A lot of my friends are getting very excited about Carly Fiorina, and some of them are wondering why she is not on my list. Well, it’s because this is the primary season, and I am looking for someone who 1) is as conservative as me, and 2) has got achievements at advancing a conservative agenda. The key point being that just because a person is outraged at Planned Parenthood cutting into live-born babies, that isn’t the same as being pro-life through all 9 months of pregnancy, except for the case where the life of the mother is threatened.
To take one example, her view of religious liberty is not as conservative as mine, but it isn’t horrible either. Here she is on the Hugh Hewitt show explaining her view:
HH: And let me close our conversation by throwing a hard one at you. There’s a Kentucky county clerk today. She’s refusing to issue licenses to same-sex marriage couples. She’s in comtempt of court in essence. What would your advice be to her?
CF: First, I think that we must protect religious liberties with great passion and be willing to expend a lot of political capital to do so now because it’s clear religious liberty is under assault in many, many ways. Having said that, when you are a government employee, I think you take on a different role. When you are a government employee as opposed to say, an employee of another kind of organization, then in essence, you are agreeing to act as an arm of the government. And, while I disagree with this court’s decision, their actions are clear. And so I think in this particular case, this woman now needs to make a decision that’s [about] conscience: Is she prepared to continue to work for the government, be paid for by the government in which case she needs to execute the government’s will, or does she feel so strongly about this that she wants to severe her employment with the government and go seek employment elsewhere where her religious liberties would be paramount over her duties as as government employee.
HH: You don’t counsel that she continue civil disobedience?
CF: Given the role that she’s playing. Given the fact that the government is paying her salary, I think that is not appropriate. Now that’s my personal opinion. Others may disagree with that, but I think it’s a very different situation for her than someone in a hospital who’s asked to perform an abortion or someone at a florist who’s asked to serve a gay wedding. I think when you’re a government employee, you are put into a different position honestly.
That’s a view that I can vote for if she is the Republican candidate, but not a view that I prefer when we are still in the GOP primary election. There are better candidates who have stuck their necks out further to champion causes I care about, like religious liberty and natural marriage.
I took a look at Carly’s record using this “On the Issues” web site and was surprised to see that Carly advocates positions more to the right than expected, but still to the left of my favored candidates. She is definitely a Republican, and her stated views are “good enough” for me to enthusiastically support her against any Democrat.
She’s definitely more conservative on same-sex marriage, taxes, abortion, gun control, health care, energy policy than I thought, but not quite as conservative as Jindal, Walker, and Cruz on some of those issues. The only real red flag I saw was supporting the DREAM Act. But she is definitely a Republican, and much more so than people like Romney, Kasich, McCain,, Lindsay Graham.
I really wish that more Republican voters would look at sites like On The Issues, and other sites that grade conservatives like Club for Growth, National Taxpayer Union, the National Rifle Association, and the National Right to Life Committee (PDF), in order to see who the best candidates are from their actions – not from their words during debates, campaign ads, campaign stump speeches, etc. Even a libertarian site like the Cato Institute, which embraces immorality on social issues, has good ratings of governors on fiscal issues (PDF). A person is defined by how they engage in enterprises, not by what they say when asked. Where do you put your money and time? What have you fought for? What have you achieved? You can’t judge a candidate by words and how the words are stated in campaign ads, campaign speeches, or debates – although debating and speaking are important for winning in the general election.
So, where do I stand? I am looking for conservatives who have won long, drawn out fights to get conservative reforms passed. That’s why Carly Fiorina is not on my list of candidates – because I have not seen her leading and achieving in the areas I care about. Her stated views are conservative enough, but now is the time for me to push for the candidates I really want. I have nothing bad to say about her, though, and will support her if she is the GOP candidate. But for now, I’m pushing for Jindal, Walker, and Cruz. I am also OK with Rubio, mostly because, like Santorum, he is so good on foreign policy.