Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO now seeking the Republican presidential nomination, was grilled Sunday by Fox Chris Wallace about her record of laying off about 30,000 employees over her tenure. Fiorina suggested she would bring the same job elimination approach as president.
Wallace noted to Fiorina that Democrats had successfully defeated former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) in 2012, in part, by highlighting his record of layoffs over his time at Bain Capital and asked how she would avoid the same fate if she were the nominee.
Fiorina responded by pointing out that “not all businesspeople are the same,” just like not all politicians who run for president lose.
She then suggested that “the vast majority of Americans understand that in tough times, sometimes tough decisions have to be made.”
Arguing that “we have never succeeded in shrinking the size of government,” she added: “We have a bunch of baby boomers who are gonna retire out of the federal government over the next five or six year. I will not replace a single one.”
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Taken literally, this promise would mean that she would simply leave vacant Supreme Court vacancies, would not appoint any executive officials, and would leave military forces without any commanders should any retirements occur.
But her claim about government size is demonstrably false. According to the Office of Personnel Management, 5,289,000 federal employees were part of the government in President Reagan left year in office (1988). In 2014, that number was just 4,185,000.