SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- Senate candidate Carly Fiorina on Saturday attempted to win over California Republicans by attacking two of their strongest dislikes -- incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer and a federal government she says is broken.
Fiorina is the former Hewlett-Packard CEO making her first run at public office. She introduced herself to the state's GOP convention Saturday with a campaign movie called Hot Air, which depicts the three-term Boxer as enamored with her own image and out of touch with Californians.
The short movie also attempts to boost Fiorina's image as a business leader who led Hewlett-Packard through difficult economic times.
Fiorina then assailed a federal government she says is detached and arrogant, noting the growth in the federal deficit and the Democratic effort to overhaul the nation's health care system. She specifically attacked Boxer on an issue of critical importance to California's Central Valley: decisions by federal agencies to reduce the flow of water to farms in an effort to save the threatened Delta smelt.
She said Boxer had put fish above the needs of people in refusing to take steps that would lead to more pumping.
Fiorina positioned herself as an outsider who knows how to balance budgets and create jobs, citing her rise from receptionist to CEO to show she had succeeded outside of politics.
"The people say 'stop the earmarks, boondoggles and backroom deals,' but nothing changes," she said.
Fiorina never mentioned her challengers for the GOP nomination, Chuck DeVore or Tom Campbell, but she did serve up a speech that managed to invoke Ronald Reagan and mocked a host of Democratic leaders, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Boxer has an advantage in seeking a fourth term in the heavily Democratic state, but many participants at the convention indicated they believe the nation's current economic and political woes could haunt her this year.
A spokesman for Boxer responded by saying Fiorina is focused on fiction, while the senator is focused on getting the economy back on track.
"Not even another bizarre video can distract voters from Fiorina's record as a failed CEO who laid off 28,000 workers and shipped California jobs overseas," said Rose Kapolczynski, Boxer's campaign manager.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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