U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer set her targets this afternoon on her potential Republican rival Carly Fiorina after speaking to hundreds of people gathered at a conference of the nonprofit Urban Land Institute in Hollywood.
At a press conference after the speech, Boxer responded to Fiorina's latest TV ad criticizing her for focusing on global warming at the expense of national security.
"She's picked a fight with the entire military establishment," Boxer said of Fiorina. "And the military, the intelligence officials, people like John Warner, a war hero, a Republican, have stated unequivocally that in fact climate change is going to be the cause of wars over the next 20 years if we don't do something about it."
Boxer added that Fiorina was trying to distract attention from her record as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, when the company sold products to Iran despite U.S. laws prohibiting trade with the country.
"What she's doing is the oldest trick in the book," Boxer said. "She's very weak on terrorism because when she was CEO of Hewlett-Packard, they traded with Iran."
Fiorina has said she did not know of the company's trade with Iran when she was Hewlett-Packard's CEO.
The Fiorina campaign also noted that the SEC found no violations in the Iran deal.
Asked about Fiorina and the other Republican candidate Tom Campbell, who are both boasting of their chances of beating Boxer, the senator previewed the line of attack she'll likely be using all summer.
"All of them want to repeal health care," Boxer said of her Republican rivals. "All of them oppose the jobs bill. All of them oppose Wall Street reform. All of them are still in favor of drilling off the coast of California, unbelievable, putting in jeopardy 300,000 jobs in the recreation, tourism and fishing industry.
"This is going to be a great race, I am very excited about it because it's not going to be about personalities or who has the better TV ads. It's going to be about who's done the most and is doing the most to turn this economy around."
Speaking to the conference, Boxer addressed the disappointing federal job numbers released Friday, listing how she and her fellow Democrats were working to get more Americans to work.
The jobs data gave Fiorina a new line of attack against Boxer, with the Republican saying in a statement this morning, "This is exactly what job creation will look like if Barbara Boxer continues to have her way -- job growth dominated by taxpayer-financed government workers."
Boxer told the conference that she was working on three strategies for job growth -- providing financing to small businesses, growing the clean energy economy and promoting transportation infrastructure work.
Fiorina and other Republicans have focused on cutting taxes and government regulation as ways to create jobs.
"After suffering through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, our economy is just starting to recover," Boxer said at the start of her speech. "It's not recovering fast enough for us, but we have seen the creation of 500,000 jobs since January, and you can remember not too long ago we were bleeding 700,000 jobs a month."
Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, won applause from many in the crowd when she announced that the federal Department of Transportation had agreed to speed up the review process for a planned subway line crossing much of Los Angeles, which is part of city's 30/10 Transportation Initiative.
The initiative seeks federal funds to complete a range of rail and other transportation projects more quickly than had been originally planned.
"What you've announced is huge," Richard Katz, director of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and a former Democratic legislator, told Boxer later. "Thank you very much."