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September 22, 2015

Note: Official YouTube Video Linked Through Subheadings in Transcript

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: First off, thank you all for being here. What an amazing night, and what an amazing week it’s been for Carly Fiorina, wouldn’t you say? I can’t tell you how incredibly proud I am to be up here and have the opportunity-it’s the opportunity of a lifetime-to be able to moderate panels for the Conservative Leadership Project. A project totally committed to educating constituents and citizens of South Carolina on some of the most important issues. Issues that sadly don’t get the attention that they deserve. What a lot of people don’t think about or don’t realize is that four of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices were born in the 1930s. In the first term of the next President of the United States, they will have four people that the next President could possibly appoint to the high court. That could be a 25, 35, 45 year imprint or footprint on this country and so this is a very important time. The purpose of the Conservative Leadership Project is to basically educate the citizens on the views of the candidates and how they articulate their judicial philosophy and how they believe the role of the federal government and the role of the state government should interface with one another. Really quickly, before I invite her to come out here and I know that’s why you’re here, I’ve often used a very cheesy analogy and I’ve done this a thousand times, but when I was a kid I saw a TV movie called The Blob. Y’all remember The Blob. And The Blob is about a little alien ball of jelly the size of a lemon that comes from outer space and the whole movie, it rolls around eating things and getting bigger and bigger and bigger and consumes and consumes and by the end of the movie it’s the size of what? A giant right. And then the remaining townspeople are in the diner with Steve McQueen for those over forty who know who Steve McQueen is. And Steve McQueen is trying to beat back the Blob because the Blob is just consuming to no end and doesn’t know when to stop. Well at the very end of the movie Steve McQueen figures out that if you freeze the Blob-you can’t blow it up, chop it up, cut it up, or burn it up-but you can freeze it. And at the very end of the movie they drop the Blob in the Arctic and they freeze it and drop it in the Arctic Ocean so it will quit eating and growing. Now the Constitution doesn’t let us drop Congress in the Arctic Ocean, I’m working on that by the way. But the Constitution gives us the tools to put elected leaders in a place where they can have an extremely powerful impact so that they can be the Steve McQueen of our time and freeze the growing blob that is the federal government. And that is what we’re here to do today, to talk about how we can freeze the blob and how we can stop the federal government from performing functions and going in places it was never intended to go. Thank you. So I would real quick before we invite her to come out here, I would like to thank the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber, Jim Creel who you saw earlier, is Chairman of the Board. The Grand Strand Business Alliance for their partnership in helping me put this event together. Obviously you can see on the backdrop, the Crown Reef Resort. We appreciate all of those who partnered together to get to this venue hear to hear Mrs. Fiorina come out in just a moment. We have a number of elected officials here and appointed officials. If you are an elected official, would you just please stand so that you can at least be recognized by the folks around you? And if you’re in the back just raise your hand, elected officials stand up. When you start calling out names and doing the name game, you know what that means. So alright ladies and gentlemen, it is time. Alright when she walks out, I want you to hurt her ears, and you guys are great. South Carolina is going to welcome a presidential candidate that I think-she’s been saying for the last month that she’s trying to introduce herself to the American people-I don’t think she needs an introduction anymore, at least to this group. So at this time, I’m going to ask if Mrs. Carly Fiorina will come out and be greeted.

CARLY FIORINA: Thank you so much, I want to thank you.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: Alright, here we go.

CARLY FIORINA: Wow I’m taking you guys on the road with me.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: Carly why don’t you go ahead and-ladies and gentlemen this is going to be a very casual conversation, it’s not going to be like we’re in college and getting a lecture. We’re not going to speak at you, we’re going to basically speak with you. But what I would like to do is Carly if you would just go ahead and kick off and just introduce yourself-not that you need it-to this room.

CARLY FIORINA: I want to talk to you about two people, and they’ve been very important in my life. One was my mother, who taught me when I was a little girl that what you are is God’s gift to you and what you make of yourself is your gift to God. And my father, I learned conservatism at my father’s knee. Literally I would watch the news every night with my dad, not because I cared about the news but because I liked sitting at my dad’s knees. And I would watch him yell at Walter Cronkite, and then he would explain why. And the next morning over breakfast he would yell at The New York Times and he would explain why. Of course in my life today, my husband Frank of over thirty years, our daughter Traci, son in law Lowell, we lost our younger daughter as you may know, Lori. We have two granddaughters, and now the world maybe knows I also have two dogs: Max and Snickers. Max is feeling very left out, I must tell you. But I start with my mother and father because I think they taught me core principles upon which this nation is founded, and about which we are going to speak today. So what did my mother teach me? That everyone has gifts, that everyone has potential. And in truth I’ve learned that everyone all over the world has gifts, everyone has potential, usually more than they realize. But this nation unlike any other was built on this core idea of individual liberty, because our founders thought that everyone should have the right to find and use their God-given gifts to fulfill their potential. The right, and they said that right, to fulfill your potential, to find and use your God-given gifts and discover the possibilities that could be in each life. They said that right came from God as my mother taught me, and it cannot be taken away by man or government. And my dad, who later went on-he was a law professor for much of his career-but he went on to become maybe the lone conservative jurist on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. One of the most liberal courts in the land and I watched him stick to his principles, stick to the core tenants of this nation and of our Constitution, against enormous pressure. And so I had the opportunity to see what standing up for principle under pressure looks like. And I am eternally grateful to both my mother and father for those two important lessons.

On Judicial Philosophy

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: So Carly I teed up my first question when you were in the back hallway, you might have heard me talk about the Supreme Court and how important that imprint is on our country. And you may have heard me say that four of our Supreme Court Justices were born in the 1930s. And in the first term of the next President, the United States will have four eighty-something year olds on the Court. Not that eighty-something year olds can’t be on the Court, but if you look at the average age of former Justices when they retired, they all retired in their early eighties. So my question to you is and the question from folks out here, because the next President could select nearly half of the members of the Court, what type of individuals are you looking to appoint as President of the United States.

CARLY FIORINA: So there are simple answers and then there are slightly more profound answers, so let me start with the simple ones. The simple truth is I would look for men or women who are like my father, because I saw what a conservative jurist, a strict constructionist looks like and sounds like and acts like. It’s easy to say that I would look for people who understand what the Constitution says and stick to it as opposed to turning it into whatever they wanted it to say. I also however, before I would nominate anyone to serve on the Supreme Court, and you’re right, this is a huge and important power that the President has and we see the people that get sent to the Supreme Court sometimes turn out to be different than who we thought they were. And so one of the things that I would do instead of passing off the job to interview a nominee or potential nominee at great length to, say my general council or someone on my staff, I would want to spend a great deal of time with anyone before I nominated them. And one of the things that I would ask is not just to see their opinions, to see the track record they have if there is one, but I would also ask them to describe to me occasions in their life where they were under pressure to compromise their principles and what did they do? Because I think the truth is, many Supreme Court Justices who have principles get into that position and like all human beings, they succumb to pressure. Peer pressure from other judges, the pressure of the media, the pressure of the political process, and so it’s important to know can somebody stand up to pressure? Finally, I would want to know a great deal about what they thought about the Ninth Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, and the Immunity and Privilege Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. Because taken together, those three sections of our Constitution basically say that individual rights are protected from the overreach of government and states’ rights. And I think as many of our great scholars have seen and are now noting, I think that we’ve sort of gotten to a place where maybe we think the core principle, the core tenant, the core value of our democracy, is majority rules, but in fact the core tenant of our democracy is individual liberty. And the reason that’s so important, all the way back to my mother, the potential and God-given gifts, the reason that’s so important is because I think that we have come to a time, truly in our nation’s history, which is why I am running for President, where the potential of too many Americans, the potential of this nation, is being crushed literally by the weight, the power, the cost, the complexity, the ineptitude, and the corruption of the government and we must take it back.

Property Rights and Eminent Domain

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: Carly you’re good at this, you just answered the next three questions. This section and line of questions is under the heading of Judicial Philosophy-I didn’t say that when we started-but this is her judicial philosophy and I was going to ask how your judicial philosophy would influence your vetting and the decisions you would make as to members of the high courts and low courts and you answered that. I would also like to ask-Carly and I were in the back room talking earlier and I didn’t want to play gotcha questions with her so I said ‘Listen, I’m going to ask you about important Supreme Court decisions that you may have vehemently disagreed with,’ and I wasn’t going to put anything in her head, I said ‘I don’t want you to feel like you have to give a specific name, there’s a lot of cases out there and I don’t want to play the gotcha game with you.’ So she says ‘There is one case I wanted to talk about, it was Kelo vs. City of New London.’ And my mouth dropped and I opened up my notes and said ‘That was the case that I was thinking of,’ because that’s the case involving property rights and eminent domain from back in 2005, it’s a very important case. So she was ready to talk about a case that I’d already written had in my hand and she didn’t know I was going to say it so this is your chance to talk about that case and other cases that you think are notable.

CARLY FIORINA: Well of course we all think, and I certainly believe, that the Supreme Court overstepped its authority hugely, interpreting the Constitution as opposed to following the Constitution when they reaffirmed Obamacare twice and when the Supreme Court decided what the definition of marriage should be. But I think as well, Kelo is a very important case. Because at the heart of the Kelo case, is whether or not individual liberty will be protected against an alliance of business and government, I mean that’s what we’re really talking about. And in the case of Susette Kelo, a woman with a beautiful home that she clearly cared deeply about-if you’ve ever seen the pictures of her home, ladies it was adorable. It was this pink, pink home with flowers, a gorgeous home, and the woman obviously had great pride in her home. And commercial interests in the city wanted her property because the commercial interests wanted to build, the city wanted revenue. And so she didn’t want to sell, she didn’t think they were giving her the right price-that is how markets work, right? You’re supposed to give a price that will cause someone to say ‘Yes I’m willing to sell my property.’ Well, so they declared her property blighted and took it over. Or I could tell you the story of Vera Coking. Vera Coking lived in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In this case the business interest was Donald Trump’s casinos. Donald Trump’s casinos and the city of Atlantic City decided that they wanted a parking lot for limousines, and they took over Vera Coking’s home. This is the core of what the Ninth, Tenth, and Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is about. How much liberty and power does an individual have against the state? And one of the things going on in this country today is that we have an unholy alliance between business interests and political interests and the lobbyists that serve both, and they all get together and the individual becomes very small as government becomes very big and powerful. There are many who would say that this is a case in which judges on the Supreme Court should have been engaged and said ‘This is a violation.’ Unfortunately the Supreme Court did not find any interest of Susette Kelo. So this is why I think this is one of the core things at stake now going forward. When government gets too big and too powerful, individual citizens in this nation become too small. And this nation was built on the principle of citizen government and built on the principle that every life, every individual, has value and power in the society.

On Executive Action

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: Carly the next line of questions-we’re going into a different area, and the area I’m going to go into questioning is the area about executive action or as I call it, the phone and pen section. So the next area of questions is going to be involving executive action. Now we’re going to have a question later on immigration so this isn’t about immigration, but I’m going to give you some examples. Y’all will recall that South Carolina joined Texas, Governor Abbott of Texas. Last November we joined him in his fight on the President’s overreach on his immigration decision to basically legalize five million illegal immigrants. We thought that was a violation of the Take Care Clause of the Constitution as well as several other parts of the U.S. Constitution. The President said last November, “I just took action to change the law.” A phrase that the White House later clarified as ‘colloquial in nature.’ That’s a really powerful statement to me. Another area that we want to talk about that’s important to South Carolina is that over thirty years, multiple congresses in a bipartisan fashion spent billions of dollars on Yucca Mountain to be the nuclear repository for all of the nuclear waste in the country. And several years ago in the first term of President Obama, he unilaterally through the Department of Energy fiat, overturned thirty years of funding and thirty years of bipartisan agreements and resolutions to make Yucca Mountain the nuclear repository. Whether that was a good idea or a bad idea is irrelevant, the fact is he unilaterally did it. My question is this: Do you believe federal administrative agencies are required to operate based on congressional or executive action when the two are in conflict?

CARLY FIORINA: So one of the things that I’ve been and I will be very candid in saying I’ve been disappointed in, is the majority: the Republican majority in the House and the Republican majority in the Senate. And I say that in direct response to this question because, you know a lot of us worked hard, I’m sure you did, I did. A lot of us worked hard to return historic majorities to the House and to elect a majority in the Senate. Not a lot has changed. It’s one of the reasons why eighty-two percent of the American people think we have a professional, political class-of both parties, who are more concerned with protection of their power, privilege, and position than about getting the work done. That too, is why I’m running for President. I think it’s time to act to a citizen government. But why do I bring this up in the context of this specific question? Because one of the things this Congress could do is pass something called the Rains Act. R-A-I-N-S. And what the Rains Act would do is solve a lot of these conflicts. It is fair to say that not only has this President acted with executive orders in an incredibly lawless and unconstitutional way, but the regulatory authority of this administration has become the government authority. So whether it’s the EPA or the creation of-I mean the EPA is basically destroying the coal industry, they now control about ninety-nine percent of the groundwater in this nation. I spent twelve years in California, I can tell you what happens when the EPA controls your water: devastation of agriculture and other industries. So the EPA is rolling out regulation after regulation. This administration has created this thing called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, this is one of the largest bureaucracies in Washington. By statute it has no oversight from Congress-imagine that. And these are a bunch of nameless, faceless bureaucrats elected by no one, accountable to no one, and they are siphoning up seven hundred million records-credit records, mortgage applications, all of this personal information with no oversight at all. So, what the Rains Act would do is say “You know what? Every regulation that is promulgated by the Executive Branch must be examined, looked at, approved, if it has over a certain amount of money, which is fairly low, by the Congressional branch. Boy wouldn’t that be nice? So in other words: leadership. Pass the Rains Act. If President Obama wants to veto it, so be it, but let’s at least have the fight so the President can explain to the American people why he doesn’t want congressional oversight.

On Immigration

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: I mentioned this momentarily, just a few moments ago: immigration. We’re going to ask a question on immigration. And he’s doing it under the guise of prosecutorial discretion. Now I see former Solicitor and current Senator Greg Hembree, I think I saw Solicitor Scarlett Wilson in here somewhere over here, and as a prosecutor, as a former prosecutor, and prosecutors, we know what prosecutorial discretion is and is not, that is not prosecutorial discretion. That is abdicating your responsibility to the law of the Constitution. What would you do to solve, or to at least address, the illegal immigration problem we have in the United States if you were to become President?

CARLY FIORINA: So let me just say first, Alan and I were chatting about this earlier today. You know attorneys general-this is one piece of good news about the Obama Administration-the attorneys general, nobody used to really understand what they did. Now all of a sudden everybody says “Oh my gosh we need Attorneys General and Solicitors General to sue the government.” So that’s one way to get people fired up about what you do.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: Being Attorney General I...I’ll talk to you tonight about it.

CARLY FIORINA: So, let’s say a couple things: how long have we been talking about immigration in this country? Forever. With all due respect to Mr. Trump, he is not the first person to bring this issue up. We talked about it in 2012, we talked about it in 2008, we talked about it in 2004, we talked about it in the year 2000. In fact, we have been talking about it for twenty-five years, and yet our border has remained insecure for twenty-five years. San Francisco has been a sanctuary city since 1989, and there are three hundred of them. The legal immigration system has been in shambles for twenty-five years, what does that mean? It means we have sixteen different visa programs, we don’t have an employer verification system that works, therefore we can’t make it mandatory for employers. Half the people here illegally came on a legal visa and just decided to stay, nobody did anything about it. We let the wrong people go home, take the wrong people in, it is a mess. And we have been arguing about this politically for twenty-five years. So, here’s what needs to happen: instead of talking about it we need a leader who actually understands that talk is not results. What does it take to secure a border? Money, manpower, technology, fences and walls in some places, but mostly, apparently what it takes is political willpower. Because money, manpower, technology, and fences are not rocket science ladies and gentlemen, but apparently it’s a little too politically hot for anybody to get it done. So let’s go get that done, and restore peoples’ faith in the fundamental competence of their government, because a government that cannot secure its borders cannot protect its sovereignty. Two more points on this if I may, and yes let’s fix the legal immigration systems-they’ve been broken for twenty-five years. We know how to do this, we just don’t do it. But I want to point out one other thing. You know on that debate stage last week, all of the Republican candidates, all of us, were having a serious conversation about how to solve this problem. Not everyone may agree with everyone else but we were talking about how to solve it, we know how to solve it. That’s all I wanted to point out, it’s a question of doing it. But let me just offer this: the Democrats do not want this issue solved, and they never have. And you’ve got to ask yourself why. President Obama is elected in 2008 he has a majority in the House, he has a majority in the Senate, he could pass anything he wants, in fact he did. He passed Obamacare on a purely partisan basis, he passed Dodd-Frank, he never touched immigration. And by the way, it was Democrats that sunk President Bush’s comprehensive immigration reform bill. They don’t want it solved because they want it as an issue to play with their identity politics. Democrats play identity politics: you’re this identity, you care about this issue, then divide and conquer. In 2016 we cannot let them get away with that anymore and I will not.

Federalism and the 10th Amendment

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: The next area I would like to go into is federalism and the 10th Amendment as it relates to the federal government, what is the state’s role in federal government? Before I talk about the 10th Amendment, the Constitution basically is a handbook for how we should govern ourselves and Article One says Congress, you can do all of these things, these are your powers. Article Two says Executive Branch, these are all your powers and duties, this is what you are allowed to do. And then Article Three says Judiciary, these are your powers and your duties, this is what you’re allowed to do. Then you go to the 10th Amendment in the Bill of Rights and it says anything not listed on those three lists, or prohibited by the Constitution to the states, are left to the states. Period. How would you apply the 10th Amendment or how do you think voters should apply it as it relates to federal overreach?

CARLY FIORINA: So first, the 10th Amendment and the Constitution in general enumerates certain powers to the federal government and one of the reasons that eighty plus percent of the American people have lost faith in the professional, political class. One of the reasons seventy-five percent of the American people now think the government is corrupt-strong word-is because the government is doing all these things that they shouldn’t be doing, and they’re not doing well the things they’re supposed to be doing. So it is the federal government’s job, no one else’s job, to secure the border. They are not doing it, it is the federal government’s job to protect the nation and yet our military is not in the state of readiness they should be, our men and women in uniform are not provided the respect-not to mention the support that they need, we have three hundred thousand plus veterans who died last year waiting for an appointment, so the federal government is failing to do the things it is responsible for doing. By the way, the federal government isn’t fixing roads and bridges, also in their reign of power. And meanwhile they’re doing all these other things. So to me the question is that “What is it that the federal government is supposed to be doing?” and we are going to prioritize our efforts and our investments and our money to make sure that we do those things well. And everything else-if somebody else can do it, somebody else needs to do it or it needs not to be done at all.

On the Overreach of Federal Agencies (EPA, NLB, SEC)

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: Carly I had a question handed to me right before we walked up and the question is “What threats to small businesses are posed by overreaching agencies such as the EPA, the NLRB, etc.?

CARLY FIORINA: The EPA, the NLRB, the SEC. You know the SEC rolled out four or five months ago, four hundred pages of regulation over the internet, passed on a purely partisan basis, three to two by a bunch unelected commissioners. I said at the outset that I think we have come to a time and place, a pivotal point in our nation’s history where literally the potential of this nation is being crushed by the weight, the power, the cost, the complexity, the ineptitude of the federal government and nowhere is this more tragic than when we look at what’s going on in our economy to small businesses. I started out as a secretary in a nine person real estate firm. My husband Frank of thirty years started out driving a tow truck for a family-owned auto body shop. Now why do I tell you that? Because most Americans start that way. Most Americans start in little businesses, family-owned businesses or farms, community based businesses. In fact, those small, family-owned, community-based businesses or new businesses, create two thirds of the new jobs in this country and employ half the people. For the first time in U.S. history, we are destroying more of those businesses than we are creating. Think about that. So we are destroying the job creation and job nation and meanwhile, ladies and gentlemen, crony capitalism is alive and well. Because when you have a big, complicated, powerful, government, bureaucracy, and a lot of lobbyists, guess what? Only the big and powerful and wealthy and well-connected can handle it. When I left Hewlett-Packard—I had led Hewlett-Packard for six years—when I left Hewlett-Packard, the company was larger than any budget of any of the fifty states.  We were over an eighty, almost a ninety billion dollar company. If I didn’t like the regulatory thicket of the seventy-three thousand page tax code, then I could at least hire accountants and lawyers and lobbyists. The nine person real estate firm, they can’t. Every time a new regulation is passed, or even a new law is passed, it disadvantages the small, the powerless, the weak. Dodd-Frank, what’s the consequence of Dodd-Frank? Ten Wall Street banks too big to fail have become five even bigger, more powerful banks. Thousands of community banks are being driven out of business. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is making it more and more and more difficult for community banks and small banks to give loans to regular folks or to small businesses. And so if we don’t lift this crushing weight off the back of small businesses, which means the seventy-three thousand page tax code needs to be about three. So you don’t need an accountant or a lawyer or a lobbyist to read it for you, you can understand it. By the way, if you have a three page tax code you don’t need a lot of IRS agents do you? It’s not just about cutting and spending, you know the only way to reduce the deficit is to cut spending to grow the economy. If we cut spending the right way, we help grow the economy. It’s not just about that, although that’s incredibly important. It’s not just about creating more jobs, although that’s incredibly important. It’s about leveling the playing field. As long as government is big, powerful, awesome, complex, the wealthy, the powerful, the well-connected, and big do great; and the small and the powerless get crushed, and that’s what’s happening in our economy today.

On the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: I need you to quit looking at my book because you’re answering all my questions before I ask them. The next area I would like to talk about is the EPA. For those of you that don’t know what the EPA stands for, the folks at my office say it stands for the Eliminate Prosperity Agency. We at the Attorney General’s office have filed several dozen lawsuits, or joined in lawsuits against the EPA with other states because of the job killing regulations that are pouring out of this mammoth—this behemoth—agency that basically seeks people through administrative fiat. One such regulation Carly, is water in the U.S. Anybody have a ditch running through your property that might occasionally have water in it? Well if they get that passed, you may have to go get a federal permit to be able to build on your property or treat your property how you want, and that’s a regulation that’s coming out of the EPA. 111B, when they couldn’t pass the greenhouse gas emission standards and pass other laws such as Captain Crane, they quit going the legislative route which are the peoples’ representatives, and they went the regulatory route to be able to bureaucrat. That’s what they do, they try to legislate through regulation as Mrs. Fiorina mentioned earlier. My question here: The EPA has passed a number of rules and regulations recently which will drastically drive up the cost of energy and  various products for consumers here in South Carolina. How would you balance the need to protect the liberal environmental with the reality of the cost of regulations on businesses?

CARLY FIORINA: Well first, frankly I think all of those regulations that were rolled out by the EPA occurred inappropriately and I’d roll them all back. The reason that’s important is because of the justification. Let’s talk about the justification for a moment. The justification for this overreach—which is incredibly lawless overreach on the part of the EPA—is the science of climate change, okay? So one of the things I like to say to my friends in the Democratic Party, or my opponents in my own party, or some members of the media: Have you read the small print of that science? Because if you read the small print of the science, what you’ll find is all those scientists who tell us that global warming, climate change is real, that man is contributing to it, what they will also tell you is: A single nation acting alone can make no difference at all. So, what we are doing is we have an administration, and a party, that is telling people we must do this for science. But what they’re really doing, is sacrificing other peoples’ livelihoods and impacting other peoples’ lives at an altar not of science, but of ideology. This is all about ideology. So does it make any sense at all to drive up everyone’s energy costs for no impact at all? Does it make any sense at all to devastate industry? I have been in coal-mining country in West Virginia and I have seen the devastation in these communities. Do you know what forty percent unemployment looks like? Devastation, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, communities fall apart. I have seen the devastation in a place like Mendota, California in the central valley of California where the federal government now controls the water. And these farmers don’t have enough water to save their farms. And literally we have movements going on in New York saying “buy tomatoes from Colombia” so that we protect the water in our fish, honestly. I find it really interesting, this is an example—I digress for a moment, don’t forgive me. I said at the debate that what we’re talking about right now at this pivotal point, is a discussion about the defense and security of our nation, but it is also a discussion of the character of our nation. Honestly how is it that the EPA, Democrats, and Congress spend so much time and energy talking about the need to protect fish, flies, frogs, and yet today they block passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and they will continue to do that. Ladies and gentlemen, we do not butcher babies in this country, that is not what we do, that is not what we are about. So, what’s happening? You have liberals who are prepared to destroy other peoples’ lives and livelihoods if you alter their ideology, it does no good at all. Here’s what we have to do, here’s what we must do, here’s what I will do: A President Fiorina will say “We must be—this country must become—the global energy powerhouse of the twenty-first century. We can do it, we should do it, we will do it. It’s important for a whole set of reasons, it’s important because of energy costs, energy powers the world and lifts millions and billions of people out of poverty. It’s important because it creates jobs. It’s important as well because if we are the global energy power house of the twenty-first century, the bad guys don’t have so much power, which is really important. And finally, it’s critically important because what is always the answer to an intractable problem? What is the answer to any impractical, intractable problem? Innovation ladies and gentlemen. Not regulation, innovation. We have to have industry strong enough to innovate and we are destroying the industry that can do it.

On Obamacare

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: Carly the next question I want to go into is addressing Obamacare. Now I’ve been involved in two lawsuits about it. The first time it unified a lot of states’ attorneys general, twenty-seven states were involved in that first lawsuit and before Obamacare was passed, all the state attorneys general were all in their own respective states minding their own business, doing their own thing. It was the first time in the history of our country that a majority of states came together to challenge an overreach like that. By the way, consequently my following election cycle was the first time in history of the nation that there was a majority of Republican Attorneys General because of that. According to the Supreme Court, they have used rule 54 twice to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare. Would you want to repeal Obamacare, which I think you just said you would, and if so what would you replace it with?

CARLY FIORINA: So we have to repeal Obamacare, and you know why but let me explain, not because you don’t understand it, but because one of the things that we have to do I believe honestly in 2016, to win in 2016, and we must win, because we have to explain our values and our principles to the American people so that they understand why we believe what we believe, and why it is better for almost everyone. The reason we have to repeal Obamacare is because it is a crony capitalist’s dream. This bill was written by drug companies and insurance companies who are now deciding—I mean the bill itself was longer than a Harry Potter novel. Not really very interesting so nobody read it, and then another thirty to forty thousand pages of regulations got written in the basement of HHS and nobody’s read that either. And so meanwhile now, the insurance companies, the hospitals they’re all consolidating to deal with big, complicated, powerful government. In the meantime, the law is failing the people it was supposedly intending to serve. Emergency room visits are up over fifty percent in some places, health insurance premiums are up over forty percent. We’re throwing more people into Medicaid, a program that is increasingly financially insolvent and more than that, fewer and fewer doctors are accepting Medicaid.  So we’re not helping people. We must repeal it, both to help people and to stop the spread of crony capitalism in our health industries. Second, here’s a great example of what the federal government shouldn’t be doing and states should be doing. I think we need to give the responsibility to the states to manage high risk pools. Many states do as well, before Obamacare. The closer you put decision making to the people affected by those decisions, the more accountable those decisions are. Push that responsibility to the states and the funding as well. Third, let’s try the one thing we’ve never tried in health insurance. What have we never tried? The free market. In fact, health insurance has been a cozy little game between regulators and health insurance companies for a hundred years. We used to play it on the state level, and so regulators and health insurance companies would get together in a state like South Carolina, or California, or Texas and the regulators and the health insurance companies would say “Well four of you get to play, this market’s pretty small, only four of you can compete.” What does that do? It removes choice and power and competition from the consumer. All Obamacare did, really, was nationalize that game. So now we have a cozy little game being played by regulators and health insurance companies on a national level. Who’s not getting served? Any of us. So, let’s go to the free market, truly. Real competition where you get to say “This is what I want, this is what I’m willing to pay for, this is the kind of coverage I need” and companies will compete for you. Finally, and this is very important, and I’ll say I don’t use the term ‘mandate’ in association with the federal government very often, but I am going to use it in this context. The federal government should mandate that every healthcare provider—hospitals, walk-in clinics, seniors—every healthcare provider must publish on a regular basis: their cost, their prices, their outcomes. Healthcare is a really important thing, I’m a breast cancer survivor, I know how important it is. Yes! Do we have any survivors out there? I know how important it is that people get care. I know how important it is that people get help when they need help. But I also know that healthcare is so important to each of us and our families. We don’t have any idea if this hospital is better than that hospital. We don’t know what their outcomes are, versus those outcomes. We don’t know what the prices are, it is a big black box, and the government has been reimbursing healthcare providers on the basis of their costs for years. So what does that do? You have no incentive to get better. And anyway, you need to know, I need to know, we all need to know: what your costs, what your prices, and what your outcomes are so that you’re in charge, not them.

On United States and Israeli Relations

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: Carly you’ve been doing so well and answering so many questions that we invited several questions. The next question that came from the audience Alan Clemmons who’s a local Representative from House District 107 which is this House District. This is more of a foreign policy question so we’re going to go off the reservation just for a moment and the question is—it’s a long question, don’t let a lawyer write a question. The Obama administration has applied unprecedented pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government to divide Jerusalem and divorce the nation from Judea and Samaria. Question: As President of the United States, what would be your policy with regard to Israel self-determination relative to the division of Jerusalem and disposition of Judea and Samaria, and how would you work to repair the relationship between the White House and Israel?

CARLY FIORINA: First, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and it should be right where it is. Second, on day one in the Oval Office, I will make two phone calls. The first will be to my good friend Ben Netanyahu to reassure him we will stand with the state of Israel always. The second will be to the supreme leader of Iran. He might not take my phone call, but he will get the message. The message is: New Deal. The new deal is this: Until you open every military facility and every nuclear facility to real—anytime, anywhere—inspections by our people, not yours, we the United States of America will make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system. If we do that I am prepared to say to any bank that does business in Iran, you will not do business in the United States of America. We’ll do it, we must do it. This deal has put the entire region at risk, not just Israel. And the reason those two phone calls must be made on day one—and I will make sure the entire world knows I have made those phone calls—is because it sends a signal to every ally we have. Because even our allies who do not agree with the state of Israel, look at how we are treating Israel and wonder what their friendship with us means. Every ally in this world and every adversary in this world as well will get the message loud and clear: The United States of America is back in the leadership business, we will stand with our allies and we will confront our enemies head on.

On Dodd-Frank

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON:  That was a serious question and you had a great answer to that. We’re going to go into the lightning round because I’m cognizant that we’ve got to stay on time. Dodd-Frank does to the financial industry what Obamacare did to the health insurance and healthcare industry: centralize power in another way that the federal government ruled through administrative fiat. It is choking out capital on Main Street so that the big guys on Wall Street can have it and it’s making lines of credit harder to get. How would you make lines of credit easier to get for young couples buying a home or a person starting a small business or a student getting a student loan? How would you free up that capital and how would you handle the Dodd-Frank issue?

CARLY FIORINA:  Well first of all Dodd-Frank has to be repealed. It has to be repealed. When you get these incredibly complex combinations of legislation and regulation around which all these special interests have gathered, you cannot tinker around the edges of that, you cannot. And one of the things that Dodd-Frank did is increase capital requirements. That’s why so many community banks are going out of business, they can’t meet the capital requirements. That’s great for Wall Street, they have less competition. It’s terrible for Main Street, so we have to repeal it. I think it’s really important to understand that competition serves consumers. The more competition you have, the more power the individual consumer has. The less competition you have, the more power that the big, powerful, and wealthy have. Think about it. I think this is one of those things we have to explain to the American people because we have somebody running on the Democratic Party side—maybe a couple somebodies—but Bernie Sanders runs around and talks about crony capitalism and everybody cheers. I get a lot of people who are Bernie Sanders supporters come to my rally. The problem is Bernie Sanders—maybe because he doesn’t understand the economy, maybe that’s Hillary’s problem, maybe because he’s a Socialist—his solutions make crony capitalism worse not better. You keep growing government, crony capitalism gets worse and worse and worse and worse and worse. So this is why simplification, taking power out of Washington and simplifying everything is so important because until and unless we do that, the small—whatever it is, the small business, the small family—wherever it is if you’re not big, powerful, wealthy, and well-connected you are getting harmed by a powerful, complicated government.

On the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: I’m going to try to ask her to do the impossible: give one minute answers on very complex questions and she’s been very good at that. The National Labor Relations Board: several years ago a small startup that no one had ever heard of called Boeing didn’t even try to relocate, they tried to expand their operation to North Charleston, South Carolina. They didn’t remove jobs anywhere else, they merely tried to make a private business decision.

CARLY FIORINA: Growing jobs, what a concept.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: I know. They created jobs in the state they left and the state of South Carolina as well. Had you been President, how would you have handled that? Had you had an NLRB that was basically prosecuting that private business?

CARLY FIORINA: Well I might have gotten in poor taste with the NLRB first of all, and thank goodness your Governor stood up and prevented that from happening. And let’s remember the NLRB today, what are they doing? They are changing the rules for franchisees and franchises as we speak. Why? Because they have a special interest group called organized labor that sees its membership declining and is looking for new places to organize and so they want to go into franchises and franchisees. We now have—this is not an exaggeration ladies and gentlemen—we have a set of five people, and actually only three of them agree, so all of these decisions are three to two. We have a set of partisan, unelected, unaccountable, appointed bureaucrats who have decided that it is within their purview to change the definition of a franchise-franchisee relationship that has built jobs and economies and created small business owners in this country for a hundred years. Really? Who gave you that power? This is what I mean when we say we have to take our government back.

On the Second Amendment

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: The Second Amendment reads “A regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The fact that ‘shall not be infringed’ was written last presupposes that the right didn’t come from the government, but it existed prior to the government. My question to you is: Do you believe that the Second Amendment serves individual rights or the rights of a militia?

CARLY FIORINA: Individual rights.

On Religious Liberty

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: Religious liberty. Now we’ve all watched the Kim Davis situation in Kentucky, some of you may have heard about the cake baker in Colorado, the wedding planners. There’s a great concern that the recent Supreme Court decision may have intended or unintended consequences as to peoples’ practice of their personal religious beliefs. How do you view the public square, do you think religion has an appropriate place in government on the square? Do you think accommodations should be made for people who don’t want to violate their personal convictions?

CARLY FIORINA: Of course, but let me explain. We have a national RIFRA Act, we now are in the process, state by state of passing RIFRA and we should. I was one of the very few people who stood up and supported Indiana, it’s clear that states are violating the peoples’ religious beliefs, even as the national government has, we need to pass these laws. RIFRA is not ever intended to be a vehicle of discrimination as some on the left have claimed. RIFRA is a vehicle for protection: the right to practice our religion as we see fit. The right to conscience is as core a value and individual liberty as exists in this nation. Religious liberty must be protected at all costs. But I will also say this: I think people of faith make better leaders. I know in my own case, and my family’s case, I have been saved by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through difficult times. But whatever someone’s faith, it is sincere. People of faith make better leaders because our faith gives us what? Humility. We know we are something larger than ourselves. Our faith gives us empathy. We know that no one of us is any better than any other one of us, and any one of us can fall and every one of us can be redeemed, and faith also gives us optimism. Without optimism nothing can be changed for the better and I also think we need more prayer, not less prayer. Not to force someone to pray to a god that they do not believe in, but what is prayer? Prayer is a moment of stillness in a very fanatic room. It is a moment of contemplation in a very superficial world. It is a time when we can bow our heads and remember that it is not all about us. And I think we need more of that.

On Law Enforcement

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: They’re bringing out the Shepherd’s hook from the back so one last question, and this is important to me. We’ve all seen a lot of news stories of the tragedies involving law enforcement and members of the community. No one is perfect, there are bad actors in every demographic, and every group, including law enforcement. But as a prosecutor, I’ve seen the badge unfairly tarnished, and a lot of men and women put themselves out there every single day walking to the window of a car and not know if you’re going to be greeted with a driver’s license and registration or a shotgun to the head. I’ve seen them castigated, I’ve seen them insulted, I’ve just seen the badge get tarnished. It causes me personal grief because there are men and women out there doing that. My question is this and I’m consolidating two questions into one: First what would you do as President to increase public confidence in the law enforcement and how would you work to support state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies as President?

CARLY FIORINA: Now in many important areas, tone starts at the top, and the President has a great opportunity to communicate to the nation what is important. When this President, when President Obama brings to the White House a young boy whose school clearly overreacted when he was building a clock, but never brings to the White House the family of an officer assassinated protecting him and his people. That says it all right? That says it all. So I will start by respecting, by honoring, by lifting up those brave men and women who serve us abroad, and who serve us at home, because we need their service and we should thank them every day.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALAN WILSON: Before I let Carly address the crowd I’m just going to do a one minute wrap up real quick and maybe as you walk out you can ask the questions but I do have to keep her on schedule. First I want to say thank you to the Crown Reef Resort, I want to thank the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, I want to thank all the volunteers–you see all the yellow people who are high school and college students. I want to thank Brielle Appelbaum who is the Executive Director and I want to thank her staff for helping us put this together with our partners. And I want to thank you Carly for taking the time to meet with the citizens of our state and community to talk about the issues. By a show of hands how many of you thought this was informative and educational? Good, I also want to thank you. Somebody was walking in when I was shaking hands and he said “Let me know if I can do anything to help you” and I said “You’re helping me right now by being here.” Because you have to care and you have to show up. You could have been at home sitting on the couch but you chose to be here, and I want to thank you taking time out of your busy schedules to be here to hear Carly talk about her vision for America, to talk about what she’s going to do for this country and this state and this community. That is so important, that is what the Conservative Leadership Project is about, is promoting these ideas and open exchange of ideas so that you can be educated and informed. If you want to see this, it’s going to be rebroadcast on the Conservative Leadership Project Forum’s website tonight at clpforums.com and there will be more of these forums around the state. The point is if you want to know more about CLP please go to the website, and watch Mrs. Fiorina’s interview again and make sure you make an informed decision come next February. Again I want to thank everyone in this room for how hospitable and wonderful you’ve been as a community of people, to welcome her here after that amazing debate performance last week. I’m going to go ahead and give it back to her.

CARLY FIORINA: Well thank you so much Alan, it was a pleasure to be up here with you having a great conversation and thank all of you for being here and for your very warm welcome. I’ve had a wonderful day here in South Carolina. This morning I was at the Citadel talking with so many of your fellow South Carolinians about the challenges that we face around the world. And this afternoon, I had a wonderful conversation about our Constitution. You know there are people out there who will say “Oh you know the Constitution, it was written hundreds of year ago and what does it have to do with us?” Of course we know that some wisdom is timeless. I said a few moments ago that I do think that 2016 is going to be a fight. For the character of our nation, for the future of our nation, for the role of our government, and for individual liberty and the opportunity for every American to actually fulfill their potential. And I think one of the things that we must do is reintroduce who we are and what we believe to the American people. That’s why I go on places like The View. I talk to all kinds of people, that’s why I talked to Katie Couric for forty-five minutes the day I launched my campaign. It’s actually important to talk to people who may not yet know they agree with us. And I got asked a very interesting question on The View. I was having a great time with the ladies of The View and I actually was talking with one of their hosts about Vladimir Putin, had I met him she was asking and at a certain point I think she was very surprised. She liked me and we were getting along and so she asked the key question. “Why are you a Conservative?” And so my answer was this: Because I know that no one of us is any better than any other of us, every one of us has God-given gifts. Every one of us can live a life of humility and purpose and meaning, and I know there are values and principles and our policies that work better to lift people up. I look forward to having that conversation with all Americans, because I think that is what it is going to take to win this election. And so I will leave you with this thought, and it’s the bit I talked about this morning, our role in the world. And what we talk about this evening: How do we govern ourselves? I think every day about what this nation can be—must be, in the twenty-first century. For me it’s best summarized by thinking about Lady Liberty and Lady Justice. So picture Lady Liberty in your minds, she stands tall and strong. As America must always be, she is clear-eyed and resolute, she does not shield her eyes from the realities of the world, she calls the evil she sees in the world what it is. But she also faces out into the world, as we always must because we are a unique nation on Earth and only we can lead. And she holds her torch high because she knows she is a beacon of hope in a very troubled, very dangerous world. And Lady Justice—Lady Justice holds a sword because she’s a fighter, she’s a warrior. The values and principles that have made this nation great-she holds a scale, and with that scale she says “All of us are equal in the eyes of God so all of us must be equal in the eyes of the law and government, powerful and powerless alike.” And she wears a blindfold. And with that blindfold she says “I believe that it must be true, it can be true, that in this nation, in this century, it does not matter who you are. It does not matter what you look like, it does not matter how you start, it does not matter your circumstances. Here in this nation every American’s life must be filled with the possibilities that come from their God-given gifts. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. God bless you ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming.