CONCORD – As former Hewlett Packard chief executive and national Republican activist Carly Fiorina prepares to return to New Hampshire Thursday to speak to local GOP women activists, state Democrats on Wednesday labeled her a “failed businesswoman and failed leader.”
Fiorina is bring her “UP (Unlocking Potential) Project to Concord Thursday morning to rally Republican women to become active in the upcoming election and counter Democratic claims that the GOP is waging a “war on women.”
Fiorina launched the “UP” project in late June and has New Hampshire on the PAC’s list of six U.S. Senate races she views as competitive, where she feels the grassroots organizing of women could make a difference.
The free event is particularly noteworthy in view of last week’s NBCNews/Marist poll showing that Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown, who has primary opposition from Bob Smith and Jim Rubens, faces a 25 percentage point deficit among New Hampshire women versus Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Fiorina was last in the state in March to speak to the NHGOP’s Northeast Republican Leadership Conference.
In advance of Fiorina’s arrival, Nashua Democratic state Sen. Bette Lasky said Fiorina, as CEO of Hewlett Packard from 1999 to 2005, laid off “hundreds” of workers in Nashua in 2004 and 2005. According to news reports cited by the NHDP, Hewlett Packard laid off 50 Granite Staters in 2003 and 180 in 2004.
“Fiorina is a failed businesswoman and a failed leader,” Lasky said. “It’s why Californians rejected her (when she ran for U.S. Senate in 2010) and it’s why New Hampshire voters don’t take her seriously.”
The veteran state lawmaker pointed to a recent opinion piece authored by Fiorina and charged, “She is also an opponent of choice, and of women having the freedom to make their own health care decisions, without having to consult their bosses.” In the Telegraph piece, Fiorina wrote that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and the Democrats are “deliberately misrepresenting the Supreme Court’s decision” in the Hobby Lobby case.
Fiorina wrote in the piece: “Shaheen is feeling desperate and hoping to score political points as she faces a tough election cycle. However, the women of New Hampshire should take note: The real ‘war on women’ is the one being waged by President Barack Obama and Shaheen on our intelligence and our livelihoods.”
Lasky said Fiorina “wants to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides low-income women and families access to critical health services like mammograms and contraception” and “has sided with corporations who want to deny their female employees access to basic health services like contraception, stop paycheck fairness from becoming (federal) law and prevent an increase in the minimum wage, which would give 110,000 Granite Staters a much-deserved raise.
“Sounds strikingly similar to Scott Brown—a man who actually ran and hid in the bathroom when a reporter asked too many questions about his stance on women having to consult their bosses about their preventative health care choices,” Lasky said. “The fact that the Republican Party sees Carly Fiorina as a means to rally woman around out-of-state, out-of-touch candidates like Scott Brown and (candidate for governor) Walt Havenstein is laughable.”
Lasky also said Shaheen “has always fought for initiatives that empower women and afford them the choices they deserve.”
“And we certainly won’t stand for it when it comes from a failed California CEO dropping in to tell families in New Hampshire that they should vote for a former Massachusetts politician who sides with corporations over women and a failed Maryland CEO who would take our state backwards,” Lasky said.
State Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley said the NHGOP has shown a “bizarre pattern of touting failed CEOs at their events.
“Why is the NHGOP elevating failed and out of touch CEOs who tout their failed economic leadership?” Buckley said.