By David Knowles
Former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina said Monday she will seek to become the United States’ first female president, joining a crowded field for the Republican presidential nomination.
“Yes, I am running for president,” Fiorina said on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” adding she’d be the best person for the job because she understands how the economy and world work.
The primary race already includes a trio of U.S. senators who have announced their candidacy: Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Marco Rubio of Florida. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson joined the race on Sunday, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is expected to enter the race on Tuesday.
Later this week, Fiorina is set to speak at a TechCrunch event in New York, then swing through the key early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, spokeswoman Anna Epstein said.
Fiorina, who never has held elected office, served as an executive at AT&T and Lucent before assuming the leadership role at HP, then America’s largest computer maker, in 1999. That business experience, along with her leading role at a number of charitable organizations, such as the micro-financing non-profit Opportunity International and Good360, which helps coordinate corporate donations, will serve as a centerpiece of a campaign that is expected to portray Fiorina as the antithesis of the career politician, and the only Republican who can neutralize Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s advantage among women voters.
“We have to have a nominee who can take punches, but we have to have a nominee who will throw punches,” Fiorina told the National Review Ideas Summit on Saturday. “We’ve got to take that fight to Hillary Clinton.”
Fiorina, 60, routinely cited her corporate experience and lack of government jobs in the months leaning up to her announcement. “People who have been in politics all their lives are somewhat disconnected from the rest of us,” she told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in April.