Carly Fiorina Enterprises CEO joins Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman and the Yahoo Finance panel to discuss the impact of a Biden Presidency on the business industry and the economy.
ZACK GUZMAN: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. We are seeing President-elect Joe Biden start to plan and perhaps piece together some cabinet picks here as the transition process looms a bit longer than some Democrats might be comfortable with. But a lot of former Republicans even on the other side of the aisle here enthusiastic about what opportunities might be out there President-elect Biden and his administration to get some key items through here. And for now, I want to dig into that with our next guest here. Carly Fiorina is Enterprise's CEO and of course, was a former Republican presidential candidate who endorsed Joe Biden for president. We're joined by her alongside Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman, as well here.
Ms. Fiorina, I mean, I guess we'll start on what has you most enthusiastic right now about some of those agenda items that might come through? Obviously, it's not just going to take the Democrats here to get behind those Republicans, well, depending on how the Senate shakes out. So what are you most excited about and looking forward to in Joe Biden taking over?
CARLY FIORINA: Well, first, I endorsed Joe Biden way back in June because I think leadership matters and character counts. Secondly, however, to your very specific question, I think many, many Republicans agree that we need to get this pandemic under control and that President Trump simply hasn't taken it seriously enough. I think many Republicans agree that we need to rejoin multinational alliances and strengthen our relationships with traditional allies, and push back on those who have been traditional adversaries like Russia, for example.
I think there are many Republicans who are excited, as well, about an infrastructure package. I honestly had hoped that President Trump would move forward with an infrastructure package in 2017. He did not. But I think there is a lot of bipartisan support for infrastructure build, and Biden has spoken a lot of about that. And finally, I think that if it is likely that Republicans retain control of the Senate, or at the very least, that it is a very small margin one way or the other, depending on the outcome in Georgia, I think there are many Republicans who believe, OK, a big tax hike probably isn't in the cards. And yet, there are many things that can be done around the pandemic, around education reform, around health care, around infrastructure build, around multinational alliances, as I said, that there's a lot of bipartisan support for it.
AKIKO FUJITA: So let's talk about what should be done around the pandemic, because there has been so much back and forth-- this very long lag on a stimulus bill. What do you think should be prioritized even in this lame duck session?
CARLY FIORINA: Well, I would hope that finally, Democrats and Republicans would get together in this lame duck session and pass a stimulus bill. I mean, clearly, there is assistance required at the state and local level. Clearly, working families and small businesses in particular are continuing to suffer particularly in this very difficult and dark winter.
I think the question mark for me, honestly, is the Republican Party-- at least elected Republicans in Washington DC-- still seem to be in the Trump party. And so I think they are watching and looking for signals from Trump about what he is willing to support. And so that's the only thing that makes me nervous about whether or not a stimulus bill will get passed. He has been kind of all over the map in terms of what he's willing to support. But clearly, the need is there. And I think both Republicans and Democrats, if they stop and think about it, realize that it is a failure of the political class to do nothing when the need is so great.
RICK NEWMAN: Carly, we will be beyond President Trump and we will be beyond the coronavirus at some point. You ran in 2016 as a kind of a pragmatic, centrist, pro-business Republican. Does the business community need anything, putting aside stimulus and aid for small businesses and things like that-- does the business community need anything structurally? Or does it just need the Biden administration to leave it alone?
CARLY FIORINA: Well, you know, I think the great example of the business community going to get something from the Biden administration, whether they want it or not, is big tech. I mean, there's no question now that these large technology companies have a degree of market power, whether it's in data privacy or content management or lack of competition that Republicans and Democrats alike believe needs to be curtailed or regulated in some way.
And so I have been advocating strongly over the last several weeks that big tech, Facebook, Twitter, the rest of them really need to decide to become part of the solution here, and work with government. Work with politicians on both sides of the aisle to craft a set of solutions that are going to work. I just don't think it's realistic anymore for the technology sector to say, just leave us alone, we're going to do our thing. I think those days are passed, because of the power they have in our society over data, over content, et cetera.
And so I think something's going to happen. And I always get very nervous about politicians crafting solutions on their own, particularly around an industry that they don't understand very well. And that's why I think leaders in the industry need to step forward and help.
RICK NEWMAN: Just one more question about politics and maybe-- maybe a bit more on tech. You joined us in October for our All Markets Summit-- and that, of course, was before the election. We've now seen Biden won, Trump lost. And we're seeing this fairly shameful performance by many Republicans plus Trump-- or they won't acknowledge that Biden won. They won't help Biden with the transition. We asked you in October, do you consider yourself a Republican still? And where is the Republican Party even headed in your estimation? Could you just update us on your thoughts on that?
CARLY FIORINA: [CHUCKLES]
Well, you know, I tweeted this morning that this is shameful. That's one word for it. I think honestly, President Trump has cemented his legacy as being inadequate for the job. And Republicans who continue to refuse to say or do anything about this unwillingness to engage in an effective and peaceful transition are also demonstrating that they're inadequate for their jobs.
This is all about Donald Trump's political power with the base. But some things are actually bigger than politics. The coronavirus is bigger than politics. National security is bigger than politics. And so I would hope that fairly soon here, you would have notable Republican elected officials stand up and say to the president, enough is enough. It is a time to acknowledge the obvious-- Joe Biden is the President-elect-- and to begin an effective transition.
ZACK GUZMAN: Hey, Carly, let me ask you a personal follow up on that too, because, I mean, you were on the debate stage back in 2016. You had your own battles with President Trump. I'd be curious to hear your take on what it's like to watch other people who had their battles on that same stage. And Senator Rubio and Ted Cruz, you know, basically lining up behind President Trump after those personal attacks. You're obviously not in that line with them. How much of that comes from just principle or how much of it comes from maybe your ambition here to maybe join Joe Biden's cabinet picks or play a role in that administration, too? What's your take on how that's shaking out?
CARLY FIORINA: Well, to the second part of your question, I don't have an ambition to join the Joe Biden cabinet, so that doesn't factor into any of my decision making here. And I have not been in touch with the Biden campaign from the moment I endorsed him until now. So that's not the issue.
To your specific question, I find it deeply disappointing, as well as, frankly, mystifying why men that I thought had principles seem to be willing to throw those principles aside for short term political gain. And I think that's what it's all about. It's all about politics in the relatively short term. Perhaps I told you in October that, you know, George Washington said the trouble with political parties is they'll come to care only about winning. And what I think we've seen in politics is too many in politics are focused solely on running and winning, running and winning. And they have a very short time horizon as a result.
And so people are fixated on Georgia. That's pretty short term. Or they're fixated on 2022. That's also short term. But in the meantime, there are bigger, longer term issues at stake. And our principles are part of what's at stake.
RICK NEWMAN: Wonder if we could just go back to big tech. You mentioned that before. And you ran a big tech firm in Palo Alto for a while. This is a complex problem, it does not apply to all these companies equally. But what single-- if you could point to one single reform or fix that might address these problems with these technology giants, what would it be?
CARLY FIORINA: Well, first let me say when I ran Hewlett-Packard for six years, I testified multiple times on Capitol Hill. It's not the most fun thing to do, but it is part of the process. So to answer your very specific question, I believe what we need now are a set of rules that are uniform, consistently applied, and completely transparent. And those rules need to cover how data is maintained and how consumers' privacy is protected and how content is managed.
You know, yesterday in the hearings where Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey were testifying, Zuckerberg making a comment around, well, you know, Steve Bannon's tweets about beheadings don't violate our rules. And a lot of people said, well, what are your rules? That's exactly the problem. No one knows what the rules are. And no one knows whether the roles are being consistently applied.
And so when these CEOs show up and just say, trust us, trust us, we have rules, but we don't know what they are, and we don't know how they're applied, then honestly, we can't trust them. So transparency around those sets of rules and assurance that those rules are being consistently applied is absolutely necessary now.
AKIKO FUJITA: I want to get back to what you said earlier about the stimulus and you know, you saying that look, there's a lot of lawmakers who are looking to President Trump for some kind of signal on which way to vote. The president, according to reports, have indicated that he may consider running again in 2024. I mean, how big of an influence you think the president is going to be within the Republican Party beyond his administration? Come January, is he going to continue to be a huge influence or the party-- over the party? And if so, what does it mean for the future of the Republican Party?
CARLY FIORINA: So first of all, I, of course, have no insight into what Donald Trump is going to do, but I certainly think he is laying track for running again in 2024. And let's just back up and give President Trump his due-- President Trump turned out massive numbers of voters. He gained more votes, millions more votes, in 2020 than he did in 2016. And he also turned out votes for Joe Biden. So Donald Trump has real political power. He has a real base that is loyal to him. And so of course that gives him influence in the Republican Party.
It's why I said to you in October I'm not sure that the Republican Party isn't Trump's party. And I don't see myself in Trump's party. But make no mistake-- he isn't going away. He's not disappearing. He won't be president. But he will retain enormous political influence. And so the question is what he chooses to do with that influence.
But right now, I think what you're seeing is politicians who don't want to get on the wrong side of him, because through that influence, he can make a difference in a Georgia Senate race. He can make a difference in congressional races in 2022. And I'm sure he intends to try and make a huge difference.
ZACK GUZMAN: And we'll see what kind of difference that ends up being. But fascinating to get your take on all this. Carly Fiorina, thanks again for taking the time to chat with us today.
CARLY FIORINA: Great to be with you all.