Carly Fiorina

Remarks at Sen. Joni Ernst's Roast and Ride - June 6, 2015

Carly Fiorina
June 06, 2015— Boone, Iowa
Sen. Joni Ernst's Roast and Ride
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Howdy! How's everybody? How's everybody?

This morning, I was walking in Story City's Scandinavian Days parade, and I was shaking a lot of hands. I was shaking so many hands that I fell behind my float, the Story County GOP float, and I learned that in Iowa if you fall behind your float, you can hitch a ride with a nice gentleman on his John Deere tractor.

It was recently a poll earlier, this week, that asked Americans who they most wanted to see debate Hillary Clinton. I was gratified that I won that poll [applause], and so I was thinking this morning I really would be tempted on that general election debate stage to ask Hillary if she's ever ridden on a John Deere tractor. I know she's had a few photo-ops.

But the truth is, I think what we need to ask Hillary Clinton now is, "Mrs. Clinton, what else don't we know?" [applause]

When I was a little girl, my mother said to me one Sunday morning, "What you are is God's gift to you. What you make of yourself is your give to God." Amen is right.

I started my business career as a secretary, typing and filing for a little nine-person real estate firm. I have traveled and lived and worked all over the world. I know most of the world leaders on the stage today, not because I had photo ops with them but because I've talked business with them or charity of education issues.

And I know with certainty that it is only in this country that a young woman can start out as a secretary, typing and filing, and go on to become the chief executive officer of the largest technology company in the world and run for the presidency of the united states.

And that's because our founders knew what my mother taught me. Everyone has God-given gifts. Everyone has potential. And they founded a nation on a visionary idea – it was radical at the time – that here in this nation everyone has the right to find and use their God-given gifts and fulfil their potential. And they said that was a right that came from God and could not be taken away by man or government. [applause]

Everyone indeed does have God-given gifts. Everyone has potential – usually far more than they realize. But the truth is the potential of too many people's lives in this nation is being crushed, is being squandered, is being wasted.

We have a lot of problems in this country. We have a lot of wounds. But the truth is every problem can be solved. Every wound is self-inflicted.

But we are indeed tangling people's lives up in webs of dependence instead saying to them, "You have gifts. You have potential. You can live a life of dignity, purpose and meaning. And we will move you forward in your life.

We are now destroying more businesses than we are creating. And it is the small businesses, the family-owned businesses, that are being crushed.

The truth is we have come to a place in this nation where the potential of the people of America is being crushed by the weight, the power, the cost the complexity, the ineptitude, the corruption of the federal government of America. [applause]

I'll tell you another poll I saw recently. Eighty-two percent of the American people now believe we have a professional political class in Washington, D.C., that cares more about the protection of its power, its privilege and its position than in doing the people's work. That means across generational lines, party lines, ethnic lines, gender lines. It means that people in this country have a sense of disquiet, that something is wrong, that we indeed are squandering the potential of this nation.

So you know what we need now? We need a leader in the White House who isn't afraid to challenge the status quo. [applause] We need a leader in the White House who understands that their highest calling is not the accumulation of title or power or position or privilege.

We need a leader in the White House who understands how the economy actually works, and the fact that when we are crushing the small and the powerless and the family businesses, that we are crushing the engine of economic growth and innovation in this nation.

We need someone who understands how the world works and who's in the world and can see clearly that China is becoming an adversary, that Russia is an adversary, that Iran and ISIS are an adversary, that can see clearly that we need to reassure our allies that a friendship with the United States of America means something, and us being your adversary means something as well.

And that is why on my first day in the Oval Office I will make two phone calls: one to Bibi Netanyahu, a man I have known for a long time, to reassure him that the United States of America will always stand with the nation of Israel. [applause] And not only will Bibi Netanyahu be reassured but all of our allies will be reassured, because when we treat an ally like Israel badly, all of our other allies wonder what their friendship with the United States of America is worth.

And my second phone call would be to the supreme leader of Iran. He might not take the phone call but he would get the message, and the message would be this: And until and unless you are prepared to open every nuclear facility to full and unfettered inspections, we will enact the most punishing financial sanctions on your economy, make it very difficult for you to move money around the economy, and we don't need anybody's permission to do that. [applause]

We need somebody in the white house who understands bureaucracies, because our government has become one giant, bloated, unaccountable bureaucracy. I use the term inept. It is not too strong to say our federal government has been unaccountable for so long that it is inept. Think about the Veterans Administration. On this day of all days, it is a stain on our nation's honor that we cannot serve those who have served us. The TSA fails 96 percent of the time? The government cannot protect American citizens' personal information? We cannot prevent a cyberattack from China? My goodness. I know from my time chairing the advisory board of the Central Intelligence Agency that China has been trying to steal our intellectual property and hack into our databases for ten years, and the fact that we are incapable of stopping them speaks not to our capability, it speaks to the competence of government.

We need somebody who understands technology, because technology is a tool can be used to hold bureaucracies accountable and reengage people in the process of their government.

And finally, we need someone who understands what the highest calling of leadership is. The highest calling of leadership is not the acquisition of power or title. The highest calling of leadership is to unlock potential in others. The highest calling of leadership in the Oval Office is to unlock the potential of this great nation once again. [applause]

When I think about this great nation in this, the 21st century, and what we can be – what we must be – I think of two of the most powerful symbols of our nation's democracy – Lady Liberty and Lady Justice.

Lady Liberty: She stands tall and strong. She is clear eyed and resolute. She faces outward into the world – which is the way America must always face – and she holds her torch high, because she knows she is a symbol of hope in a very troubled world.

And Lady Justice: She holds a sword at one hand, because she is a fighter. She is a warrior for the values and the principles that have made this nation great. She holds a scale in the other hand and she is reminding us with that scale that we are all equal in the eyes of God, and so we must all be equal in the eyes of the law and government, powerful and powerless alike. [applause] And she wears a blindfold, and I believe with that blindfold she is saying to us – in this country, in this century, it must be true, it can be true, that it doesn't matter what you look like or who you are or what your circumstances or how you start – here in this nation, every American's life must be filled with the possibilities that come from their God-given gifts, with liberty and justice for all.

God bless you, ladies and gentleman. Thank you so much.

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