One of the Republican candidates for the presidential nomination who managed to make news despite Donald Trump’s media dominance was Carly Fiorina. She was the former chief executive officer, or CEO, of Hewlett-Packard. Her campaign got off to a rocky start. She was not terribly popular. Fiorina had previously attempted to run for the office of senator in the state of California but lost miserably to the incumbent Democrat. Fiorina never really emerged as a frontrunner in the polls although she did have ups and down through her campaign. That has now all changed.
Carly Fiorina was almost always in the middle or at the bottom of the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls. Her message rarely resonated with voters. She was seen by some pundits as being the anti-Hillary Clinton candidate. It was hoped that Fiorina would be able to leverage brutal attacks against Clinton and her family without being called out for misogyny like some of the male Republican candidates. That type of activity never really manifested, however, and Fiorina largely fell into the background. She even failed to earn enough support to be included in several of the Republican prime time debates.
The one moment when the Fiorina campaign started to gain a little momentum had to do with her comments on doctored tapes from activists attempting to show wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. Fiorina spent weeks claiming that the tapes showed live fetuses or babies on tables being killed and then dissected. She claimed that the video showed Planned Parenthood performing those acts. She also said that Planned Parenthood was illegally selling body parts. This was a gross mischaracterization of what was on the tape and what Planned Parenthood was actually doing.
The Planned Parenthood incident did not end well for Fiorina. She received a slight boost in her poll numbers garnering her more media attention. The media did confront her stating that no one could find the footage she claimed to see. Fiorina was also confronted with the reality that the tapes were doctored. The Planned Parenthood case made it to a grand jury in Texas. Instead of indicting Planned Parenthood, the jurors found that there was no wrongdoing. Additionally, they ended up indicting the activists who made the tapes. Fiorina never admitted she was mistaken. She did the opposite and kept insisting everyone else was wrong while she was right. Fiorina even upset many people when she refused to tone down the rhetoric after a shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado.
Fiorina did very poorly in the New Hampshire primary. She received very few votes and came in close to the bottom of the pack of candidates. This seems to have finally been too much for her beleaguered campaign. Fiorina announced that she would be suspending her campaign. She added that she would not fade from the national dialog. Fiorina claimed that she would continue speaking out about issues that she find important. The question is whether anyone will listen to her. Fiorina has very little power within the Republican Party and a dwindling base of supporters.
The exit of Fiorina from the race leaves just seven Republican candidates still running. Donald Trump maintains his lead with a very strong showing in New Hampshire. Fiorina was unable to connect with voters. She also had a horrendous record at Hewlett-Packard where she laid off more than 38,000 people while nearly bankrupting the company. She managed to triple her salary while the company sank. Fiorina does not have the type of business record most voters want to see. It remains to be seen which remaining candidate voters who were behind Fiorina will decide to support in the race.