Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina admonished President Barack Obama Thursday for advocating legislation to wean Americans off fossil fuels before the energy company BP cleans up the massive oil spill devastating the Gulf Coast region.
Fiorina was speaking at a news conference held at the electrical contracting and engineering firm Rex Moore in Sacramento, where she lambasted her Democratic rival Sen. Barbara Boxer for failing to stimulate job growth in California.
When asked by a reporter about Obama's response to the oil spill, Fiorina answered, "His emphasis needs to be on cleaning up the spill. Instead, he seems to be ready to move on, castigate BP, which clearly deserves opprobrium, but he is moving along rapidly along with Barbara Boxer with whom he will be meeting apparently today or later this week to talk about cap-and-trade legislation."
Fiorina added, "I find it fascinating that while Barbara Boxer is focused on a new piece of cap-and-trade legislation that will most definitely destroy even more jobs in this country that the residents of the Gulf Coast are crying out for the opportunity to continue oil drilling because it means jobs for them and a livelihood for their families."
The Republican candidate spoke mostly about the state's unemployment picture, appearing alongside representatives from five area business suffering during the recession - Rex Moore Human Resources Director Greg Anderson, construction company S.D. Deacon's Vice President Paul Cunha, Lithographics owner Judi Bartlett, Sofia Restaurant owner Jeremy Bennett and Alzada Knickerbocker, owner of the Avid Reader bookstore in Davis and co-owner of the Avid Reader store in Sacramento.
While Rex Moore received nearly $450,000 in stimulus money as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Anderson said the funds haven't made a significant difference.
"Profits are at zero," Anderson said. "The minuscule number of projects that may have ARRA dollars in it that we've gone after have not even put a dent in our employment. It hasn't put anybody back to work."
Fiorina argued that lowering taxes and streamlining regulations would do more to create jobs than distributing stimulus money.
"If you're a business owner and there are stimulus dollars that might help your customers buy more of your product or might help you, of course you're going to accept the stimulus dollars," Fiorina said. "But that is not an argument that the stimulus package has worked because the stimulus package clearly, factually, manifestly has failed because people are losing their jobs for every single dollar that's out there."
Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski responded in a memo that federal stimulus dollars have created or saved more than 150,000 jobs in California.
"Maybe Fiorina keeps visiting companies that have benefitted from the recovery act because so many California businesses and workers have been helped or will be helped over the next two years as the remaining projects come on line," Kapolczynski wrote.
She added that Fiorina outsourced thousands of jobs overseas as CEO of the tech company Hewlett-Packard. During the morning's event, Fiorina said the company couldn't open factories and other facilities in the state due to burdensome regulations.
Photo caption: Local business owners listen while Senate candidate Carly Fiorina speaks to reporters during a press conference at Rex Moore electrical in Sacramento on Thursday. Photo by Randall Benton