MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina – As she rises in the 2016 primary polls, earning the ire of GOP front-runner Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina reveled in his attacks as a sign of her own success.
“It might seem that Donald Trump’s getting a little nervous,” the former Hewlett Packard CEO told reporters after a campaign event in Myrtle Beach. “I’m getting under his skin a little bit.”
Fiorina’s outsider status and strong debate performances have boosted her standing in several recent polls to second place, just behind Trump. His attacks have ramped up ever since. Earlier in the day, the campaign sent out a member saying “We get the point, Mr. Trump. You’re worried,” deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur Flores wrote in the email, linking to Trump’s recent tweets attacking Fiorina.
“I’m happy to run on the facts of my record and Donald Trump is going to have to run on the facts of his,” Fiorina told reporters.
Minutes before during the event, Fiorina brought up a 20-year-old eminent domain lawsuit between Atlantic City and an elderly widow, Vera Coking, to condemn big government. The case – in which Trump urged the state to have Coking’s home seized by the state under “eminent domain” legislation by the state so he could build a parking lot for limousines at a casino – was cited by Fiorina as an example of what she considers an instance of government infringing on Americans’ freedoms.
There’s an “unholy alliance between business interests, political interests, and lobby interests,” Fiorina argued, in a dig that paints Trump as just another cog in the federal bureaucracy.
“This is why I think this is one of the core things at stake when we vote,” she continued. “When government gets too big too powerful, individual citizens in this nation become too small.”
Fiorina is on a three-day, seven-city tour of South Carolina in the wake of her significant rise in the polls.
“As people get to know me and understand who I am and what I’ll do, they tend to support me,” Fiorina told reporters earlier in the day.