Carly Fiorina reaches out to Nevada Caucus voters
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO Monday night held a telephone town hall with Silver State supporters that was as much a plea for volunteers as it was a discussion of the issues surrounding the GOP race.
Three times during the 30-minute call, Fiorina's campaign asked people to use the touch pads on their telephones to register their willingness to donate, volunteer or receive more information about the campaign.
The requests for support came on the heels of Fox Business Network's decision earlier in the evening to demote Fiorina and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul from the prime-time GOP debate Jan. 14 in Charleston, South Carolina, and instead place them in the earlier undercard debate alongside former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Paul said he would not participate in the debate. In her Monday conference call, Fiorina never mentioned the issue, focusing instead on her major themes of changing the political culture in Washington, and using technology to do it.
"We were never intended to have a federal government that owns 80 percent of the land in your state," Fiorina said in a slight nod to the continuing feud between Nevada ranchers and federal land management authorities.
One caller asked Fiorina about nuclear waste disposal at Nevada's Yucca Mountain, located 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Congress approved the site in 2002 to receive and store spent nuclear fuel, but the Obama Administration ended the authorization in 2011. An effort in late 2015 to reauthorize the site through the federal budget was blocked by Nevada's U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, a long-time opponent.
Fiorina took the opposite view, saying she supports the Yucca Mountain disposal site as part of a long-term effort to increase that nation's energy independence. "People have spoken on this issue," she said. "People say its safe, and I'm with the people."
Fiorina took questions on a number of broader policy issues, ranging from illegal immigration to Social Security and welfare reform.
She also took the time to explain where she fits on the ideological spectrum.
"The media doesn’t know what to think about me," Fiorina said. "I'm a proud, pro-life conservative. I'm a social conservative. A fiscal conservative. I believe America has to lead in the world."
When a caller asked what her candidacy can offer voters who are otherwise flocking to GOP front-runner Donald Trump, Fiorina said she is the only candidate who has been tested and forced to show real results.
"We have to elect a very different kind of leadership. I offer myself as a citizen leader who knows how to get things done," she said. Fiorina added that standing up to what another caller called "corrupt good old boys" was "sort of the story of my life."
"People have been told to settle down, sit down, it will all be alright," Fiorina said. "People are waking up to the fact that advice is wrong."
The Nevada GOP Caucuses will be held Feb. 23. A Dec. 28 Gravis Marketing poll placed Fiorina in a tie for fifth place with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, all at five percent.