Fiorina: 'I Will Not Replace a Single' Retiring Federal Worker

By Susan Jones | August 10, 2015 | 7:15 AM EDT

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina gestures while speaking at the RedState Gathering, Friday, Aug. 7, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

(CNSNews.com) - "We have never succeeded in shrinking the size of government," Republican Carly Fiorina told "Fox News Sunday." She said she would do it.

"We have a bunch of baby boomers who are going to retire out of the federal government over the next five to six years. I will not replace a single one," she promised. 

"And yes, we need to actually get about the business of reducing the size, the power, the cost, complexity and corruption of this federal government."

Host Chris Wallace played a video clip of Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) criticizing Fiorina for nearly driving Hewlett-Packard, a Fortune 500 company, "into the ground." Schultz noted that Fiorina "fired 30,000 people when she was CEO."

"You know, if you end up as Republican nominee, the Democrats are going to put that in every ad -- she fired 30,000 people," host Chris Wallace told Fiorina. "It's exactly the kind of thing, Ms. Fiorina, that sunk Mitt Romney."

Fiorina said she's "flattered" that the head of the DNC would come after me because it must mean she's "gaining traction."

"But here's the facts: I led Hewlett-Packard through a very difficult time, the dotcom bust post-9/11, the worst technology recession in 25 years. I would remind Debbie Wasserman Schultz that it has taken the NASDAQ 15 years to recover.

Sometimes in tough times, tough calls are necessary. However, we also took a company from $44 billion to almost $90 million. We quadrupled its growth rate, quadrupled its cash flow, tripled its innovation to 11 patents a day, and went from lagging behind to leading in every product category in every market segment.
And yes, I was fired at the end of that, in a boardroom, which I've been very open about. And I was fired because when you challenge the status quo, which is what leadership is about, you make enemies.

Steve Jobs was fired. Oprah Winfrey was fired. Walt Disney was fired. Mike Bloomberg was fired. I feel like I'm in good company. And we need somebody to challenge status quo of Washington, D.C. and get something done."

Wallace predicted that Democrats will find "that poor, unfortunate person" who was fired, and suffered, because of Fiorina's management.

She said there's nothing harder for a chief executive to do than to tell an employee, "we don't have a job for you."

"It's also true that the vast majority of Americans know that in tough times sometimes tough decisions have to be made. And what they're frustrated by is the federal government never makes a tough decision."