Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz announced his selection of businesswoman Carly Fiorina as his choice for vice presidential running mate.
The choice was odd for a number of reasons. For one, Fiorina has never held elected office and has failed to win almost every election she has participated in, including the 2016 presidential primaries, where she was never a factor and dropped out of the race shortly after getting only 4% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary. Secondly, Fiorina has no discernible qualifications for executive leadership outside of her role as CEO of Hewlett Packard, which is widely considered to have been disastrous—surpassed perhaps only by the consequences of her tenure at Lucent Technologies. So, when given opportunities to lead, she fails.
But perhaps most concerning is Mrs. Fiorina’s problematic history with Iran. While both Senator Cruz and Fiorina have condemned President Obama’s Iran Deal for providing the Iranian government with funds and access to Western markets, it was during Fiorina’s tenure as CEO that HP was cited for violating US sanctions against Iran.
Mrs. Fiorina has continually denied she was aware of the deals being made between a Hewlett-Packard foreign subsidiary, Redington Gulf, and Iran, but also went further to claim she was exonerated for any wrongdoing and that HP had no knowledge the subsidiary was doing business with Iran at the time.
An investigation by Factcheck.org showed those claims to be false. Fiorina was never cleared of any wrongdoing by US regulators and HP’s foreign subsidiary had publicly announced it was selling HP products to Iran. In fact, as The New York Times noted, Redington Gulf even put its business relationship with Iran on its website, which told readers the company’s sole purpose was to “sell HP supplies to the Iran market.”
And when the SEC investigated HP for violating sanctions, not only was Fiorina and the executive team not exonerated—the SEC found considerable evidence that HP was quite aware of its lucrative relationship with Redington Gulf:
[I]n 1999, HP’s general manager for the Middle East was quoted as saying, “Iran is a big market for Hewlett-Packard printers.” And Fiorina herself praised rising HP sales in the region in 2003, although she didn’t mention Iran, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Also in 2003, HP named Redington Gulf, the Dubai-based distributor, its “Wholesaler of the Year.” Redington put out a press release that year stating, “The seeds of the Redington-Hewlett-Packard relationship were sowed six years ago for one market — Iran.”
In other words, Carly Fiorina was for doing business with Iran before she was against it. Good luck running on that.