Carly Fiorina dominates more than just the debate

CHRIS-CARLYA Republican presidential candidate finally managed to shut Chris Matthews up Thursday night.

But it wasn’t one of the 10 “top-tier” candidates. It was Carly Fiorina, who was forced to participate in the debate that took place before the prime-time main event.

Fiorina followed up what has been described as an outstanding performance with an appearance MSNBC’s “Hardball.”

Although the interview started out pleasantly enough, Matthews’ combative nature soon crept in as he questioned Fiorina on comments she had made about Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

“By any standard, common-sense measure, Hillary Clinton has lied,” she told Matthews. “About Benghazi, and about her emails and about her server.”

“Do you really think that’s a way to engage in a debate?” Matthews asked. “To call your opponent a liar? I’m astounded by that judgment.”

That’s when the former Hewlett-Packard CEO let Matthews have it.

“First of all, I was very specific about the subjects about which I think she has lied. I didn’t say she lied about everything. I was very specific. Very fact-based, actually. You are the one who has made a generalized comment now about her. Not me. Secondly, I will debate her. Excuse me. Secondly, secondly, I will debate her…”

“Go through your list. Go through your list of where she’s lied,” Matthews interrupted.

“Benghazi, email and server,” she repeated, adding, “I will debate her on the issues facing this nation.”

Then she addressed the specific issues.

“I will debate her on her positions. I will ask her, for example, how she can possibly continue to defend Planned Parenthood. I will ask her why she continues to say she is a champion of the middle class, while every single proposal she has put forward makes crony capitalism worse and worse and worse, which makes income inequality worse.

“I would ask her why she declared victory in Iraq in 2011. Why she called [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad a positive reformer. Why she thought she could stop [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, a man I have met, with a gimmicky button. I will ask why she got every policy wrong as secretary of state.

“That’s how I’ll debate her. On the issues.”

Watch the exchange:

Her second stellar performance of the day did not go unnoticed, and many people are now giving her a well-deserved second look.

Then there was this assessment:

On that note, it’s probably safe to say that if there is ever another two-tier debate, Fiorina will be right up there debating the front-runners. She earned that spot in spades.

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