Boxer Tries To Paint Fiorina as Out of Step
Some of the very things that made Carly Fiorina such a popular choice in the GOP's primary in California have become the focus of Sen. Barbara Boxer's strongest criticism as the two campaigns enter the final stretch of their hard-fought contest.
Sarah Palin's endorsement. Check. Fiorina's opposition to a permanent ban on offshore drilling off the coast. Check. Continuing the 2001 and 2003 tax breaks for those making more than $250,000, or as Boxer put it, "millionaires and billionaires." Check.
"She walks in that far right lane. And that is not where the majority of Californians walk," Boxer told supporters at a phone bank in El Monte.
Fiorina is well aware of the dangers of running as a conservative in California and is reaching out to independents and more moderate Democrats by stressing that she would not vote in lockstep with the Republican Party.
"I'm prepared to oppose my party when it's wrong," Fiorina said in one of her latest television ads.
Fiorina has maintained her focus on economic issues and the voters' desire for change throughout the campaign, and she's not deviating from that strategy now. She said she has no qualms about taking positions that conflict with the views of a majority of voters.
"One of things I believe is that people need to know who you are. I believe in authenticity," she said in response to a reporter's question.
Still, issues such as oil drilling, abortion and gun control are typically not raised at her campaign stops, even if they've become a big part of Boxer's stump speeches. Fiorina said that California voters are not single-issue voters and will connect with her focus on jobs and support for small businesses.
Boxer focused her re-election efforts Sunday in voter-rich Los Angeles County. In the morning, she attended a service at West Angeles Church of God in Christ.
Boxer clapped and swayed to the booming sound of the all-men's choir. She's hoping the black community goes to the polls on Tuesday with nearly as much enthusiasm as they did two years ago when Barack Obama was elected president.
Church leaders didn't endorse any of the candidates, but encouraged the several hundred in the congregation to vote.
One member of the congregation said he had already voted and predicted a good turnout in this year's midterm election despite reports of voter apathy among Democrats.
"Everybody I've run into is still very excited about voting," said 53-year-old McKinley Perkins, who said he supports Boxer. "She's been straightforward and consistent with what she's been doing. Her work has been on target from what I've seen."
Boxer then traveled to El Monte where she and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis urged members of a local firefighters union to knock on doors and make calls to get voters to the polls. Solis told the largely Hispanic audience that Boxer has always supported comprehensive immigration reform and would fight for the jobs of firefighters, police and teachers.
"My boss sent me down here because we know this is a champion," Solis said.
Meanwhile, Fiorina spoke over the phone with potential voters in Fresno, signed the broken arm cast of a girl, and obliged for pictures with the volunteers. She expressed confidence despite some recent polls showing Boxer with a small but distinct edge.
"The reason we're going to win this race is because people know there's something important at stake. People know it's not just another seat," Fiorina said.
She blamed Boxer for what she described as out-of-control government spending and said it was time to hold her accountable.
"Boxer has acted for years as if she is accountable to no one," Fiorina said.