Here are Carly Fiorina's Stances on 5 Major Issues You Care About

May 4th 2015

The field of presidential candidates increased on Monday. In addition to Dr. Ben Carson, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has jumped into the race. Fiorina becomes the second woman to enter the race and the first on the Republican side. She announced on ABC's "Good Morning America."

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Fiorina has never held elected office. In 2010, she unsuccessfully challenged California Sen. Barbara Boxer (D).(Full disclosure: I spent two years working in Boxer's Los Angeles office.)

Here's where Fiorina stands on five issues that matter to Millennials:

1. Higher Education.

Fiorina has not spoken at length on the topic of college affordability or student loan debt. This year, in Iowa, she said "that the student loan industry should be simplified," according to Stephen Dash, writing in the The Huffington Post. Unlike fellow Republican candidate Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), Fiorina does not believe the Department of Education should be eliminated.

During the 2010 Senate race, Fiorina's campaign website addressed the issue of education in broad strokes:

Carly has long believed that it is our responsibility as leaders to ensure that all students – regardless of background, socioeconomic status or ethnicity – have the tools they need to thrive in school and beyond. That effort begins by create a culture of accountability in our schools supported by high standards, well-aligned metrics and outcome-based rewards and consequences.

2. Marijuana.

Fiorina does not support the legalization of marijuana.

"I remember when I had cancer and my doctor said, ‘Do you have any interest in medicinal marijuana?’ I did not," she said to a room full of students attending the Conservative Political Action Conference, according to Slate. "And they said, good, because marijuana today is such a complex compound, we don’t really know what’s in it, we don’t really know how it interacts with other substances or other medicines."

In 2010, when California attempted to pass Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana, Fiorina released this video:

She also did not support decriminalization of drugs:

3. Immigration.

We can also look to Fiorina's Senate campaign for her views on immigration.

"Our borders aren’t secure, and we don’t have a temporary worker program that works," her campaign site said. "Let’s solve real problems by doing things we know how to get done and that we can get done."

In a 2010 debate with Boxer, the former HP CEO supported the DREAM Act because she does "not believe that we can punish children who through no fault of their own are here trying to live the American dream." The DREAM Act refers to a process that would allow undocumented immigrants to become U.S. citizens if they were brought to the U.S. as children. It has not been passed by Congress, but President Obama has protected this group from deportation through executive action, although he cannot make them citizens without Congress' approval.

This seems to be the only immigration reform that Fiorina supports, as she has stated in the past that she does not support amnesty for undocumented immigrants. She has also slammed potential 2016 candidate Jeb Bush's stance on immigration, calling it "dead wrong." Her quotes and the video are below:

“I don’t think it’s very helpful when people question other’s motivations just because they disagree with them. I don’t think it’s a fair plan to say that people who have come here illegally and have stayed here illegally can earn the same privileges, that is the privilege of citizenship, as someone who has played by the rules and taken all the time and taken all the tests and earned citizenship.”

“I don’t think that’s fair. I think a lot of Americans care very much about fairness, and that doesn’t make them immature, and it doesn’t make them lacking in compassion. It makes them people like me, who understand that while we are a compassionate nation, we are also a nation that believes in fairness.”

In a 2014 appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Fiorina criticized President Obama's executive action on immigration, stating that she supported smaller bills passed incrementally:

"Because it only help Obama and hurts the American people. But what they should do is systematically and soberly pass a series of bills to solve a decades-old problem. And they should point out to Hispanics all over this nation that this president has taken advantage of them. He sunk comprehensive immigration reform in 2007. He did nothing to push forward immigration reform when he had the Senate, the House, and the White House. He said in '11 and '12 he couldn't do anything. And then he delayed his action for the elections. Unbelievable cynicism."

4. Environment.

Fiorina accepts climate change and that humans contribute to it. She does not, however, believe that environmental regulation can assist with curbing its effects. In an April 2015 interview with MSNBC, Fiorina stated:

“Let’s say global warming or climate change has played a role in [the drought]. What all the scientists also tell us is that a single state, or single nation acting alone can make no difference acting alone. If we want to accept the science, we have to read the fine print. California can be the most onerous regulatory regime in the world, which they are, and it won’t make a bit of difference in climate change.”

In a similar vein, Fiorina wrote a pro-business, anti-regulation op-ed in the Washington Post back in 2014. The piece, titled "Companies shouldn't cave in to the demands of climate change activists," argues that "[t]he goal of these activists is to have business bow to their ideological will and reshape companies in their desired image." "Their attacks on businesses’ protected speech and political participation are intended to sideline the entrepreneurial perspective and silence the opportunity for nuanced policy discussions," she wrote.

Business is also Fiornia's solution to climate change, in the form of green energy and green technology. She explained this in 2010:

5. LGBT Rights.

Fiorina opposes same-sex marriage. The former tech CEO voted for California's Proposition 8 in 2008, which banned same-sex marriage in California until the Supreme Court invalidated the law in 2013, and she believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. She does, however, support civil unions and "bestowing" rights and benefits to gay and lesbian couples. 

"I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but also have been consistent and clear that I support civil unions for gay and lesbian couples," Fiorina stated in a 2010 debate. "The Defense of Marriage Act had broad bipartisan support. And actually, the position I've consistently espoused is consistent with that of our president and a vast majority of senators in the U.S. Senate."

Fiorina supported the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, a policy that prevented gays and lesbians from living openly while serving in the military.

Recently, Fiorina lent support to Indiana's controversial "religious freedom" law, which was passed in March and later amended after it created national uproar for its potential to protect private businesses that discriminate against gay people.

"I honestly believe this is a set of liberal political activists who practice a game of identity politics and divisive politics to whip people into a frenzy, and I think it's very destructive to the fabric of this country," she told USA Today.

"We are having now a clarifying debate about what is really at stake here for gay couples," she continued later in the interview. "What's really at stake here for gay couples is how government bestows benefits. What's really at stake here for people of religious conviction is their conviction that marriage is a religious institution because only a man and a woman can create life, which is a gift that comes from God. And I think both of those points of view are valid, and I really hope that we come to a place in this country where we are prepared to have respectful differences and tolerate those two views."

She also criticized corporate leaders who contributed to the pressure that changed Indiana's law: "It is sad that CEOs took to Twitter before checking their facts, adding to the division instead of helping build tolerance."

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