct and the Republican Party for being “all about pledging fealty to Donald Trump no matter what” in an interview which aired Monday, but stopped short of saying Trump should be removed from office — and even left open the possibility she could vote for him in 2020.
“I think it is vital that he be impeached,” Fiorina told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “Whether removed this close to an election, I don’t know.” The former Hewlett-Packard CEO went on to discuss the current state of the Republican party.
“What I regret is that the principles that are being debated in this impeachment trial — separation of powers, abuse of power, obstruction of Congress — those principles are not as immediate or intense as partisanship, or people’s belief that the policies that I care about impact me personally,” Fiorina said, citing the pro-life movement’s support of Trump.
She added that she wished Republicans on Capitol Hill would choose principle over partisanship.
“I think my message is in this country, hanging onto a job is not the most important thing. In this country, we don’t pledge allegiance to a party, or to a president,” Fiorina said. “In this country, principles matter, and in particular, the principle that we have coequal branches of government, and that no one is above the law, and that it is Congress’s duty to oversee and to investigate.”
Fiorina specifically mentioned certain Republican lawmakers’ treatment of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, calling it “destructive to our republic.” She also said the president’s rhetorical style has hurt the public image of the party. “The brand, the way business has been conducted, sends a message: we don’t value you, and we don’t respect you,” Fiorina stated.
But the former Senate candidate did not say she would not vote for Trump, telling Harlow “it depends who the Democrats put up,” and added that Trump’s presidency has “undoubtedly done some of the right things,” referencing the strength of the economy.