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Fiorina struggles to convince California conservatives she's one of them [Updated]

February 1, 2010 | 11:51 am
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/07/07/mccainandfiorina.jpg

Former HP executive Carly Fiorina is trying to convince conservative California voters that she is one of them.

As she seeks the Republic nomination for U.S. Senate, Fiorina is feeling compelled to detail her views on abortion and same-sex marriage as she tries to appeal to the right, according to Times political writer Seema Mehta. [Corrected at 3:53 p.m.: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Fiorina was a candidate for governor.]

Part of the reason is that, unlike her primary opponents, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Irvine and former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell, Fiorina is an unknown political quantity. She has never sought election to public office before now, so she doesn't have a paper trail of legislation, statements and votes, Mehta reports from the campaign trial.

Her prepared speeches and written statements on taxes, federal spending and the deficit are consistently conservative. But when asked about non-fiscal issues, she sometimes veers into more moderate territory. She said last week that she supported President Obama's effort to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," the policy excluding openly gay individuals from military service.

The week before that, when asked for an assessment of the president's first year in office, she said that although she disagreed with him on the economy and the decision to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, "I agree with many of the things he's done. ... I think that he is doing everything he can to keep the nation safe and I applaud him for that." That same week, a recording emerged of Fiorina praising the Rev. Jesse Jackson and saying that the nation will not be a "truly representative democracy" until women make up half or more of elected officials. Conservative pundits pounced, and people are still angry.

Read the full story here.

Get the latest on the campaign at California Politics, The Times' new blog.

Photo: Carly Fiorina and John McCain. Credit: Los Angeles Times
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