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Boxer launches campaign tour with attack on Fiorina

July 6, 2010 |  1:49 pm
Wasting no time as she formally launched her general election campaign, California Sen. Barbara Boxer castigated Republican rival Carly Fiorina as a failed chief executive whose views are “about as far right as you can get.”

Appearing with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom at a construction site with misty views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, the Democrat touted her record as a senator who could deliver and promised to end tax breaks for companies who send American jobs overseas.

“You tell me what you need; you prove it to me; we work together; we get it done and here’s the result,” Boxer said at the Presidio Parkway construction site where she was flanked by more than a dozen engineers and carpenters working on shoring up a roadway that is seismically unsafe.

“If ever California needed a fighter for them, it’s now. And I am here to say I am that fighter.”

During a four-city kickoff tour on Tuesday, Boxer sought to cast Fiorina as a heartless chief executive, noting that she laid off more than 30,000 workers while at the helm of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005. Boxer said that if Fiorina had been in the Senate in 2009, the jobs created by the Economic Recovery Act -- including those at the Presidio site -- would have been in jeopardy. Fiorina has said she would have voted against the stimulus package, calling it a failure that has wasted taxpayer dollars.

“Carly Fiorina never fought for our families; she never tried to. She laid off American workers without a second thought,” Boxer said, adding that Fiorina “almost broke the back of a great company.”

“She opposes these jobs, the jobs of the people standing right beside us,” Boxer said, gesturing to the workers behind her. “If she had been in the Senate instead of me, the Economic Recovery Act would not have passed and these people would not have their jobs.”

Fiorina’s campaign called Boxer’s campaign trip “the broken promise tour,” saying that the stimulus package has had little impact on California’s 12.4% unemployment rate. Fiorina spokeswoman Andrea Saul called Boxer’s record in the Senate “an abject failure” and faulted her for supporting tax increases, as well as legislation that has increased the national debt.

“Boxer backed a $862-billion failed stimulus plan at taxpayers’ expense that has not delivered the help and hope she promised,” Saul said, adding that Fiorina is “the only candidate in this race who has actually created jobs and understands first-hand how to get Californians back to work.”

-- Maeve Reston in San Francisco