Boxer, Fiorina spar over immigration, economic stimulus

Supporters of Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer square off in front of KPCC's Mohn Broadcast Center.
Supporters of Carly Fiorina and Barbara Boxer square off in front of KPCC's Mohn Broadcast Center.
Eric Zassenhaus/ KPCC

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Former Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina faced off with U.S. senator Barbara Boxer in a debate hosted at KPCC's Mohn Broadcast Center.

Updated at 4:00 p.m. | Permalink

Candidates agree on one thing

Despite their divergent views on most of the issues that the candidates debated, both seemed to agree on one particular notion.

"There is one thing that Barbara Boxer has said that I agree with: this election offers the clearest choice in the nation," Carly Fiorina said.

Fiorina said that Boxer has failed to demonstrate leadership over 28 years in the Senate. Fiorina said that Boxer's hometown newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, refused to endorse Boxer because of Boxer's ineffectiveness.

"We have to change the people we send to Washington," said Fiorina.

Boxer criticized Fiorina for opposing bills that would create jobs, noting that the number one issue in the race for her was "jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs."

When asked if she would support changing the rules of the filibuster in the Senate, Boxer said that she's willing to look at it and wants to see cooperation between both parties on reforming the filibuster. She said she thinks people should have to stand on their feet when they filibuster, "like it was in 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.'"

-Mike Roe

Updated at 3:10 p.m. | Permalink

Senatorial debate spills into Twitter

People listening to the senatorial candidate debate between incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer and Republican candidate Carly Fiorina flooded Twitter with their up-to-the-minute commentary using the hashtag #casen. Posts ranged from reactionary criticism to stand-alone quotes.

Fiorina's Twitter account posted regularly during the debate, often linking the recent topic with a "fact check" linking to Fiorina's campaign website.

Boxer's Twitter account has not been updated since the debate began.

Click here for full story.

-David Lumb

Updated at 2:50 p.m. | Permalink

Boxer plans to win race by telling truth

Boxer said she had a limited amount of time available for the press conference because she had to get back to the Hill for a couple of Senate votes.

Boxer criticized Fiorina's record with Hewlett-Packard, which Fiorina had said she's proud of. Boxer said Fiorina laid off 30,000 people, was fired and was named one of the worst CEOs by five different publications.

Boxer said her plan to win the race is to tell the truth about her record and her views and to tell the truth about Fiorina's record and views.

When asked if she would do another debate, Boxer said that they're negotiating. Boxer said that she needs to decide the kind of campaign she needs to run before agreeing to further debates, and has to figure out how to best schedule her last four weeks before the election.

-Mike Roe

Updated at 2:40 p.m. | Permalink

Fiorina willing to work with Feinstein on environmental issues

Fiorina said that she has been sitting down with farmers from the Central Valley since before she announced her candidacy.

KPCC's Molly Peterson asked whether Fiorina would support farmers paying under-market rates for water in the face of climate change. Fiorina said that water contracts are very complicated.

"What I would not do is what Barbara Boxer has done for her 18 years in the Senate: sit in Washington, D.C., not come to California."

Fiorina said the first thing she would do is go to Senator Dianne Feinstein and say that we should work together to get the water turned back on in the Central Valley.

-Mike Roe

Earlier | Permalink

Senate candidates meet for second debate
The candidates sparred over immigration policy, healthcare, the economy, and the environment, among other issues.

Fiorina appeared in studio while Boxer appeared in a NPR studio in Washington D.C. KPCC's Patt Morrison and La Opinion's Gabriel Lerner asked the candidates the questions.

In her first question about the economy Fiorina was asked how the federal stimulus has fared.

"Unfortunately, we see too many cases where regulations have run amok," she said.

She blamed Boxer for refusing "to step forward and help" in her role as chair of an environmental committee in the U.S. Senate.

Boxer was then asked about the need for a second stimulus.

"We were facing a bleeding of 700,000 jobs per month," she said. "I voted for that. It is creating jobs ... and saving others."

The stimulus was responsible for saving an additional eight million jobs, Boxer said, citing an objective analysis that the senator said she had called for.

When asked about the $1.3 trillion deficit, Boxer said it was "inherited from George Bush. ... We were handed that $1.3 trillion deficit," she said.

Boxer attacked Fiorina for being a CEO, saying that while Fiorina was a CEO and making a high salary, she laid off thousands.

Fiorina called problems around the U.S.-Mexico border, a national security issue, highlighting an escalating drug war.

"Mexico is approaching a failed state," Fiorina said.

When asked about federal legislation that may stem flow of weapons into Mexico, she said the U.S. should "prosecute laws we already have" rather than introduce new federal gun control legislation.

Boxer voiced her support for comprehensive immigration reform, and said that border security is an important part of her plan. She said that pitting border security against anything else is not a distraction, as Fiorina had said.

When asked about the 12 to 15 million illegal immigrants in the United States, Fiorina said, "two things must get done. First, we must secure the border. Second, we must have a temporary worker program that works."

Fiorina said that neither of those things are in place, adding "we don't have a set of employer sanctions in place" either.

When asked if she would cut military, Social Security, or health care, Fiorina said that she does think there are ways to save money in the military, but that she wouldn't cut money for national security.

Barbara Boxer expressed her support for president Obama’s decision to bring troops back in 2011. She said there must be a specific exit strategy, and added “America is not an open checkbook.”

When asked about involvement in Afghanistan, Boxer said, "I think we have to make sure that everything we do with the Afghan government is transparent, I don’t believe in nation building, I believe in nation helping.”

Before the debate at KPCC's Pasadena studios, supports of both sides picketed in front of KPCC's Pasadena studios.

Media crews packed the parking lot and filled the Crawford Family Forum.