Ted Cruz’s selection of Carly Fiorina as his running mate was a rushed and haphazard decision forced by political necessity. That much should be obvious to anyone with even limited observational capacities, but if you’re searching for still more evidence that Fiorina’s rollout as Cruz’s VP was initiated without proper consideration or preparation, look no further than Fiorina’s first round of interviews as a vice presidential candidate and he absolutely awful explanations for her past criticisms of Ted Cruz.
Fiorina spoke to the grinning mollusks of “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning where she was confronted with a video clip of an appearance she made on CNN back when she was still running for president herself. Fiorina had previously attacked Cruz for leading the government shutdown over Obamacare (“there’s no honor in charging a hill that you know you can’t take”) and on CNN she elaborated that “Ted Cruz is just like any other politician. He says one thing in Manhattan, he says another thing in Iowa, he says whatever he needs to say to get elected, and then he’s going to do as he pleases.”
That’s pretty harsh! Here’s what Fiorina had to say when confronted with her pointy words about the person who now wants her to be his vice president. “In a heated basketball game, since we’re in the Hoosier State, players foul each other sometimes. In the heat of a political campaign, sometimes you say things that turn out not to be true.”
Well, no one doubts that untrue things are said on the campaign trail, but generally speaking it’s a bad look to acknowledge that you lie about your opponents because you’re so eager to win. And Fiorina might be able to explain away one pointed remark about Cruz by saying political passions got the better of her, but she spent quite a bit of time on the campaign trail attacking Cruz from a variety of angles.
In December 2015, after a prominent Cruz supporter accused Fiorina of going “full vagina” at a debate, Fiorina said that having surrogates like that is “why Ted Cruz cannot possibly beat Hillary Clinton.” Fiorina also gave some soft support to the fringe movement of birthers (including Donald Trump) who made the case that Ted Cruz’s Canadian birth makes him ineligible for the presidency. “I find it odd that Sen. Ted Cruz did not renounce his duel Canadian citizenship until 2014 when it became clear he was running for president,” Fiorina said in January. “There are both legal scholars and others who think this is, perhaps, a legitimate issue.”
But let’s say you’re an extraordinarily credulous person and you think the only reason Fiorina said those things was truly because she felt the pressure of a high-stakes presidential campaign. Even if that were the case, you’d be hard-pressed to explain Fiorina’s quip about Cruz “charging” the Obamacare “hill” just for name-recognition and fundraising. She made those comments in 2013, well before the presidential campaign started up.
One would think that a campaign as studious and well-organized as Ted Cruz’s would have a stronger media strategy in place to handle the fact that his running mate had previously called him a dishonorable and suspiciously Canadian striver who has no principles and can’t win the general election. But the best they got from Fiorina was “well, I was lying because politics.” It’s almost like they haven’t put a ton of thought or preparation into this.