Fiorina Tells N.H. Supporters Her Business Experience Will Help Her Fight ISIS

Dec 11, 2015

Fiorina at a Republican event in N.H. in April
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican candidate Carly Fiorina has been crossing New Hampshire this week. As terror attacks in Paris and in California make headlines, Fiorina has been arguing her business background – doing deals in other countries –would make her the best commander in chief. Fiorina’s potential supporters like that argument.

This is Fiorina’s tenth swing through New Hampshire in half as many months.  Through all those stump speeches, her small government, pro-business message hasn’t changed. Neither has her intensity.

"I understand bureaucracies. That’s pretty important right now because the government has become one, giant, bloated, unaccountable, inept, corrupt, bureaucracy."

But at an event in Concord with the New Hampshire Bankers Association, and later a retail stop at Primary Bank in Bedford Fiorina spent more time than usual outlining her plans for military intervention with ISIS. 

She argues she does have military experience – she got to know a lot of international leaders while CEO of Hewlett Packard.

"We cannot have an infidel army- that is what they will call it – deny them territory we have to have Sunni Arabs deny them territory. And so  I am going to work with our allies, most of whom I know, I’ve been in the Middle East a long time, the  Jordanians, Kuwaitis, the Egyptians, the Saudis, The Kurds, The Emiratis, the Bahrainis. They aren’t perfect, but they are Arabs who understand that ISIS has got to be defeated."

And Fiorina’s arguments seem to be getting real traction.

"If the world’s on fire and we need someone to put the fires out, I think she’s great."

Patricia Reigstad came to see Fiorina at Primary Bank in Bedford. She writes mystery novels and lives in town. Her mind is made up.

"She’s spent her whole life working in areas where she’s had to meet people and deal with other countries and leaders – technology people or politicians."

Dave Allan is deciding between Fiorina and Ted Cruz. He works in the security industry.

"I understand her background, I’ve been in business and I’ve talked to leaders in high places like NSA. I trust her very much." 

There’s this moment you can count on in every Carly Fiorina stump speech. It’s the moment when she calls the Israeli president, Benjamin Netanyahu – Bebe to her – a “good friend.”

Fiorina hopes touting that friendship leads to further good feelings – with primary voters.