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Fiorina Criticizes Boxer For Supporting Stimulus

SACRAMENTO (AP) -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina on Monday continued to attack Sen. Barbara Boxer for supporting the federal stimulus plan, calling it a failure.

Fiorina, the former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard Co., said the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County has risen from 11.7 percent to 14.2 percent since the stimulus package was passed in February 2009.

"This election is about her record. This election is about jobs," Fiorina said, according to an online report by The Press-Enterprise newspaper of Riverside. "This election is about out-of-control government spending."

She held her campaign event in the former showroom of a Mitsubishi dealership in San Bernardino that closed in July after 24 years in operation.

Boxer contends that had Congress and President Barack Obama not acted as they did, the nation would have fallen into a depression. She made a stop Monday at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank to highlight her record on airline safety.

"Barbara Boxer's top priority is creating jobs and turning our economy around," Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski said in a statement. "Fiorina has opposed every major job creation bill, including those that have provided tax cuts to small businesses and the middle class."

Many economists say job losses would have been deeper and unemployment higher without the $814 billion stimulus.

The stimulus act was passed in response to the economic crisis by providing tax cuts for families and businesses. It increased education, health care and entitlement programs such as unemployment benefits. And it provided federal funding for infrastructure projects and grants to improve energy efficiency.

Fiorina opposes the stimulus spending and has called for extending Bush-era tax cuts for everyone. Boxer, along with President Obama, supports extending the tax cuts only to Americans making less than $250,000.

During a Sunday interview on Fox News with Chris Wallace, Fiorina did not name the spending cuts she would be willing to make to pay for the tax cuts she supports. Wallace noted that cutting discretionary non-defense spending such as education and energy would not be enough to cover the revenues lost to those tax cuts.

"What I think we need to do to engage the American people in a conversation about entitlement reform is to have a bipartisan group of people who come together and put every solution on the table, every alternative on the table," Fiorina said. "Then we ought to engage in a long conversation with the American people so they understand the choices."

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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