FIORINA: Good morning, Chuck. Thanks for having me.
TODD: You got it. Let me start right in with the Planned Parenthood situation. At the debate, the most recent debate, you described the following scene, claiming it was on a tape: "A fully-formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, 'We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.'" Since then, when asked about the claim, your campaign has attacked Planned Parenthood, but there is no tape. There is no evidence that the scene you described exists. Are you willing now to concede that you exaggerated that scene?
FIORINA: No, not at all. That scene absolutely does exist. And that voice saying what I said they were saying, "We're going to keep it alive to harvest its brain" exists as well. Here's the thing. Yesterday I was at a football game--
TODD: So you saw that moment on the tape?
FIORINA: Yes. And I would challenge Planned Parenthood. Here's the deal. Yesterday, I was protested by Planned Parenthood people who were throwing condoms at me. I don't know what that has to do with this. They're trying to distract the American people from the hideous reality that Planned Parenthood is aborting fetuses alive to harvest their brains and other body parts. That is a fact.
Planned Parenthood will not and cannot deny this because it is happening. It is happening in this nation. And taxpayers are paying for it. Planned Parenthood desperately wants everyone to think this isn't going on. Because when Americans realize it is going on, whether they are pro-life or pro-choice, they are horrified. This goes to the character of our nation and it must be stopped.
TODD: Well, the footage you describe at best is a reenactment. The people even-- the people that made the videos admit its stock footage. Yet, you went right along and said, "It's Planned Parenthood."
FIORINA: Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. Do you think this is not happening? Does Hillary Clinton think this is not happening? So sad that you missed the opportunity to ask Mrs. Clinton why she said, "Late-term abortions were only performed for medical purposes." That is patently false. This is happening in America today. And taxpayers are paying for it. That is a fact. It is a reality. And no one can run away from it.
TODD: But you are sort of ducking the video, the specific of this question. And I guess I'm trying, because let me tell you what a Washington Post--
FIORINA: I am not--
TODD: --a Washington Post editorial this morning--
FIORINA: I am not ducking--
TODD: A Washington Post editorial is calling it a "full-fledged falsehood on Ms. Fiorina." They said, "Why would you--"
FIORINA: Okay, well you know what? In Washington--
TODD: They said that it doesn't excuse your mistruth. They said they understand you have a deeply-held belief on abortion, but that you're exaggerating this specific claim.
FIORINA: No, no. Well, first of all the Washington Post also claims that I am lying about being a secretary. So let's get real. I mean, I don't even know how to deal with that. I was a secretary part-time to put myself through college, and full-time after I graduated. The Washington Post gave me three Pinocchios for claiming that I was a secretary.
So honestly, I don't think The Washington Post has a lot of credibility here. This is not about being pro-life or pro-choice. It is certainly not about birth control. It is not even about women's health. It is about the character of our nation. No one can deny this is happening because it is happening.
TODD: Do you believe this is still something that Republicans in Congress should force a government shutdown over and have this showdown with the president?
FIORINA: I believe if the president of the United States and Democrats are willing to stand up and defend for what is roughly $500 million to $600 million line item in a budget, if they are willing to stand up and defend this practice and shut down the government over it, then let them explain it to the American people. Let them explain it.
TODD: So you want the showdown? You want this? You think Republican leaders in Congress should force this showdown?
FIORINA: I believe there are a variety of ways to deal with this. But I believe this is something we must stand up and fight for. Because it is about the character of our nation. Taxpayers are funding this activity. And not only that, not only are taxpayers having to fund this butchery, but Planned Parenthood doles out millions of dollars every single election cycle to Democrat candidates. This is a political slush fund on top of being butchery that Americans, again, whether they're pro-life or pro-choice, cannot support.
TODD: Do you believe any of the money Planned Parenthood uses is for good, from the federal government?
FIORINA: I'm sure it is. I'm sure it is. But you know what I find amazing? The hypocrisy of Democrats who stand up and oppose every time taxpayer funding for, say, pregnancy centers, that are also very much focused on women's health, but no, Democrats don't want taxpayer funding for pregnancy centers.
I just visited one in South Carolina. They are all privately funded. This is hypocrisy on Democrats' part. This is about a political slush fund. It is about the character of our nation. And yes, we should stand up and fight on this issue.
TODD: In 2010, in your Senate race, you called Roe v. Wade a decided issue. You have since said you would work to overturn it. What changed your mind?
FIORINA: Well, you know, here's the thing. We are finding common ground. People's views evolve on all kinds of things. And the American people's views have evolved on this. So let's just take one example. The majority of women, the majority of young people, the majority of Americans now believe that abortion for any reason at all after five months is wrong.
Just as they believe that the butchery of live fetuses for body parts is wrong. So I think we ought to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act now. It is good politics. It is also good policy. And shame on Democrats who stood and blocked it because the majority of Americans now disagree with where Democrats are. The Democrat policy is it is not a life until it leaves the hospital. The vast majority of Americans oppose that policy.
TODD: Let me play for you, there's some concerns with some Republicans, as excited as they are about your candidacy, that they're concerned your time at HP is going to be a liability a la Mitt Romney. Let me play for you an ad Barbara Boxer used against you and ask you to respond on the other side. (Begin Tape)
Announcer (In Ad): As the CEO of HP, Carly Fiorina laid off 30,000 workers.
Carly Fiorina (In Ad): When you're talking about massive layoffs, which we did, perhaps the work needs to be done somewhere else.
Announcer (In Ad): And while Californians lost their jobs, Fiorina tripled her salary, bought a million-dollar yacht, and five corporate jets. (End Tape)
TODD: Can you reassure Republicans who are still shell-shocked over what the Obama campaign was effectively able to do to Mitt Romney on the issue of layoffs, that that won't happen to you? When Barbara Boxer played that ad, her lead grew.
FIORINA: Yeah, you know, I find it very rich. Barbara Boxer, Hillary Clinton, all the Democrats who are attacking me, they've never created a job, they've never saved a job, and their policies destroy jobs, including Mrs. Clinton's latest position on Keystone Pipeline. Look, I have run to problems all my life. It's how you go from secretary to CEO.
And I think people are looking for a president who will run to the problems that this nation faces. Yes, I led HP through a very difficult time. The NASDAQ dropped 80%. Some of our strongest competitors went out of business all together, taking every job with them. We saved 80,000 jobs. We went on to grow to 150,000 jobs. We quadrupled the growth rate of the company, quadrupled the cash flow of the company, tripled the rate of innovation of the company. And went from lagging behind to leading in every single product and every single market. I will run on that record all day long.
TODD: You don't think it will be a liability? I mean, at the end of the day, the jobs you're talking about that grew and expanded were jobs overseas after the HP/Compaq.
FIORINA: No, that is false, that is false, that is false.
TODD: There were no American jobs. No?
FIORINA: That is false, Chuck. That is false. You know, here's the thing about business. Politicians can spin words. But in business, you actually have a record of results. And in fact, I had to stand up and report those results every single quarter. And if I misrepresented our results in any way over a six-year period, or misrepresented our projections, I could be held criminally liable.
Imagine if any other candidate running for president was held to that same account. There were many jobs that left California. And you know where they went? To the state of Texas. Because the state of Texas had a set of policies in place that made job creation and job salvation easier than the state of California.
This is what Democrats always want to talk about. They want to slam job creators. But the truth is, Democrat policies, the ones that Bernie Sanders, the ones that Hillary Clinton, and the ones that Barbara Boxer pursue destroy jobs all day long.
TODD: Steve Rattner, in an op-ed in The New York Times noted that one of the things you have used to defend your time at HP and defend being fired is that people like Steve Jobs had been fired in the past, and there were other successful, eventual successful CEOs. But he asked this question in there: Why didn't another company hire you as a CEO? Why didn't you have another full-time job in the private sector after you left HP?
FIORINA: Oh, well, Steve Rattner, you know, a political operative masquerading as a business analyst, we have a couple others of those as well. Because I didn't want to go back to work as a CEO. That's why. Because I had done that. Because I had been in a very high-pressured--
TODD: Had you been recruited?
FIORINA: --chief executive job for--Yes. I was offered many jobs as a CEO in the Bush Administration, I wanted a break. And then I wanted to give back. And so over time, I became the chairman of two charities in this nation, work of which I'm also very proud. I advised the C.I.A. as the chairman of the advisory board, I advised two secretaries of Defense, a secretary of Homeland Security. I believed it was time for me to use my experience in other realms, whether it was policy or government or charity.
TODD: What do you make of Speaker Boehner's decision? Do you think he made the correct decision to step down?
FIORINA: Well I do. I think every leader has a season. And I think John Boehner's season was coming to an end, and he understood that. And I hope now that we will move on and have leadership in both the House and the Senate that will produce results. I think leaders produce results. And I think Republicans are quite frustrated, having worked very hard, to restore historic majorities to the House and a majority to the Senate, but there haven't been a lot of results.
And so I've asked for three very specific things: one, pass a border security bill. Two, pass the REINS act, which would give Congress the authority to oversee all of these rules that are rolling out of the administration. Of course, we talked about defunding Planned Parenthood, and it would be great, actually if the House and the Senate would pass the bills that deny finally the special exemptions they get from Obamacare.
TODD: Is Mitch McConnell leading in the right way on the Senate side of things?
FIORINA: Well, we will see. He has been a leader for a very short period of time. Not even one session. Leaders produce results.
TODD: Is he producing results?
FIORINA: Well, we'll see.
TODD: So I take it not yet? Or you're, "to be continued"?
FIORINA: Well, I think we will see.
TODD: Fair enough. Carly Fiorina, stay safe on the campaign trail. Thanks for coming back to Meet the Press.
Neither the Catt Center nor Iowa State University is affiliated with any individual in the Archives or any political party. Inclusion in the Archives is not an endorsement by the center or the university.