Carly Fiorina had her second showing on the main GOP debate stage Wednesday night after being promoted from the so-called kids table for her strong performance in the party's first 2016 forum. Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive, took a question about the pay gap as an opportunity to condemn Hillary Rodham Clinton’s policies and slam Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, as “bad for women.”
“It is the height of hypocrisy for Mrs. Clinton to talk about being the first woman president when every single policy she espouses, and every single policy of President Obama, has been demonstrably bad for women,” she declared. “Ninety-two percent of the jobs lost during Barack Obama's first term belonged to women.
“Three million women have fallen into poverty under this administration,” she continued, echoing Sen. Ted Cruz, who made a similar assertion. “The number of women living in extreme poverty is the highest level on record.”
The jobs figure is a throwback to one of Mitt Romney’s campaign talking points from 2012 -- one that has been debunked. This year, NPR tackled the poverty rate claim after Jeb Bush made it, and found that, like the jobs number, the real answer is a bit more complicated than “it’s Obama’s fault.” The poverty rate in America has effectively stagnated over the last two years, though it is at a record high.
Some Twitter users seemed skeptical that Clinton, who supports Planned Parenthood, equal pay legislation and paid family leave, is bad for women.
You only think @HillaryClinton's proposals are bad for women if you think women's best economic shot is to be tethered to a male breadwinner— Sara Lang (@SaraLang) October 29, 2015
yes Mrs Fiorina, "every single policy" of Obama is bad for women...and that's why WOMEN voted for him over McCain and #Bindersfullofwomen— Jimmy williams (@Jimmyspolitics) October 29, 2015
"These policies are bad for women." -- the people that want to defund Planned Parenthood #CNBCGOPDebate— College Dems of MA (@CollegeDemsofMA) October 29, 2015
Carly Fiorina thinks Hillary Clinton is bad for women but also thinks Planned Parenthood sells babies, so, okay. #GOPDebate— Polly Mosendz (@polly) October 29, 2015
But some supported her, including actress and conservative commentator Stacey Dash:
Hillary Clinton’s camp tweeted a rebuttal:
We need to fight for policies that break down barriers to good jobs and help balance work and family: equal pay, child care, and paid leave.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 29, 2015
In her closing statement, Fiorina referred to herself as “Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare.“ She said that, deep down, viewers want to see the two female candidates go head-to-head in a debate.
She’s certainly not wrong about that.
Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter @jessica_roy.