LACONIA — Speaking to a packed house at the Belknap Mill last evening, Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina closed by riffing on two national icons — both women standing tall — she called "Lady Liberty and Lady Justice." The first resolutely facing the world as a beacon of hope and the second bearing the sword of a warrior and the scale of a judge.
Both images inform Fiorina's campaign as both a candidate and a woman. She began as a secretary in small real estate agency and became chief executive officer message of the largest technology company in the world, a career she said, "is only possible in this nation." She explained that the country was founded on the "radical idea" that everyone has potential "to live a life of dignity, purpose and meaning" and it is role of leaders "to unlock the potential of others."
Noting that polling data indicates that nearly half of Americans believe the federal government is corrupt and eight of 10 believe the country is ruled by a professional political class, Fiorna claimed that weight of government bureaucracy and the political class is crushing individual initiative. "That's why I'm running for president," she said.
"Leaders challenge the status quo," Fiorina said. "That's what leaders do." She said that "we don't lack for good ideas" for securing the border, simplifying the tax code, lifting regulatory burdens, or balancing the budget, but nothing has been done for years. "The answer is always we need more money," she said, adding "it's called ineptitude and corruption. We have got to challenge the status quo."
Fiorina said that she would reduce federal spending by introducing "zero based budgeting," requiring every agency to justify every dollar spent. She said that the government spends the money of its citizens, who are entitled to know how it is spent.
The Environmental Protection Agency, she claimed, is "in the process of destroying industry after industry" and "has to be reined in," beginning with rescinding every regulation adopted during the Obama Administrations.
She spoke of "building the strongest military in the world," particularly by sharpening "the tip of the spear" — the combat forces that project American power. The world, Fiorina said, wants and needs "American leadership" and she would assure both allies and enemies that "America is back in the leadership business."
Fiorina echoed another woman, Margaret Thatcher, who as prime minister of Great Britain declared "I will not manage the decline of a great nation," then in her own words added "I will lead the resurgence of this great nation."
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