Ted Rall: What Will Carly Fiorina Lie About Next?

Carly Fiorina lies
Written by Ted Rall

Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina is great with the smart sounding crisp answers. Unfortunately, they’re full of half truths and outright deceptions, says Ted Rall.

aNewDomain coted-rall-carly-fiorinammentary — Carly Fiorina came out of Wednesday’s gruelingly long Republican presidential debate as “the most impressive candidate,” though “her spotty record at Hewlett-Packard” makes her a better prospect for vice president, says David Brooks, New York Times columnist and Ur of conventional wisdom in corporate media.

The standout moment in Fiorina’s performance? It was when she revealed that she’d “buried a child due to drug addiction.”

Fiorina said:

I very much hope that I am the only person on this stage who can say this.”

I know it was a “whoa” moment in an otherwise dreary debate. Fiorina was personal. Straight. Human. 

It was also misleading.

The child in question was Lori Ann Fiorina — Carly’s stepdaughter. Lori Ann, who suffered a fatal overdose in 2009. She was 35.

I don’t doubt that Carly loved Lori Ann, or that she considered her her own. Lori Ann, Carly’s husband Frank’s daughter from his first marriage, was only 6 when Carly met her. Carly has no biological children of her own.

carly fiorina liesBut this is presidential politics. Voters have a right to the whole story, not the Twitter version. By saying she’d “buried a child” as a result of illegal drugs, the picture that popped into the millions of brains watching Wednesday night was of her child — not a stepchild — under 18, the age of, you know, a child.

Fiorina may be evil corporate scum, but she’s not stupid. She knew what she was doing when she scripted that line, which clearly read like one of the many lines that debate candidates practice in advance (“there you go again”): She was artfully threading the needle in order to politicize her grief for maximum effect.

It was also a misleading segue. The “buried a child” line followed a brief discussion about the perils of marijuana as a gateway drug. But Lori Ann Fiorina died from alcoholism and abuse of prescription drugs, not pot.

In court, witnesses are asked to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Why didn’t Fiorina tell the whole truth? Because it wouldn’t have made for nearly as compelling a line for an electorate unlikely to investigate the truth for themselves:Carly Fiorina lies

“I buried my stepchild, my husband Frank’s daughter, to drug addiction, when she was in her thirties.”

If this were the fact-checking website Politifact, I’m sure they’d subtract some truth points for conflating a daughter with a stepdaughter. They’re not the same, any more than a brother is the same as a brother-in-law, even if you love him like a brother.

The age thing gets more of a pass. I’m my mother’s child even now, at age 52. Especially when she sends me a check. Coupled with the daughter/stepdaughter fudge, however, I can’t help thinking we’re looking at someone who doesn’t have a close relationship with playing things straight.

During the same debate, Fiorina described watching an anti-abortion group’s video of “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” No matter where you stand on reproductive rights, that’s a disgusting image.

It’s also not true.

CNN called it “true but … misleading.” Fox said it was “pure fiction … there is no video (of this in the Planned Parenthood) images.” Salon’s editor said Fiorina was “either a liar, or she’s delusional.”

Beyond the debate, Fiorina, who appears gifted in terms of delivering crisp comments and putting Trump in his place, seems to be equally gifted in fact-fudging. In a four-minute conversation with Katie Couric about climate change, a dialogue heralded by conservatives as an example of a conservative finally putting left-leaning environmentalists in their place, she enumerated all kinds of far-fetched “facts.”

She derided solar energy as requiring too much water (not true), coal as providing half the nation’s power (not true) and wind turbines as a problem because they kill so many birds (they kill a tiny number of birds compared to cats and cable towers).

If Fiorina lies about deeply personal topics like her stepdaughter’s tragic death and about the topic of abortion — and if she lies freely about scientific facts — how will lying play into the execution of her disturbingly forthright foreign policy agenda of refusing to engage in diplomacy with Russia and sending more arms to the Middle East?

For aNewDomain, I’m Ted Rall.




  • I would also like to point out that she dared to say that HP got better off because of her. Because she did a great job. And that HP is doing great right now! On what world exactly that happened?

  • You are a complete sh*t in your statements about Fiorina and the death of her stepdaughter. My husband and I have a daughter….currently incarcerated for a serious drug offense. She will turn 30 in prison. She has been at death’s door many times because of her addiction. He is her stepfather…since she was 5….and we have been devastated, over and over, by this terrible plague upon her life and our family. You have no idea what you are talking about when you vomited this garbage onto a page and served it up. I am not a Fiorina supporter. I am just in the process of learning more about her but your assessment of what being the parent (step or otherwise) of an addict is all about informs more of what a clueless, classless creep you are than anything about Ms. Fiorina.

  • Carly has been married to her husband for 30 years…just because she has no children of her own does not mean that she did not love this child as if she were her own…she helped raise this child….How dare you condemn someone for not having any children of their own…did you ever think that maybe just maybe she could not have children like so many others in this country….You have no right to belittle someone else’s grief. I am the mother of 2 grown children..however I still consider them my Child…just because they are in their thirties or forties does not make them anything other than my child….you want to attack Carly go ahead but this is not a reason to attack her…

    • Do you know this woman personally, Jay? Did you work for Bell Labs, Lucent, Compaq, DE, or HP? Do you have better information on her that you’d care to share with us? Did she help you get a new job after laying you off, perhaps? And did you get a nice severance package? These are all things we would like to know.

  • So HP is doing just great, another commentator says. If you want to quantify “greatness” by number of layoffs, it sure is. 25000 announced in the last week or two, on top of 50000 a few years ago. “HP! Where Pink Slips are our most important product!” And don’t forget all those who formerly worked for Compaq, DEC, and Lucent! That was some fiber optic sale Carly negotiated for Lucent— with a vaporware customer, essentially destroying Lucent after it all fell apart. For those who don’t know, Lucent is a later name for what used to include Bell Telephone Labs and Western Electric. From there we got the transistor, the science called Information Theory, and the UNIX operating system. But Carly destroyed it all. Likewise, the former second largest computer company in America, DEC. In brief, to both the high tech analog electronics industry and cutting edge computer research, this woman has been like a malignant tumor for most of her professional life. Now she wants to see what she can do for America. On that score, she has already taken aim at her first target: poor women’s health.
    As to the daughter vs step-daughter question, one word comes to the fore: cheap. Not because of the poor woman herself, or her tragic death, but because of Carly’s cheap shameless attempt to exploit that tragedy to political advantage. Regardless of any specifics or details, it had nothing whatsoever to do with Carly’s qualification to be, President, dog-catcher, or bankruptcy judge (a position she might actually be qualified for, were she to go out and get herself a law degree). That Carly brought it up at all gives us not only a small glimpse of Carly’s overall moral character, but significant insight as to how so many former technological powerhouses fell into oblivion.

  • Fiorina appears to be a classic narcissist. She conflated the subject of marijuana use (medicinal or otherwise) with abuse of prescription narcotics by an adult alcoholic child and appeared to make it sound as though it was a young child she buried. She fabricated the story of a planned parenthood video and crafted a narrative designed to evoke feelings of outrage by the “right to life” base – to hell with the facts. When confronted with her failure at HP she defended herself by blaming a “dysfunctional” board of directors. I am dying for someone to ask her if she couldn’t effectively manage around a board of a dozen “dysfunctional” members, what makes her think she could manage a dysfunctional congress? She has demonstrated her willingness to lie about anything in order to achieve her goal.

  • Carly is a liar and/or a deceiver plain and simple!

    If it is not one thing Carly is deceitful about then it is something else.

    It is amazing those willing to defend Carly saying what she will, regardless of whether what she says is factual or not.

  • I APPLAUD YOU for telling the truth in this article. it is a very hard subject to approach her on, because she will say, “I lost my DAUGHTER!!” to the reporter. They were on vacation when they were informed. The cop did NOT show up at her door like she said, while trying to make a made for TV film out of it. You can tell that she is lying, every time that she moves her mouth. – Just like all the other republicans. She COMPLETELY LIED about the alleged baby on the table with all of the other out of context lies about Planned Parenthood. The republicans are SCUM. Plain and simple.

  • I love Carly’s sleeveless arms. Make my cock hard. I will vote for her if she lets me touch them, kiss them while she flexes them hard!

  • I agree. I thought it was shameless that she tried to pull of her step-daughter as her own child, especially given that the girls mother had full custody of them. I’m sorry but being a weekend or holidays step mother is NOT the same thing as being their mother. What a LIAR! I am a step mother and I would NEVER tell anyone I was the children’s “mother.” OUTRAGEOUS!