NEWPORT BEACH — The audience cheered and clapped every time Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina threw a jab at Sen. Barbara Boxer.
“She’s ineffective and can’t get anything done,” she said.
But other than that, the former technology executive didn’t give many details on how she plans to do a better job than her Democratic opponent during the Grass Roots Community Forum at the Newport Beach Golf Course’s “Tee Room” on Tuesday.
“She painted a broad brush,” said Tom Pollitt, a Costa Mesa resident. “But the truth is a change has to be made.”
The event was sponsored by local “tea party” members and was announced on the Tea Party Patriots’ website, an organization that calls dubs itself as a grassroots American movement. The liberal website MoveOn.org encouraged Boxer supporters to attend, but the organization’s presence appeared limited in conservative-leaning Newport.
“Everyone has their own questions and concerns, and we want to give them the chance to discuss it with her and see if she’s going to be sensitive to their concerns if she’s elected to the Senate,” said Frances Akhavi, one of the event’s organizers.
Bettina Deininger, a Newport Beach resident who was among the more than 100 people in attendance, said she wanted to meet Fiorina.
Deininger also said she’d like to know how Fiorina plans to bring jobs back to California and repeal the health-care reform bill.
During her visit, which was open to the public, Fiorina said her priorities are to amend the Obama administration’s health-care plan, cut taxes and create jobs.
The former Hewlett-Packard executive said she spent years managing billions of dollars and plans to hold politicians in Washington accountable.
Fiorina said making it easier for small businesses to thrive in California, securing the borders and working on creating a guest-worker program are some of her first priorities.
When an attendee asked her she plans to repeal the health-care reform bill and hold people in Washington accountable, Fiorina talked about how the bill is taking money from Medicaid and leaving women without the opportunity to get mammograms to detect breast cancer earlier.
“I take that personally because I’m a breast cancer survivor,” she said.
During the media portion of the forum, she said, “In reality, the bill can’t be repealed.”
She went on to explain smaller steps can be taken including removing a tax provision requirement for small businesses, among other provisions that makes it difficult for businesses to thrive. She also said a bigger change would be to get President Obama out of the White House.
The first step would be by voting Boxer out of office, Fiorina said.
“I hope Barbara Boxer is feeling the heat,” Fiorina said.