Carly Fiorina and the truth are on a trial separation

Maybe there’s something about the “ex-CEO who wants to be president” personality type that just inherently makes one a liar, but Carly Fiorina is apparently taking the “Mitt” Romney “reality is subjective” route in the 2016 campaign. Here’s a sample of her whoppers:

  • She flat-out lied, and is still lying, about what she saw on the Planned Parenthood video. The reason I know that is because her campaign has had countless opportunities to actually show people the video she claims to have seen, and instead of doing that they doctored up some phony mock-up instead.
  • This whole “secretary-to-CEO” thing is a lie. Carly Fiorina was a “secretary” the way I used to “work retail” — on summer breaks from college. She briefly did other secretarial work to pass the time between dropping out of law school and moving to Italy with her first husband. The splendor of her rags-to-riches story is also somewhat diminished by the fact that the “rags” part of the story includes a father who was dean of Duke University’s law school and who was politically well-connected enough to eventually become Richard Nixon’s Deputy AG and then serve as a judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • While we’re on the “secretary” story, Fiorina often says that she fell in love with her current husband, Frank, because he took her, “a young woman from the secretarial pool…seriously.” Sounds like a touching story, except for the part where she wasn’t working as a secretary when they met.
  • There’s emerging evidence to suggest that Fiorina has told at least two lies about the sale of HP printers to Iran, in violation of US sanctions, while she was HP’s CEO. She’s said that the SEC investigated and cleared HP of wrongdoing (they never actually investigated), and that the wholesaler who sold the printers to the Iranians only started dealing with HP after she had been fired (not true, and contradicted by her own earlier statements). And the thing is, while the optics of HP printers having been sold to Iran on her watch are bad, it’s highly unlikely that HP actually did anything illegal, and it was last relevant to her over a decade ago when HP canned her. Why catch yourself in a lie (or two, or more) over this?
  • She’s using her dead step-daughter as a political totem to talk about the evils of legalized marijuana. Except that her step-daughter tragically died as a result of alcohol and prescription pill abuse, which had nothing to do with marijuana. I am terribly sorry for the Fiorinas’ loss, but using it in this way is clearly a lie.

I guess none of these is a serious lie taken in isolation, although the brazenness of that Planned Parenthood lie bothers me and the HP/Iran story suggests a person who has no real ethical compass. But the willingness to lie about her step-daughter to make a political statement is troubling, and while the rags-to-riches stuff is nothing more than what many other presidential candidates try to pull, it’s still part of an overall pattern of dishonesty.

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