Carly Fiorina, the sole female candidate seeking the Republican presidential nomination, said it was “pretty shameful” that some liberal women’s groups were attacking her.
“Really? These are people who support women and yet they’re offended by the idea of my candidacy?” Fiorina told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” Tuesday. “That’s about politics and ideology, pure and simple.”
The businesswoman has said that she offers the best contrast with likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in part because of her gender. Fiorina believes she can neutralize some appeal that Clinton would hold as the first female president.
Liberal women’s groups, led by prominent Democratic funders Emily’s List, have still lumped her together with the rest of the male Republican candidates and charged that she wouldn’t represent women well as president.
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“The messenger might change, but the substance of the Republicans’ core message is always the same,” the group said in a statement in May after Fiorina launched her campaign.
Fiorina, who must raise her profile in order to gain a spot at the first Republican debate in two weeks, has also emerged as one of the Republican field’s sharpest critics of Clinton – and she lobbed several of her signature attacks on Tuesday.
When asked about the impact on the Republican brand of Donald Trump – the bombastic Republican candidate almost certain to make the forum while Fiorina doesn’t – the former Hewlett-Packard executive declined to pass judgment but managed to turn the question into an attack on Clinton.
“Eventually voters are going to say, ‘You know what, all of this talk isn’t solving a single problem’,” Fiorina said of Trump’s rhetoric. “Nor is the fact, by the way, that Hillary Clinton won’t answer a single question and doesn’t comment on any of the major issues of the day.”