Fiorina: 'Press 1 for Yes, 2 for No' to Pressure Politicians

By Susan Jones | August 5, 2015 | 8:28am EDT
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina speaks at the Road to Majority 2015 convention in Washington on June 20. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

( - Republican Carly Fiorina is budget-conscious and tech-savvy, and on Wednesday she said she would combine those two attributes to "re-engage citizens" in running their government.

Speaking to MSNBC's "Morning Joe," the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard explained that one of her priorities is to get the federal budget under control by examining and justifying every taxpayer dollar that is requested and spent.

She said she would take budget questions straight to the American people every week from the Oval Office: "I'd ask them to take our their smart phones, and I would say to them, please vote -- do you belive we need to know where every dollar is being spent? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

"People will vote. They will press one for yes. And that puts pressure on the political system. Technology is a great tool that can be used to reengage citizens in the process of their government."

Fiorina advocates zero-based budgeting, a process that begins at zero and, according to one consulting firm, builds a "culture of cost management" by forcing manageers to "rigorously review every dollar in the annual budget."

"No, I would not vote to increase the gas tax," Fiorina said in response to a question.

"Isn't it interesting that the federal government always needs more money to do anything important. Roads and bridges are one of the most important responsibilities of the feederal government, and yet somehow, despite the fact that they spend more and more and more money every year, they don't have enough money to do anything important.

"This is what's wrong with Washington. It's why we have to go to Zero-based budgeting, so we actually know how our money is being spent and we can prioritize spending our money.

"If every time the government had something important to do, they get to ask for more money from the taxpayers, we're not changing anything."

On another issue, Iran, Fiorina was asked what she would do to defeat ISIS.

America's Arab allies understand that ISIS is their fight, but they want leadership and support from us, she said.

"So I would hold a Camp David summit immediately -- not to talk our Arab allies into a bad deal with Iran -- but to say, what do you need from us? And specifically they have asked for very clear things from us. King Abdullah of Jordan has asked us for bombs and materiel. We haven't provided them, and so he's going to China.

The Kurds have asked us to arm them for three years, we haven't done it. The Egyptians have asked us to share intelligence.

The Saudis, the Egyptians, the Kurds, the Jordanians all are fighting ISIS on the ground as we speak. The Kuwaitis, the Qataris, the Emiratis also know this is their fight. So, do we need probably more Special Forces, yes; do we need bombing runs that are more effective, yes; but what we need first and foremost is to stand behind our allies give them what they have asked us for, and let them fight this fight. It's important to remember they have lost more citizens at the hands of ISIS than anyone else."

Fiorina said she would never discount the option of putting U.S. troops on the ground to fight ISIS. "But we also are not at that point yet, and I believe if we appropriately support our allies, we will not get to that point. That is the false choice that Obama offers."

She also said she would vote against the "terrible" Iran deal, and offer a new deal in its place: "Until you open every military and nuclear facility to full and unfettered imspection anytime, anywhere -- really -- we will make it as difficult as possible for you to move money arond the global financial system."

Fiorina didn't make the top-ten lineup for Thursday night's Republican debate in Cleveland, but she said she looks forward to participating in the seven-person debate that will precede the main event on Fox News.

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