Carly Fiorina stands out from the crowd of other potential 2016 candidates as the only non- politician. Rather than a career politician, she is a businesswoman, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and first female to run a Fortune 20 company. She has only run for office once before, for Barbara Boxer’s senate seat in California in 2010. She poured her personal funds into her campaign but still lost to Boxer.
Aside for her senate run, she has also had some political experience as an adviser on John McCain’s 2008 campaign. She boasts about her business-oriented background and claims the country needs a non-political leader with statements like, “It’s interesting, people out there are not at all troubled that I haven’t held elected office; in fact, the people I run into consider it a great asset.”
Because of her background, Fiorina does not have a voting record to shed light on her positions and what she may do if elected. She has not spoken out widely on student loan debt, but she has addressed it at times, including in a recent speech in Iowa, in which she mentioned that the student loan industry should be simplified.
In her senate campaign as well as in many of her recent statements, Fiorina has focused on the economy. She is concerned with the federal government’s debt and advocates fiscally conservative policies. Though she is focused on reducing government spending, she has made it clear that she is not interested in cutting any federal agencies. Unlike some of her Republican colleagues, Fiorina does not want to abolish the US Department of Education, which may be reassuring for individuals with federal student loans.
She has not specifically laid out how her government spending reduction plans would affect student loans. She has been criticized in the past though for her stance on budgeting and student loans. Boxer’s campaign manager, Rose Kapolczynski, said, “Carly Fiorina’s economic plan would blow a half-trillion-dollar hole in the deficit, with deep cuts to student loans and highway safety improvements — all to fund six-figure tax cuts for millionaires.”
According to Politico, there are 12 other Republicans currently polling ahead of Fiorina. Though she may be a long-shot for the republican presidential nomination, her business-minded perspective may very well shape policy as a potential vice president, future senator, or governor.