Dovere: When former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Trump was a threat to the Constitution, and Lisa Murkowski said she agreed with Mattis but is “struggling” with whether to support Trump, do you understand that struggle?
Fiorina: If you’re a politician, I do. I mean, if you’re a politician, you’re focused on winning. And I think all politicians, elected politicians in the Republican Party, have struggled with the power of Trump’s base. And so I don’t understand the struggle from the point of view of principles or beliefs. But I do understand it from the point of view of a politician. I think it’s why people are losing faith in politics and why too many people think all politicians are the same.
Dovere: Have you made up your mind about who you’re going to vote for in November?
Fiorina: I’ve been very clear that I can’t support Donald Trump. And, you know, elections are binary choices … I will say this: I think—I hope—that Biden understands that this moment in history calls for him to be a leader, not a politician.
Dovere: But so you are voting for Joe Biden?
Fiorina: Well, it’s not ’til November. I’m not voting for Trump, but it’s a binary choice. So if faced with a binary choice on a ballot: yes.
But I’m making, I think, just as important a point, which is: He will get a lot of pressure, as all politicians do, to be a politician. And yet I think what the nation is looking for is a leader. What’s the difference? Well, politics is about win-lose. I’m right; you’re wrong. It is, unfortunately, often about an argument between extremes. Leadership, on the other hand, is about problem-solving and making progress and changing the order of things for the better, which means it’s about humility and empathy and collaboration. And I think this moment calls upon Joe Biden to be a leader. I am encouraged that Joe Biden is a person of humility and empathy and character. I think he’s demonstrated that through his life.
Dovere: What about John Bolton, who says he’ll write in a conservative Republican, even though he wants Trump to lose?
Fiorina: I don’t really know what to make of that. I can’t read John Bolton’s mind, but I think John Bolton is desperately trying to preserve some position in the Republican Party as a conservative Republican. And maybe that’s what causes him to say that.
Dovere: Why isn’t it enough to say that the president got tax reform and all the judges, and that he’ll hold off all the liberal policies that he says will come with Biden?
Fiorina: I applaud his Supreme Court justice picks and the justices that he’s appointed into the lower courts. And I’m pro-life, and I didn’t agree completely with his tax-reform package. I didn’t agree with the bailout of big companies. I mean, I don’t always agree with the positions the Republican Party has taken. But, yes, there are plenty of policy differences that I have with Joe Biden. And there are plenty of policy differences that I have with the more progressive wing of the Democrat Party. And yet, I think when Biden talks about the soul of the nation, I think what he’s talking about is values and principles and character. Principles like coequal branches of government, principles like problem-solving should be a collaborative process, a bipartisan process. I think all those things matter.