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Carly Fiorina: What does she stand for?

Former business executive Carly Fiorina speaks to guests gathered at the Point of Grace Church for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition 2015 Spring Kickoff on April 25, 2015 in Waukee, Iowa. The Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, a conservative Christian organization, hosted 9 potential contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nominations at the event. Scott Olson, Getty Images

This article is the latest in a continuing series examining where the 2016 candidates stand on five key issues. Click here to read about Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, John Kasich, Bernie Sanders, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz.

Carly Fiorina: Political office doesn’t always qualify you for the presidency 02:31

When Carly Fiorina took the helm of Hewlett-Packard as its CEO in 1999, she made history as the first woman to run a Fortune 100 company. Now, she's looking to break the ultimate glass ceiling and take the White House. She's the only woman seeking the Republican presidential nomination and one of the few GOP candidates (along with Ben Carson and Donald Trump) with a background outside of politics.

Her record at HP was far from a success story, but Fiorina nevertheless touts her experience climbing the corporate ladder. Fiorina also has a mixed record in politics, but she claims her experiences have left her well-prepared to handle everything from immigration to Middle Eastern affairs.

Here's a look at where Carly Fiorina stands on the issues:


Carly Fiorina participates in a presidential forum hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

In her remarks about education, Fiorina has stressed the importance of school choice. At an education summit in New Hampshire earlier this year, she said that "literally every parent, regardless of their circumstances, [should have] a choice about how and where to educate their child."

She praised the controversial reforms implemented in Nevada as "really innovative," explaining that the state's new law permits parents to open a K-12 education account. Through that account, public funding follows a child to whichever school their parents send them to. Consequently, "the school district has the funding to make that choice pay off," Fiorina said.

She lamented the way the Department of Education and other federal bureaucracies have stymied innovation in education and argued that Common Core has morphed into a "racket."

"The states adopted it on their own and they were incentivized to do so because money flowed with it," she said. "I mean, that is a heck of a choice. Look, you do it our way and you get the money that you desperately need, you don't do it our way and you don't get the money you desperately need. Sounds like a bit of a racket to me, honestly."


Carly Fiorina, Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Company, speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Scott Olson, Getty Images

The former CEO claims that her business background makes her uniquely qualified to tackle the issue of immigration.

"I don't come from the world of politics, I come from the world of business where it is all about the results," she said at a GOP meeting in Amherst, New Hampshire over Labor Day weekend. "It's all about problem solving, so let us start by securing the border -- this is not rocket science."

Republican Immigration Divide 07:28

Similarly, she said on CNN earlier this month, "Every presidential cycle we talk about immigration, and yet nothing changes. This is why people are upset. So what I would say to voters is, vote for someone who has a track record, not just of talking but of doing... What I will do is ensure we actually secure the border. What I will do is ensure we actually fix the legal immigration system."

She also said in that CNN interview that she does not support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

"There must be consequence for breaking the law," she said. "They can earn a pathway to legal status under certain circumstances so that they can work, but citizenship is a privilege to be earned."


Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation, addresses the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington, DC on February 26, 2015. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Fiorina has argued that the current tax system should be simpler and more transparent. She's also called for a zero-based budgeting system, rather than starting federal budget negotiations at budget levels from the previous year.

She's pitched taking the 70,000 page tax code and make it three pages, as well as lowering overall tax rates and closing every tax loophole. "Maybe there's one or two loopholes that really help the middle class, but most of these deductions and loopholes and complexities actually benefit the wealthy, the powerful, the well connected," she said on Fox last month.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this year, she argued against increasing the gas tax, making the case that low gas prices are spurring economic growth.

Democrats have slammed Fiorina for her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, pointing out that she negotiated a merger with Compaq that resulted in 30,000 HP employees losing their jobs. She has defended her record, arguing on CNN earlier this month that she led HP "through the worst technology recession in 25 years, and yes, in order to save a company, sadly, we had to cut some jobs... Meanwhile, some of our competitors literally went out of business and all the jobs were lost."

Social issues

Like many other GOP candidates, Fiorina claims that "religious liberty is under assault." She made this claim over Labor Day weekend in Amherst, New Hampshire when talking about Kim Davis, the Kentucky County Clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

"When you are a government employee that it is your job to do the business of the government. Having said that, it is absurd that she is in jail," Fiorina said. "It implies we need to spend a lot of energy protecting religious liberty in this country."

Over the summer, she called the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationally "judicial overreach," adding that "it was best left up to the states and the people to continue this discussion."

And like others in the GOP, Fiorina opposes federal funding for Planned Parenthood. She has declared herself "proudly pro-life." On ABC's "The View" earlier this year, she said, "The majority of women, the majority of young people, the majority of Americans now think that late-term abortion for any reason at all is a problem. So what I say is, let's go find that common ground."

Foreign policy

The Republican presidential candidate talks about the current migrant crisis in Europe, saying the United States needs to step up as a leader. But, she also says the U.S. has to be “very careful about who we let enter this ensure terrorists don't come here.” 01:47

Fiorina laid out some of her foreign policy priorities in an interview earlier this month with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.

"On day one in the Oval Office I will make two phone calls," she said. "The first will to be to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu - a man I've known for a lot time - to reassure him that we will stand with the state of Israel. The second will be to the Supreme Leader of Iran to tell him, 'New deal.'"

The former executive said that she would "make as hard as possible [for Iran] move money." Like most other conservatives, she criticized the nuclear agreement that the Obama administration and other international allies have reached with Iran because it "starts a massive flow of money" to Iran, and " that money is going to be used not only to build up an Iranian nuclear weapon... that money is also going to go to the Quds forces, going to go Hezbollah. It's going to go to all of Iran's proxies."

When it comes to helping the Syrian refugees escaping ISIS, Fiorina said the U.S. has already "done its fair share."

"The United States honestly, sadly, cannot relax our entrance criteria," she said on CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday. "We are having to be very careful about who we let enter this country from these war torn regions to ensure that terrorists are not coming here. I think the Europeans need to continue to step up here both in terms of the amount of money they provide for humanitarian relief. They have not done as much as the United States has done on that front."

Fiorina has also called for the U.S. to take a more aggressive posture against China.

"China has made a bargain with their people. Their people have accepted a repressive totalitarian regime in exchange for economic growth," Fiorina told "CBS This Morning" last month. "I would say first that we are going to be more aggressive in helping our allies in that region push back against new Chinese aggression, whether those allies are Australia, or Japan, or the Philippines."

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