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A Flagrant Liar For President?

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A Flagrant Liar For President?


We’ve got a new darling in the GOP presidential race: Carly Fiorina!

Being the darling du jour, however, can be dicey — just ask Rick Perry and Scott Walker, two former darlings who are now out of the race, having turned into ugly ducklings by saying stupid things. But Fiorina is smart, sharp witted, and successful. We know this because she and her PR agents constantly tell us it’s so. Be careful about believing anything she says, though, for Darling Fiorina is not only a relentless self-promoter, but also a remorseless liar.

Take her widely hailed performance in the second debate among Republican wannabes, where she touched many viewers with her impassioned and vivid attack on Planned Parenthood. With barely contained outrage, Fiorina described a video that, she said, shows the women’s health organization in a depraved act of peddling body parts of an aborted fetus. “Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking,” said a stone-faced Fiorina, looking straight into the camera, “while someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.'”

Oh, the horror, the monstrosity of Planned Parenthood! And how moving it was to see and feel the fury of this candidate for president!

Only … it’s not true. Although she dared the audience, President Obama and Hillary Clinton to go watch it, turns out that there is no such video — no fetus with kicking legs and no demonic Planned Parenthood official luridly preparing to harvest a brain.

So did Fiorina make up this big, nasty lie herself, or did her PR team concoct it as a bit of showbiz drama to burnish her right-wing credentials and advance her political ambition? Or maybe she’s just spreading a malicious lie she was told by some vicious haters of Planned Parenthood. Either way, there’s nothing darling about it, much less presidential.

I remember back in 1992 when the third-party candidate Ross Perot chose Admiral James Stockdale, a complete unknown, to be his presidential running mate. In his first debate, the vice presidential candidate began by asking a question: “Who am I? Why am I here?”

We should be asking the same about Carly, as she has recently surged in the polls of GOP primary voters. Her campaign is positioning her as a no-nonsense, successful corporate chieftain who can run government with businesslike efficiency. During the debate, Fiorina rattled off a list of her accomplishments as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, the high-tech conglomerate: “We doubled the size of the company, we quadrupled its topline growth rate, we quadrupled its cash flow, we tripled its rate of innovation,” she declared in PowerPoint style.

Statistics, however, can be a sophisticated way of lying. In fact, the growth she bragged about was mostly the result of her buying Compaq, another computer giant in a merger that proved to be disastrous — in fact, Hewlett-Packard’s profits declined 40 percent in her six years, its stock prices plummeted and she fired 30,000 workers, even saying publicly that their jobs should be shipped overseas. Finally, she was fired.

Before we accept her claim that “running government like a business” would be a positive, note that the narcissistic corporate culture richly rewarded Fiorina for failure. Yes, she was fired, but unlike the thousands of HP employees she dumped, a golden parachute was provided to let her land in luxury — counting severance pay, stock options, and pension, she was given $42 million to go away.

But here she comes again, lacking even one iota of humility. Fiorina is throwing out a blizzard of lies, not only about Planned Parenthood, but also about who she is. She’s the personification of corporate greed and economic inequality, and she’s trying to bamboozle Republicans into thinking she belongs in the White House.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina listens to a question after speaking at Cornerstone Action: Practical Federalism 2016 at the University of Southern New Hampshire in Hooksett, New Hampshire on October 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mary Schwalm

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower is a nationally syndicated columnist and one of America's most prominent progressive voices. His column carried by more than 75 publications across the country. Prior to becoming a writer, Hightower served as Texas Agricultural Commission from 1982 to 1991.

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  1. Dominick Vila October 7, 2015

    Let’s not forget that most Republican political strategies are influenced by the need to satisfy the base of the party and get popular support, rather than offering tangible solutions to existing challenges, or providing a vision of the future. The hyperbole and outright lies used by Fiorina in her attack against Planned Parenthood are considered a risk well taken by her and her team, largely because they know their audience, and they know they supporters react to emotion, not the truth or what is best for our society. They are convinced that the reference to a mythical video portraying a live fetus being harvested by nefarious Democrats is enough to rally support from the pro-birth movement…and they are right. I have relatives who vote based on whether a candidate is pro or against abortion. Everything else is secondary, and the evidence to support claims such as the one made by Fiorina starts and ends with what God told them.
    As for her tenure at Hewlett Packard, what choice does she have other than turn a turnip into a rose?

    1. joe schmo October 7, 2015

      News for you! She is NOT satisfying the base. Problem with you liberals is that you rely entirely too much on the media. We are mostly online and we are in social media because the television lies. We are no longer listening. It’s Donald Trump, then Ben Carson. Get it straight Memo.

      She sold HP down the drain. Even the people who worked for HP won’t vote for her. She, along with her cohorts on the board, pilfered 500,000 dollars from HP and fired Walter Hewlett. She is a total fraud.

      1. Bosda October 7, 2015

        Liberalsssss….LIBERALSSSSSS!, you have to hiss when you say it!
        Just like a Lizard!
        Or Dick Cheney!
        If you don’t, Sarah Palin will call you a RINO!

        Seriously–you are right about her.
        Fiorina has the letters “C-Eo-O” in her resume, & thus the Club For Growth adore her.
        But nobody else does.
        Truly, the 1% is insanely out-of-touch.
        Fiorina is dead on arrival.

        Go Sanders!

        1. CrankyToo October 7, 2015

          Dumbassssssssss Republicansssssssssssssss. Hisssssssssss.

          Just like snakes.

      2. Dominick Vila October 7, 2015

        That’s old news to me. I don’t believe Fiorina has a chance to win the GOP nomination. In part because of her dismal business record, in part because she is too obvious with her attempts to feed bloody meat to the far right, and in part because for Republican neanderthals the idea of a female President is simply unacceptable.

        1. latebloomingrandma October 7, 2015

          Yeah, she’s not cutesy enough, nor can shoot moose,.

        2. @HawaiianTater October 7, 2015

          “I don’t believe Fiorina has a chance to win the GOP nomination.”

          Waaaaaaait a min here… this is not what you were saying the other day. Did my well reasoned arguments change your mind? 😉

          1. Dominick Vila October 7, 2015

            It did make me think, even though I am convinced that Republican decisions are usually influenced by negative logic. In any case, I still believe she is a candidate for the Nr. 2 spot, not because she has anything positive or valuable to offer, but because Republicans may decide that the only way to torpedo Hillary’s female factor is by having a woman in their ticket. Needless to say, doing so will only poison the well for them.
            Did you see the latest poll showing Hillary and Donald leading by a large margin? The negative side of it is the negative perception that so many voters have of both of them, especially Trump.

          2. @HawaiianTater October 7, 2015

            Considering Fiorina’s actual positions, I don’t think her having a vagina will help her with the vagina vote. Although, I can see how some Republicans might think that. They aren’t big on logic, after all.

            The irony is not lost on me that both poll leaders both have high negativity polling numbers too. Call me an idealist if you will but I still have high hopes for Bernie beating out Hillary for the nom.

          3. Dominick Vila October 7, 2015

            I think VP Biden would have a good chance to win the nomination, and the 2016 election, if he decides to run. I am very impressed with Sanders as well, and would love to see Elizabeth Warren as the running mate for any of them.

          4. @HawaiianTater October 7, 2015

            I think Biden getting into the race would actually help Bernie. The general feeling is that Bernie’s supporters are very rabidly in his corner but Hillary’s supporters are much more easily swayed to different options. As far as that goes, we’ll know real soon if Biden is getting in it or not because the first debate is next week. If that comes and goes without him, I’d say it is too late at that point.

            Concerning Warren… short of being Prez herself, she’s better off in the Senate for now. In a perfect world run by Tater, we’d see 8 years of Warren following 8 years of Sanders.

          5. plc97477 October 8, 2015

            Having a vagina is going to help the repugs just as much as palin’s did.

    2. @HawaiianTater October 7, 2015

      “I have relatives who vote based on whether a candidate is pro or against abortion.”

      Same here. I try to calmly ask them… is going to war again in the Middle East and crashing the economy really worth it to outlaw abortions, when statistics prove that outlawing abortions actually raises the abortion rates? So, you’re not going to actually stop abortions from happening but you’re okay with potentially destroying the country in the process of trying?

      Of course, they don’t listen, but I try to ask them anyways.

      1. Dominick Vila October 7, 2015

        I pretty much gave up on that.

        1. @HawaiianTater October 7, 2015

          Eh… sometimes I get a wild hair up my arse and try anyways; pointless as it may be.

  2. Daniel Jones October 7, 2015

    To the Repugnant National Committee, being the epitome of greed and dishonesty *is* what qualifies her.

  3. docb October 7, 2015

    Know your targeted audience and lie to them..That is and has been her credo since being in the corporate World… The World which does not want her returning to them.

    She is the perfect regressive traitorous poster child for the zealot vacuous right!

    1. joe schmo October 7, 2015

      Huh! That’s what you think. You people are so uninformed. The media just lies and lies. We don’t want her either, the media does. Reuter’s poll:


      Carly is much much lower.

      1. The lucky one October 7, 2015

        So Joe, I misjudged you. There actually is a tiny speck of brain tissue inside all that bone.

        1. bobnstuff October 7, 2015

          Don’t be making Joe feel unwelcome here. We don’t want to be like conservative sites that do nothing but mistreat anyone who doesn’t agree with their twisted point of view.

          1. The lucky one October 7, 2015

            I could say a lot worse than that and it wouldn’t have an effect on Joe. He’s just here for sh$ts and giggles.

    2. John Murchison October 7, 2015

      Looks like you nailed the GOP candidates collective strategies dead on.

  4. yabbed October 7, 2015

    Fiorina isn’t going to be President of the United States in any case.

  5. The lucky one October 7, 2015

    “Fiorina is not only a relentless self-promoter, but also a remorseless liar” Ahh, then she should have a very successful career in politics. She has the prerequisites.

  6. latebloomingrandma October 7, 2015

    We often hear that gov’t should be run like a business. GWB, with his MBA, did a bang up job, didn’t he? So now we have 2 business people with Trump and Fiorina. CEO’s are the boss and decisions are made from the top down. . There is little of “checks and balances” going on. There may be stockholders and a board of directors, but CEO’s are paid to run the show. Having a business person in charge of gov’t without any gov’t experience, questionable knowledge on foreign affairs or how legislation is crafted, or how to compromise, we are getting a pig in the poke. Maybe we should asking for their college transcripts , what they have studied and their knowledge of history. Many candidates don’t even know what the cabinet offices are, or what they are responsible for. I think experience in business would be valuable in one area. And that would have to do with federal employees. WE often hear that it is impossible to fire a federal employee for not doing their job or sub par performance because of civil service laws. If people were hired for their knowledge and held to a performance review such as in private industry, that would certainly improve government efficiency. We would have far fewer “heck of a job, Brownie” moments. Just cutting jobs to save money usually has bad unintended consequences. Just talk to a federal employee on how they are shorthanded of good workers, while carrying around dead wood.

    And I truly don’t understand how anyone can go from the intense, isolated knowledge of medicine and the operating room to being in charge of the federal bureaucracy and Commander in Chief.
    As my junior high math teacher used to dramatically say “Think, people, think!!!”

    1. bobnstuff October 7, 2015

      All candidates should have to take the test to become a US citizen in public. Business men make bad presidents.http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/presidential-campaign/262749-history-shows-businessmen-make-bad-presidents

  7. David October 7, 2015

    That is what they want.Match any GOP president since Ike, with their rhetoric to the actual outcome of their policies and you can see they were all liars. The problem is that the non millionaire majority of their constituents have been tricked into thinking that they work for their best interests. A party of optimists who think they will need massive tax write offs one day. Funny, even if sad.

    1. Daniel G October 7, 2015

      I live in Amway land…and I agree 2000%! All liars who have duped the rabble to voting for them IN THEIIER INTERESTS…yeah, you bet…its in the DeVos and VanAndel Amway interest and not yours Bubba. Figure that out some day…but I ain’t holdin my breath…

  8. FireBaron October 7, 2015

    Fiorina conned her way into the CEO position of Lucent, where she oversaw its demise, and bailed by taking the CEO position at HP as Lucent breathed its last. She damn near did the same to HP before the Board of Directors finally came to their senses and fired her.
    Of course, it looks like the BoD of HP has not learned from previous mistakes, as they now have Meg Whitman at the helm. Her tenure, so far, makes Carly’s look like a blazing success!

  9. 5612jean October 7, 2015

    The fact that she has risen in the poles speaks volumes about the stupidity of republicans. It is mind boggling how they could support someone who ran two companies into the ground while 30,000 lost their jobs and she was rewarded to the tune of $42,000,000. She lies with such ease and sticks with the lie when caught, in typical doubling down style. Carly, no matter how many times you repeat your lies, that won’t make them true. Your attacks against Hillary won’t work; she is completely out of your
    league. You have to know you will never be president. I suppose this is just something for you to do since no one will hire you, knowing your history.

    1. @HawaiianTater October 7, 2015

      Does it even matter if she is lying if the idiot voting masses believe the lies? Repeat the lie often enough and… you know the rest.

  10. Daniel Max Ketter October 7, 2015

    Carly makes Pinocchio sound like a honest person. God bless Hilliary or Bernie, whoever will be our next president

  11. FT66 October 7, 2015

    This woman Carly Fiorina is ugly from inside-out. I wouldn’t use her as a bait to catch any animal. She said: “if people know me, will like me”. We, so far know you by the lies you say, we don’t like that. Will you please disappear, and let those who say the only truth remain with us.

  12. stephan ostanock October 7, 2015

    fiorina is one lying female dog a real b—–, really this a nasty women who fired 30.000 workers and took a 42 million dollar golden parachute ,while breaking the company stock by 50% then she got fired !

  13. Whatmeworry October 7, 2015

    I had to scan the article to see if the Memo would publish an honest article abo Hilary

    1. fortunev October 7, 2015

      Why? The article was about a lying btch not about a dedicated stateswoman with an impeccable history of truth defending herself against the lying right-wing conspiracy she and her husband have been fighting for years.

      1. Whatmeworry October 7, 2015

        The only lying BITCH is the Clintons. Name a single accomplishment she has

        1. awakenaustin October 14, 2015

          Pissing you off is accomplishment enough. If you don’t like she must be doing a whole lot right.

    2. Insinnergy October 7, 2015

      Back on your meds.

  14. fortunev October 7, 2015

    This haridan, Harpy Fiorini, is the epitome of evil. There is nothing that would qualify this POS to be the leader of our country, even if she thinks her BA degree in medieval history qualifies her for that position. As says Kung-Fu Tzu: woman who fly upside-down have big crack up.

  15. plc97477 October 8, 2015

    Maybe she can outsource the house and senate. It would take a lot of our problems away.

  16. Kurt CPI October 9, 2015

    She’s a big talker who always has someone else to blame for her poor decisions and performance. Ask anyone at Hewlett Packard, from tier 1 employees to management, what they think of her.


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