Carly Fiorina

By Jack Chang
jchang@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

SAN DIEGO – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina told hundreds of GOP supporters Saturday that, if elected, she would push for term limits capping senators and representatives to 12 years in each house of Congress.

Fiorina also repeated her pledge to serve only two six-year terms herself in the U.S. Senate even in the absence of such a term-limit law.

Fiorina made the announcement at the California Republican Party’s semi-annual convention, where delegates enthusiastically welcomed her to a luncheon also featuring GOP attorney general candidate Steve Cooley and insurance commissioner candidate Mike Villines.

Fiorina spent much of her 25-minute speech lambasting incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer as a career politician and promising to turn around the state’s dismal job situation.

“Barbara Boxer has been in political office for 34 years,” Fiorina said. “Believe it or not, that’s longer than most Californians have been alive. In other words, she’s been a career politician for literally a lifetime.”

Fiorina said she’d counter that example by proposing term limits, which would require amending the U.S. Constitution.

“Why isn’t two terms, 12 years, in the U.S. Senate enough?” Fiorina asked. “It should be. And I will fight for term limits for senators and members of the House of Representatives. Twelve years in each chamber should be enough to get something done without totally losing touch with reality.”

Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina has introduced a more restrictive national term limits law in Congress – six years in the House and 12 in the Senate – but so far it has not gained traction. California voters in 1998 approved Proposition 225 stating it was the state’s official position to back term limits for Congress.

Fiorina, the former CEO of technology company Hewlett-Packard, called the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act a failure and blamed Democrats for the state’s 12.3 percent unemployment rate.

“Barbara Boxer, despite your rhetoric, the only job you are fighting for is your own,” Fiorina said.

Like GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman’s the night before, Fiorina’s speech stayed away from red-meat Republican topics such as illegal immigration that could turn off general election voters.

Later at a news conference, Fiorina said she backed a party resolution supporting a controversial Arizona law requiring law enforcement to check the legal status of people suspected of being in the country illegally. The party, she noted, “is trying to put pressure on the federal government to do its job, and I think that pressure is appropriate.”

A party committee later killed the resolution.

Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski criticized Fiorina for backing unpopular positions in California.

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