AirTalk Q&A with Barbara Boxer

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) gives a victory speech on November 2, 2010 in Hollywood, California.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) gives a victory speech on November 2, 2010 in Hollywood, California.
Eric Thayer/Getty Images

GOP candidates won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives last night. But in California, Democratic candidates held off the “red tide” that swept through the rest of the country. Barbara Boxer’s victory over Carly Fiorina for the Senate was one of the biggest and most closely watched battles of the political season.

In one of her first interviews since winning re-election, Boxer told AirTalk’s Larry Mantle that she remains committed to serving her constituents:

“This great recession, the worst recession since the great depression, came about because of eight years of misguided policies," she said. "And the deficit came about because tax cuts and wars were put on the credit card, and I’m doing everything I can to dig us out of the ditch. And honestly, I think that is a hard, hard message, but we made it and we closed the deal with the people.”

The campaign is over, but Boxer took another shot at her Republican challenger’s much-touted business experience:

“My opponent was running on her record at Hewlett-Packard, and when we studied that record what did we find, that she had laid off 30,000 workers, shipped so many thousands of jobs - American jobs - to China and India, and of all the things that people don’t want it’s that.”

In an election night twist, Fiorina refused to concede the race even after several media outlets, including NPR, had called it in Boxer’s favor. But concede she did, calling Boxer this morning, once a larger percentage of the votes had been counted. When Larry asked how she felt about Fiorina after such a tough campaign, Boxer was matter-of-fact:

“We had huge differences. I was grateful for the fact that she was very clear on where she stood. Because this was one of the clearest races in the country. So, she didn’t say one thing in the primary and something different in the general. She was very much on the conservative side and proud of it. And we were able to make the stark contrast.”

Despite the stronger Republican coalition in Congress, Boxer said she doesn’t see Democrats backing down from the central portions of healthcare reform passed in March 2010. But it remains to be seen what impact the GOP takeover will have on Boxer’s ability to advance her agenda for California.