First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

Ex-HP CEO Fiorina Could Be Named Cruz's VP Pick

Two months after Carly Fiorina ended her own presidential campaign, reports are surfacing that Ted Cruz has her on a shortlist of running mates.


Carly Fiorina's time in the political spotlight may not be over just yet.

The ex-Hewlett-Packard CEO, ex-presidential candidate and the loser in the one other political race she ran reportedly is high on the list of possible vice presidential running mates for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Reports began to surface April 25—the day before businessman Donald Trump won all five Republican primary states in the Northeast and dealt a lethal blow to Cruz's presidential ambitions—that Cruz's campaign had created a shortlist of possible VP picks and that Fiorina was among those on the list.

Fiorina spokespeople have confirmed that Cruz's campaign has vetted her, and Cruz while on the campaign trail acknowledged a VP shortlist.

Except for a brief period last year after a strong debate performance, the ex-HP CEO spent most of her time near the bottom of the crowded GOP presidential field, finally ending the campaign in February. She endorsed Cruz a month later, and has since made appearances on his behalf.

During her campaign, Fiorina touted her business experience even though her tenure with HP was a key point of attack for her rivals, who often pointed to the 30,000 job cuts at the company during her time, the sharp drop in stock price, the outsourcing of jobs overseas and the $21 million payment she received from the company when the HP board of directors forced her out in 2005. There also was her lack of political experience: Fiorina's only race ended with a loss to incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in 2010, a year when the GOP won a lot of seats in Congress.

In addition, during her presidential nomination, Fiorina also was routinely criticized not only for lying on the campaign trail, but for doubling down on her statements when presented with evidence that what she said wasn't true.

Some conservative pundits have praised the possibility of a Cruz-Fiorina ticket, though others in media said the baggage that Fiorina carries could weigh on Cruz's presidential campaign. They also noted that after the April 26 primaries, the chances that Cruz will get the Republican nomination have narrowed significantly, making the chances of Fiorina getting into the White House unlikely sans an invitation from the next president.