Carly Fiorina’s willingness to field questions is yet another stark difference between herself and Secretary Clinton. At noon today, Fiorina held a press conference at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia, S.C. This choice of venue wasn’t random, as Hillary Clinton will be holding several campaign events at the hotel today that are closed to the press. A lack of press has become the norm for the Clinton campaign, as Clinton has been noted for avoiding questions during campaign events for long stretches of time. Recently, Clinton broke a month long silence by taking a mere seven questions, which she prefaced by telling reporters that she would, “ponder [taking questions].” Clinton’s intention to run an opaque campaign is no surprise given the controversy surrounding her time as Secretary of State, including her use of a private email server and foreign donations to her campaign. During her eleven minute press conference, Fiorina addressed Secretary Clinton’s record stating:
We now know that her family foundation has had to refile five years’ worth of returns because it failed to disclose donations from foreign governments. We know that she only had one email in her server, that she put a server in her basement, that it was convenient not to rely on federal government emails. We know that Benghazi was a terrorist attack despite the fact that she told us it was a protest gone bad.
It has recently come to light that, despite advocating for equal pay for women in the workplace, then-Senator Clinton paid her female staffers 72 cents on the dollar compared to her male staffers. According to a report from Politico’s Gabriel Debenedetti, Fiorina addressed this issue by advocating for more legislation that would promote equal pay for women:
“Nobody has ever been able to answer why a seniority system doesn’t hurt women, it clearly does,” said Fiorina, advocating against further legislation on the issue. “On the issue of equal pay for equal work, this is politicians trying to use an issue to drive forward their particular agenda regardless of the facts or the causes.”
Fiorina also addressed her participation in a 2014 Clinton Global Initiative event, stating that she would attend another CGI event, but that “[her] guess is they won’t invite [her] again.”
While much of Clinton’s avoidance of the press has been attributed to controversy over her foundation’s acceptance of foreign donations and her use of a private email server, her lack of transparency also shields her from taking tough questions on the issues. This includes Clinton’s radical stance on abortion which she hasn’t had to answer for as of yet. Fiorina’s press conference was, no doubt, a thorn in the Hillary campaign’s side, as her campaign’s transparency will provide a stark contrast to the opacity of the Clinton machine.
Joshua Pinho works for American Principles in Action.