(WLNS) – The debate between eleven top-tier Republican presidential candidates featured attempts to align with President Ronald Reagan and a testy exchange between two CEO-turned politicians.
The candidates, debating at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, also included swipes at President Obama and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.
One of the most pointed exchanges was between Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina when they attacked each other over their business records.
Fiorina says the roughly 30,000 layoffs she oversaw as CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005 are an example of “tough calls” the next president will have to make. She argues the job cuts took the country from “lagging behind to leading.”
Trump called the technology firm a “disaster,” blaming another 30,000 layoffs announced by the company this week on Fiorina’s leadership. He says, “She can’t run any of my companies.”
Fiorina has fired back, pointing to debt and bankruptcies stemming from Trump’s casino investments. She retorts, “Why should we trust to you to manage the finances of this nation any differently than you manage the finances of our casinos?”
Soon after that Chris Christie said he has had enough of the criticism and counterattacks between billionaire Donald Trump and former tech company CEO Carly Fiorina.
Fiorina was fired. Trump has declared bankruptcy. Christie says Americans don’t care.
Christie said “While I’m as entertained as anyone by this personal back-and-forth about the history of Donald and Carly’s career, for the 55-year-old construction worker out in that audience tonight who doesn’t have a job, who can’t fund his child’s education — I gotta tell you the truth — they could care less about your careers.”
Continuing his appeal to the middle class, Christie added “You’re both successful people. Congratulations. The middle class in this country who’s getting plowed under by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, let’s start talking about those issues tonight and stop this childish back-and-forth between the two of you.”