On Sunday's Meet the Press, Republican presidential candidate and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina hit back at host Chuck Todd for leaving out "a whole bunch of other facts" when questioning her about firing employees while executive at the tech giant.
Specifically, Todd was referencing the website www.CarlyFiorina.org that is not owned by her or her campaign, but by a cyber-squatter who is using it to shame the candidate for lay-offs. The site includes 30,000 frowning emoticons to represent the workers fired.
"Do you have regrets of those lay-offs?" Todd asked.
Fiorina punched back:
Well, you know what's interesting to me is that website, as well as your line of questioning, just leaves out a whole bunch of other facts. That's the thing about business; facts and numbers and results actually count. It's not just about words, as it is in politics.
A bit taken aback and defensive, Todd charged with, "But let me ask you, why did they fire you?"
Fiorina defended her record at HP saying she turned the company around and as business goes, tough decisions get made.
"There is nothing worse than laying someone off," she said. "On the other hand, many companies against which we competed are gone altogether."
And what people fail to comment on is the fact that we doubled the size of the company, we took the growth rate from 2% to 9%. We tripled the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day. We went from lagging behind to leading in every product category to leading in every product category. And yes, in fact, we grew jobs here in the U.S. and all over the world. You can't just leave those facts out, because they are as vital to the record as the fact that yes, indeed, I had to make some tough calls during some tough times. Tough times that many technology companies didn't survive at all.
Todd tried once more to goad Fiorina, wondering why the company's board fired her and why stock prices went up afterwards.
Well, they did fire me. I've been very open about that. I was fired in a boardroom brawl. We had board members who were leaking information out of the boardroom. You know, the truth is this, it is a leader's job to challenge the status quo, and when you do, you make enemies. I understand that well. But the track record of the people of Hewlett-Packard and I over an almost six-year period is crystal clear. The stock had gone down during my tenure, as did every other single technology company. And I think what you'll find if you follow the stock market at all, is that every time there is a change with a company, the stock tends to go up, whether it's splitting the company, which the current CEO just announced. The stock market is not a good arbiter of success over the long term. The average holding of stock today is less than 90 days. It is more a reflection of current emotion and conventional wisdom than anything else. And a CEO cannot run a company based on conventional wisdom or current emotion. A CEO's job is to build sustainable value over the long term for as many employees, as many customers, and as many communities as possible.
In one last poke at Todd, following her appearance on MTP, Fiorina announced on Twitter:
Upon clicking the link, all traffic is routed to her campaign website -- just as she did for Seth Meyers after recently appearing on his show.