Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Old vs. new. Public sector vs. private. Three-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer vs. Republican U.S. Senate nominee Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina, the former CEO of tech giant Hewlett-Packard, was pushing California voters to make those connections Wednesday as she launched her general election campaign at a state GOP victory rally held at the Hilton hotel in Anaheim.

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Fiorina also answered Boxer's debate challenge, made just hours after Fiorina was declared the winner last night, by saying with some bravado, "Barbara, I'll debate you anytime anywhere. As far as I'm concerned, we can debate once a week."

The Republican, however, made one debate demand, that they schedule one meeting in Mendota in the Central Valley, "where unemployment is skyrocketing because the federal government has decided that families don't need water."

Throughout her victory rally speech, Fiorina said she, GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and other statewide candidates were fresh faces from the private sector while Boxer and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown were career politicians.

"The contrast could not be more clear," Fiorina told the audience. "I know and this team knows that the government does not create new jobs."

When asked after the rally how she would appeal to independent voters, who lean Democratic in the state and are crucial to Republican chances, Fiorina answered that she planned to concentrate on jobs and economic issues.

"We talk to Californians in common sense terms," Fiorina said. "While government is spending more and more of your money, we have been losing more and more jobs."

The candidate hit the same note when asked about Boxer's criticism of her anti-abortion stance.

"Barbara Boxer is really trying to change the subject," Fiorina said. "The subject in this election is jobs. The subject in this election is out-of-control government."


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