(CNSNews.com) – Carly Fiorina had strong words for Hillary Clinton and President Obama at Monday's “voters first presidential forum” in New Hampshire, questioning Clinton’s character over Benghazi and the email scandal, and charging that Obama is offering a “false choice” of agreeing with his actions or going to war.
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO, who likely won’t make the cut for the Fox News debate in Cleveland on Thursday due to low polling numbers, said the Republican Party needs to have a presidential nominee “who is going to throw every punch.”
“This is a fight,” she declared. “It’s a fight for the future of this nation; it’s a fight for the character of this nation.”
Fiorina, the first woman to be named CEO of a Fortune 50 company, appeared keen to show that she, for one, will not shy away from that fight, pointedly invoking Britain’s first female prime minister, the late Margaret Thatcher.
Asked by the moderator, Jack Heath of Manchester, N.H.-based WGIR-AM, whether she viewed the furor over Benghazi and the Clinton emails as “political inconveniences” for the Democratic candidate or whether there were bigger issues at stake, Fiorina seized the opportunity.
“I think Hillary Clinton thinks they are ‘political inconveniences’ – that’s what she gives off. But they are far more than that,” she replied.
“She lied about Benghazi,” Fiorina continued, referring to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in the Libyan city which cost the lives of lives of the U.S. ambassador, a foreign service officer and two Navy Seals.
“She knew it was a purposeful terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11. She went to the American people and talked some fiction about a video-tape, “Fiorina said. “She stood over the bodies of the fallen.”
(Shortly after the assault the administration asserted that it had been a spontaneous reaction to an online video mocking Mohammed, rather than a planned terrorist attack, a position some critics viewed as politically-motivated during the latter stages of Obama’s re-election campaign.)
Fiorina also accused Clinton of dishonesty over the controversy regarding her use of an unsecured, at-home email server while secretary of state.
“She has as well lied about her servers and the kind of information she had on her server and why she kept everything on a single device. These go to the core of her character.”
Fiorina, one of 14 GOP presidential hopefuls who took part in the forum, slammed that administration’s foreign policy, saying America needs to be clearer in its messages, both to allies and to adversaries.
She said Obama had placed a “false choice” before the American people: “either you agree with what I’m doing or not doing, or the option is to go to war.”
“It’s not true; there’s many things we could and should be doing. First, we must have the strongest military on the face of the planet, and everyone has to know it,” she said, calling for investment and reforms.
Fiorina said on her first day as president she would make two calls. One would be to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to assure Israel of America’s strong support.
The second call would be to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – “realistically he might not take my phone call; he’d get the message” – to make it clear that “until and unless you allow full, unfettered anytime, anywhere inspections we will make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system.”
Fiorina said America’s allies need to hear that the U.S. will stand with them, and its adversaries need to hear a message too: “we will confront you.”
In a wrap-up segment Fiorina said this was a pivotal time for the United States.
“Whatever your issue or cause or festering problem that you hoped would be resolved, the political class has let you down,” she said.
“Margaret Thatcher once said, ‘I am not content to manage the decline of a great nation.’ Neither am I.”