Cara Carleton “Carly” Fiorina (née Sneed ; born September 6, 1954) was a candidate for the United States Senate in 2010, Fiorina ruled out running for the U.S. Senate in 2016, but did not rule out running for President in 2016. Fiorina formally announced her intentions to run for the Republican nomination on May 4 2015. Her business background and status as the only female CEO amongst a sea of “suited men” were viewed as positives with Republican strategists.
Shortly after announcing her entry in the 2016 election, social media referenced her tenure as Hewlett- Packard’s (HP) CEO and chair as a basis for her run for President. Commentators challenged her claim of success citing dozens of examples of why Fiorina allegedly failed in her leadership roles at HP and Lucent. Discussions revolved around the 30,000 U.S. job cuts as well as offshoring, that Fiorina directed during her tenure at HP, contrasting with the high compensation bonuses she received from the company and the events surrounding her resignation from HP. Fiorina’s campaign manager attempted to deflect the criticism saying, “she worked hard to keep as many jobs as possible”. Fiorina’s defenders argued that she made decisions that weren’t always popular in attempts to turn around a struggling firm.
Her performances in early debates for the Republican nomination, particularly her rebukes of Republican front-runner Donald Trump in the September 2015 debate earned a significant spike in the polls from 3% to 15% . This was short lived as her polling numbers dropped to 4% in October and 3% in December. As a result Fiorina was dropped from the debate in February 2016. On February 10, 2016 Fiorina suspended her campaign due to weak results in Iowa and New Hampshire. On March 9, 2016 Fiorina announced her endorsement for Ted Cruz.
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Epstein, Reid (April 22, 2015). “Carly Fiorina to Launch Presidential Campaign on May 4”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
Lee, MJ (May 5, 2015). “Carly Fiorina’s HP record clouds her campaign launch”. CNN. Retrieved May 6, 2015.