This article has been updated.
A day after announcing her presidential campaign, Carly Fiorina answered the question being asked by many: “Have you seen CarlyFiorina.org?”
“No, I haven’t, but I’ve read about it,” she said, speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt, a technology conference in New York City. “You can’t buy every domain name. Maybe we should have, but we didn’t.”
CarlyFiorina.org exploded on Monday, when it became clear that the URL was purchased by an anonymous critic who wrote: “Carly Fiorina failed to register this domain. So I’m using it to tell you how many people she laid off at Hewlett-Packard. It was this many,” the site says, followed by 30,000 sad-face emoticons.
The anonymous critic, it turns out, was Mike Link, Asst. Director of Digital Strategy at Service Employees International Union (SEIU), according to Carly for America Press Secretary Leslie Shedd, who pointed out via email that “SEIU is a big donor and supporter of the Democratic Party.”
Fiorina, who has fielded hefty criticism for her lack of political experience, worked as Hewlett-Packard’s CEO in the late ’90s. In her unsuccessful 2010 Senate bid, she was skewered for laying off workers and outsourcing jobs. With her newly announced 2016 bid for president, she’ll undoubtedly have to once again defend her business record — and work to shore up her credentials.
“Politics is a fact-free zone,” Fiorina quipped in response to the dot-org site. “The facts of my time at H.P. are crystal clear and they are as I’ve stated them.”
“As the CEO of H.P., Carly Fiorina laid off 30,000 workers. Fiorina shipped jobs to China,” claimed an ad placed in 2010 by her then-opponent California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. ”And while Californians lost their jobs, Fiorina tripled her salary, bought a $1 million yacht and five corporate jets.”
But Fiorina asserts that she worked through a technology recession and grew the company, despite controversial changes.
“When you manage through a very tough recession, there are some tough calls,” she said on Tuesday.
“No wonder the website is ‘delighting Democrats’ – it was created by an arm of the Democratic Party last December. Looks like Democrats have been worried about Hillary Clinton’s most effective critic since last year,” Shedd said in a statement.