CARLY FIORINA: Thank you Thank you so much. My good friends, I have heard your message loud and clear: The people of California have had enough. In fact, I think they are hearing you all the way to Washington, D.C.!
From the moment I declared my candidacy, over 7,000 volunteers, over 20 coalitions, twelve thousand donors and a tireless, hard-working staff have made this the greatest team effort I have ever been privileged to be a part of. All of you worked together to make tonight a reality, and I owe you a debt of gratitude that is very difficult for me to express.
While I cannot name all of you, there is one very special person who has been my running mate for over 25 years now: my husband, Frank, the rock of my life.
I want to begin tonight by acknowledging two committed Republicans who also have sacrificed and worked hard for the cause of victory in November: Chuck DeVore and Tom Campbell. We all fought hard for the privilege of this office. I salute them for their determined work to change the course of America, and I look very much forward to their help and support in the common cause we now share.
Congratulations as well to my good friend and colleague, Meg Whitman. California will now be offered two candidates at the top of our ticket who’ve actually created jobs and cut costs – and we looking forward to taking on the two career politicians on the other side.
But the teamwork that brought us here cannot end here tonight. So, as we celebrate, and it looks like you’ve been having a heck of a party here celebrating, let us remember that beginning tomorrow and through November 2nd, we are going to run a tireless, fearless campaign all across California to finally unseat Barbara Boxer.
In her 28 years of being a career politician in Washington, D.C., Barbara Boxer has been a bitter partisan who has said much but accomplished little. She may get an “A” for politics but she gets an “F” for achievement.
Nevertheless, Barbara Boxer has said one thing I agree with. She said recently that this election “offers the clearest choice in the nation,” and I cannot agree more. Her far left views place her on the fringe of American politics and our differences could not be greater.
Quite simply: this election is about the future not the past. For three decades in the Congress, Boxer has personified the entrenched, stale arrogance of someone who has long forgotten that here in America, the people rule, not the government.
When she dressed down that General in front of the cameras, she displayed all the destructive elitism that is so disquieting to the people of California. When she made a rare trip to California to fill her campaign coffers, she said the reason for her poor approval ratings was because the voters of California were “grumpy” about the economy. I think that’s the first time Barbara Boxer has been guilty of understatement.
Nearly two and a half million Californians are out of work, many for over six months. Hundreds of thousands more has given up looking for work. There are boarded up store fronts all across California, there are food lines in our great San Joaquin Valley and businesses large and small leaving this state at record rates.
And do you remember, as I do, that Barbara Boxer voted for a so-called stimulus package that she promised would reduce unemployment to eight percent or less? She has become so tone deaf about reality that she has deluded herself into believing that the word “grumpy” actually describes the desperation and despair caused by big government folly, big government bailouts and the build-up of $13 trillion of national debt.
It is precisely this kind of “old politics”, the failure to listen, the failure to understand that has caused tens of millions of Americans to feel betrayed. Our fellow citizens feel betrayed by the distant and insulated politics of incumbency, entrenchment and incompetence.
This election is also about the big differences between the kind of people we are and what we believe.
I believe that each person everywhere has enormous potential if they are given the freedom and the opportunity to fulfill it. Barbara Boxer believes that it is government that promotes potential, not the individual. I believe in lower taxes so we the people can best decide best how to spend and invest our hard-earned dollars. She believes that government can decide how best to spend your income.
I believe that small businesses and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our country and the engine to get our economy moving again, and she believes that massive government spending and massive deficits are the answer.
I believe in the honor and heroism that has distinguished our armed services. From the day she entered Congress, Barbara Boxer has been a loud and cynical critic of America’s military, repeatedly voting to cut off or reduce the resources that our fighting men and women need to effectively combat our enemies. And she has stood silently by as Israel is condemned and threatened and Iran moves towards nuclear weapons.
This campaign is also going to be about what works and what doesn’t work – about action and results versus rhetoric and failures. Twenty-first century issues and realities require the common sense, good judgment, new ideas and perspective that come from the real world experience I bring to the table. Barbara Boxer thinks the real world revolves around a couple of square miles and a vast, unaccountable bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.
Listen, my fellow Californians, I promise you this: from day one in the U.S. Senate I will be relentless in fighting for every job and I will start by making it easier, not harder, for small-businesses, family businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs to do what they do best, which is to create private sector jobs and build the American Dream.
We must end the failure and disgrace of California being responsible for one out of every six unemployed Americans. Barbara Boxer’s answer of rhetoric over reality stops now.
I bring a track record of problem solving, transparency and decision-making. I am willing to ask tough questions. I am prepared to shake things up. And unlike Barbara Boxer, I am also prepared to be held accountable.
Throughout this campaign, I have met tens of thousands of Californians from every walk of life. Even with all the challenges of policy and government facing America, what I heard most often as I traveled up and down this great and glorious state was a concern about the core of America – our soul and our spirit.
People fear that something is slipping away from us, that America is drifting. What has happened to us? It was symbolized by a woman who gripped my hand and, looking into my eyes, said: “I have never voted before. I am voting for you because I fear for my children’s future.”
I knew instantly what she meant. Dreamers and patriots founded our country on a single, radical idea: that anyone, from anywhere could live the life they choose and rise to fulfill their own potential; that the pursuit of happiness is a protected right. That radical idea exists today for us to fulfill the American dream. But without freedom and without opportunity, our American dreams die and we cannot permit a far-removed government to become a patronizing state.
Our founding fathers intended a citizen government – that is what “of, by and for the people” means. They knew that people from the real world should come to public service as a check on unbridled government. And Barbara Boxer is the perfect example of why we must now return to a citizen government.
I decided to run for the Senate because I could make a difference. I am not a career politician. I am a concerned citizen answering a call for change. I have lived the American dream that was promised by that radical idea of fulfilling one’s potential to the fullest. Starting as a receptionist who typed, filed and answered phones at a little nine-person business, I was privileged to work my way up to become the CEO of Hewlett Packard. No one is promised an easy path – that is not our guarantee. Mine was not easy either. Frank’s and my life together – like yours – has had its share of hardship and heartache, but we have also been greatly blessed.
Early last year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a tough passage, but with that passage came stronger faith, stronger family and a stronger conviction. A conviction to give back to a country that has given me a life I could not dare to dream of when I started typing on that IBM Selectric.
Oh, and one more thing: when I started this campaign I was nearly bald. After seeing that reflection in the mirror, Barbara Boxer doesn’t scare me a bit.
All of us together can recapture the sound and the spirit of American democracy.
Democrats, Republicans, tea partiers, independents, conservatives, moderates and believers in the “radical idea” that is America — we all belong to one party this year: “The Had Enough Party.” We the people have had enough of politicians who are certainly entitled to their ideology but who aren’t entitled to impose it on the rest of us.
It is easy to become dispirited with all the challenges we face. But we are Americans – and when things get tough, or we lost track or our spirit has drifted, that is when we emerge from our shops and our factories, that is when we come out of our neighborhoods and our homes, and our hills and our towns, and our cities and our villages – and we will march with our vote.
Our government is out of control and out of touch. It is corrupt, arrogant and distant. So with your prayers and your marching feet beside me, inspired by the radical idea that the American dream belongs to everyone, I make you this promise tonight: We will take our government back. We will make it listen. And we will make it work.
Thank you so much.