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Battle between Fiorina and Boxer begins

June 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
It was a historic night in the race for U.S. Senate. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina won the Republican Party nomination making her the first female GOP Senate nominee in California. Carly Fiorina won the Republican primary with 56 percent of the vote. Former congressman Tom Campbell received 22 percent, and Irvine Assemblyman Chuck DeVore got 19 percent.

Incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer easily won the Democratic primary, with 84 percent.

Fiorina spent a lot of money in this race and it paid off for her. She outspent her rivals, Campbell and DeVore, by a 3-to-1 margin.

Fiorina had some other things going for her. She received an endorsement from Sarah Palin, which helped her in this race. She got the Tea Party vote behind her and now she faces a new challenge.

Fiorina is now taking on Boxer, the incumbent who has been in office in California for 18 years through three terms. Before that, Boxer was a congresswoman. She has had some tough fights in the past and is expecting another one this time around. Fiorina insists that it is time for change.

Boxer, who remained low-key during the primary race, came out swinging Wednesday, referrring to Fiorina as a "CEO who got fired." Then she criticized Fiorina's record while head of Hewlett-Packard.

"And when she had a chance to create jobs when she was at Hewlett-Packard, she laid off more than 30,000 American workers and she shipped their jobs to China, to India to Europe," said Boxer.

"We also created jobs and it's a tragedy we had to lay those people off, because California is the most difficult place to do business," said Fiorina.

Fiorina went on to defend her track record at H-P, saying she doubled the size of the company and tripled the rate of innovation. The newly minted GOP senate nominee as well as former eBay executive Meg Whitman have deep pockets, and they used much of their own money to fund their expensive primary campaigns, something Boxer calls offensive.

"They didn't vote in most elections but they have a lot of money and they're trying to buy these seats, and people are going to have to decide if they like that or not," said Boxer.

"Barbara Boxer knows full well that the unions have spend tens of millions keeping her in office. The truth is you can't buy elections. The voters always decide," said Fiorina.

Fiorina was caught on an open microphone making fun of Boxer's hairstyle Wednesday morning.

Fiorina was prepping for an interview with a Sacramento TV station when she was recorded laughing loudly while describing Barbara Boxer's hair as "so yesterday."

During an interview Wednesday night on the Fox News Channel with Greta Van Susteren, Fiorina said the words she used to characterize the three-term senator's hair were not her own.

Fiorina added that her own hair has been "talked about by a million people."

The microphone also captured Fiorina questioning Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman's decision to be interviewed Wednesday by Fox's Sean Hannity. Fiorina called it "bizarre" and a "bad choice."

Fiorina told Van Susteren that she has apologized to Hannity and will appear on his show Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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