Fiorina changes stance on unemployment benefits
July 22, 2010
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina on Tuesday shifted her position on extending unemployment benefits, saying she would “probably” support the extension if she were in the Senate.
In an interview with San Francisco’s KGO-AM radio, Fiorina said she would probably break with members of her party.
Senate Democrats on Tuesday were helped by a newly sworn senator and broke through a GOP filibuster in Washington, D.C., in their effort to extend jobless benefits to 2.5 million Americans. The effort initially failed last month.
“I probably would vote for this extension, but I’ll tell you what, I think it is absolutely appropriate for people to stand on their desks and say, ‘When is it that we’re finally going to do what needs to be done and cut government spending?'” Fiorina said.
Earlier this month, the former Hewlett Packard chief executive said she opposed the extension because it would worsen the national deficit. Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer had been using Fiorina’s position to attack her as out of touch with average workers.
“For so many weeks, more than 200,000 Californians have been waiting desperately for this bill to help them through these tough times, and for weeks, Carly Fiorina has said no to these California families,” said Boxer’s campaign manager, Rose Kapolczynski.
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Fiorina, who ran a conservative primary who pledged to fight out-of-control government spending, said on the station that she believed voters were tired of career politicians where “everything comes down to party ideology.”
“The GOP isn’t going to send me to Washington, D.C.; the people of California are,” Fiorina said. “And the people of California want a little bit of practical problem-solving and common sense.”
According to the state Employment Development Department, the delay in benefit extension has affected about 260,000 jobless Californians.
Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund said Fiorina still worries about the rising deficit but refuses to let Californians suffer.
“Despite the fact that Carly strongly disagrees with their irresponsible and election year-driven decision not to offset the cost of the extension of the benefits, she also refuses to stand by and let millions of unemployed Californians suffer in the face of a failed stimulus plan that has not delivered the jobs promised,” Soderlund said.