William Cummings, USA TODAY
Published 12: 47 p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019 | Updated 2: 25 p.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019
WASHINGTON – Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and 2016 Republican primary candidate Carly Fiorina said in an interview with CNN that she thinks it “vital” President Donald Trump be impeached but did not rule out voting for him in 2020.
Fiorina said she voted for Trump in 2016 because she felt the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton “also was corrupt”, though she has been “very disappointed” by Trump’s performance in office.
She said Trump’s conduct as president is “not just unbecoming, I think it’s destructive to our Republic.” As an example, Fiorina cited Trump’s attacks on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman for honoring a congressional subpoena to testify in the impeachment inquiry.
On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against Trump and the full House is expected to vote on the charges this week.
“I think it is vital that he be impeached,” Fiorina said. Yet, even though she thought Trump’s “conduct is impeachable,” she questioned if he should be “removed this close to an election.”
Fiorina said she was saddened to see “that the principles that are being debated in this impeachment trial, separation of powers, abuse of power, obstruction of Congress” did not seem to resonate with people as much as partisan politics.
When asked if she had a message for her fellow Republicans who are considering Trump’s impeachment on Capitol Hill, Fiorina said she would tell them, “In this country, hanging onto a job is not the most important thing.”
“In this country, we don’t pledge allegiance to a party or to a president. In this country, principles matter,” she said.
During the 2016 primary campaign, Trump was criticized after he attacked Fiorina’s appearance in an interview with Rolling Stone.
“Look at that face!” Trump said, according to the magazine. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”
Trump later told Fox & Friends, “Probably I did say something like that about Carly,” but he explained, “I’m talking about persona, I’m not talking about looks.”
Fiorina, who would later join Texas Sen.Ted Cruz’s ticket as his running mate, said she at the time that she thought Trump’s comments were evidence she was “getting under his skin.”
In her CNN interview, Fiorina said she no longer recognizes the Republican Party and that “loyalty to Trump is what I think it stands for.”
She said she didn’t know if she would ever run for office again and if she did, she was uncertain if it would be as a Republican.
“My party designation doesn’t define me. It never has,” she said.
Despite her many misgivings about Trump, she left open the possibility that she might vote for him again, depending on the alternative.
“Honestly, it depends who the Democrats put up. And I won’t go any further than that,” she said.
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