Carly Fiorina

Remarks at Iowa's Lincoln Day Dinner - May 10, 2015

Carly Fiorina
May 10, 2015— Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Iowa GOP's Lincoln Day Dinner
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Good evening everyone, so great to be back in Iowa this evening. You know since I launched my candidacy for the presidency last Monday, I have answered a total of 372 on the record questions. Hillary Clinton has answered 8 since April 12. I've got some interesting questions for example is, is a hot dog a sandwich. Or, am I criticizing Hillary Clinton because I'm a woman.

I'm criticizing Hillary Clinton because I'll come from a world where a title was just a title, and talk is just talk, and actions speak louder than words, and people want to know what is your track record, and what you have nationally accomplished. So if Hillary Clinton’s going to run for President of the United States she's going to have to answer some questions, and we are going to have to have a nominee who has the courage ask her those questions.

When I was a little girl, about 8 years old, my mother looked at me one Sunday morning and said, what you are is God’s gift you, what you make of yourself is your gift to God. And I know that it is only in this country, that a young woman can start as a secretary for nine-person real-estate firm, and go on to become the Chief Executive Officer in the largest technology company in the world, chair the advisory board for the Central Intelligence Agency, advise Secretaries of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security and run for the Presidency of the United States. That is only possible in the United States of America. It is possible here because our founders knew what my mother taught me. Our founders knew that everyone has God-given gifts. They knew that everyone has potential. And they founded a nation on the idea that here, everyone has the right to fulfil their potential. That is what they meant by life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And the right to fulfil your potential, they believed, came from God, and should not be taken away by make or government. A visionary idea that has made more things, more possible, for more people, for more places, than anywhere else on the planet, or any other time in human history [applause].

And yet, as I have travelled around this nation in the last decade, talking to all kinds of people, about all kinds of issues, I have sensed a deep disquiet. It is not partisan, it is not political, but people are disquieted because they fear they are losing something. And I think what people fear we are losing is the sense of limitless possibility that has always defined this nation. We always knew that if something were worth doing as a nation, we would do it. If something were hard to do, even better. We would figure out how to do it. We knew our lives were filled with possibilities because of our God- given gifts. We had faith that our children’s, and grandchildren’s lives would be filled with even greater possibilities. And yet, people don’t believe that anymore. We lose the sense of limitless possibility that has always defined this nation. We lose the core of who we are.

The truth is, the potential of this nation is being crushed by a government that is so big, so powerful, so costly, and so complex that only the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected can handle it [applause]. You know I used to be the Chief Executive of a ninety billion dollar company, and if I didn’t like what was going on, I could hire accountants, and lawyers and lobbyists. That nine- person real estate firm I started out in, they can’t handle it. And so what is happening? We are tangling people’s lives up in webs of dependency, we know have a seventy thousand page tax code. I’ve had more small business owners come up to me in the last couple of months and say, I can’t even finish my tax returns, because I don’t understand them anymore, and my accountant doesn’t understand them anymore.

Regulations like Dodd- Frank and Obamacare, written in part by Wall Street banks and drug and health insurance companies respectively. Those complicated pieces of legislation and regulation have caused ten banks too big to fail to become five banks too big to fail, meanwhile 3,000 community banks have gone out of business. And the consequence of Obamacare is that health insurance companies are consolidating, hospitals are consolidating, and drug companies are consolidating. Yes, Crony Capitalism is alive and well because only the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected can handle a government that is so big, and powerful and costly and complex. And that is why now we are destroying more businesses than we are creating for the first time in US history.

Think about that, we are destroying more business than we are creating. And it is the small business, the family owned businesses that create two-thirds of the new jobs and employ half the people in this country. Every government agency has gotten bigger, and bigger, and bigger for forty years. And on this day of all days, if there is ever a more shocking example of government ineptitude, it is the Veteran’s administration. A stain on our nations honor the way that we serve the veterans in this country [applause].

A lot of these problems have been going on for a very long time. And so those same people that I have talked to in Iowa and across the nation, they are not only afraid that we are losing something, they also think that we are missing something. And what they think we are missing is leadership. Leadership is very different than management. Managers are people who do they best that they can within the status quo. They tinker around the edges of the problem. They don’t challenge the system, they work within the system. But you see, it is a leader’s job to challenge the system. It is a leader’s job to change the order of things for the better. The highest quality in leadership is to unlock the potential in others. We need leadership in the White House now that will unlock the potential of this great nation by changing the order of things in Washington D.C, and challenging the status quo.

Nowhere is the leadership more needed than in the world today. I remember sitting across the table from Vladimir Putin, it wasn’t a photo op, it was just the two of us in the room. And anyone who has met him knows that a gimmicky red reset button will not dissuade his ambition. But there are things that we can do that are totally within our control. Let us rebuild the sixth fleet, let us rebuild the missile defense programs, let us conduct military exercises in the Baltic States, and hasten their entry into NATO and let us arm the Ukrainians. There is plenty we can do, President Obama, besides go to war [applause].

I know our Arab allies. I’ve known King Abdullah II of Jordan, and I’ve known him a very long time, and when he came to this country, as a Jordanian pilot was burned alive, he was asking us for bombs and material. We have not provided it. The Kurds have been asking us to arm them, we have not. The Egyptians have been asking us to share intelligence, we are not. We have Arab allies who know ISIS is their fight, but they want us to lead. And of course I can remember as well sitting in Bibi Netanyahu’s office five years ago. It was only Netanyahu, me and my husband Frank, and he wanted to talk about Iran.

If I am in the White House the first two phone calls that I will make, number one to Bibi Netanyahu, the United States will stand with the State of Israel. And number two, to the supreme leader of Iran, he may not take the phone call, but he will get the message. Until and unless you are willing to open up every single nuclear facility to have real full and unfettered inspections, we will exact the most crushing financial penalties that we can, and make it very difficult to move money around the financial system, which we can do on our own. We don’t need anyone else’s permission. And let’s not confuse ourselves, China and Russia are not sitting on our side of the table in terms of negotiations with Iran [applause].

Every single one of those things that I have mentioned is in our control. I mention that I have been asked a couple of interesting questions. One of the most interesting came several weeks ago, on national television. I was asked whether a woman’s hormones prevent her from serving in the Oval Office. Okay ladies, this is a test. Can anyone think of a single instance in which a man’s judgement was clouded by his hormones? Anyone? Including in the Oval Office.

Hillary Clinton must not be President of the United States, but not because she is a woman, but because she is not trustworthy, she lacks a track record of leadership, and her policies will crush the potential of this nation. Thank you!