Carly Fiorina appeals to tech community in presidential bid

Who is Carly Fiorina?
Who is Carly Fiorina?

Will Carly Fiorina be the latest Silicon Valley act to head to the White House? She hopes so. And she says it'll be a good thing for the tech community if she's elected.

Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, announced Monday that she's running for president of the United States. And on Tuesday, she spoke at TechCrunch Disrupt about how she would use and support the tech industry if she wins.

In a bid to entrepreneurs, reporters and investors, Fiorina said she hopes to peel back the "bureaucratic overlay": "You don't manage innovation, you let it flourish."

Though she's never held public office -- in 2010, she unsuccessfully ran for Senate in California -- she said her background uniquely qualifies her to understand the tech and business community.

"I think that it's important to have someone in the White House who has a fundamental understanding of technology," said Fiorina.

For her, this means using it as a tool to reimagine government and engage those who feel disconnected.

From lack of civic engagement to increased regulatory hurdles, Fiorina would make some changes if she ends up in the White House. To start with, she'd "roll back" the 400 pages of regulations that the FCC recently published.

"The government shouldn't be regulating how innovation is progressing," she said.

Related: HP record clouds Fiorina's campaign launch

Fiorina said people actively engage with technology every day in ways as menial as voting for their favorite singers on American Idol. But what about weighing in on policy through a simple text?

"I'm willing to bet that 85% to 90% of what people spend vast amounts of time doing on their technology every day is pretty superficial and useless," she said.

On Monday, one enterprising tech user turned it against her. If you go to CarlyFiorina.org, you'll find a message that criticizes her for firing thousands of workers at HP. No one hacked the site -- her team just didn't snap up the domain name soon enough.

"You can't buy every domain name," Fiorina said at Disrupt Tuesday. "People are going to do what they're going to do. The thing about business that is unlike politics is [that] politics is a fact-free zone. Business is not a fact-free zone."

She rattled off statistics about her career successes -- like HP (HPQ) doubling in size under her leadership. Doing so as a woman is no small feat in Silicon Valley either, which she said is "not as diverse as it could be."

She's aware -- and happy -- about the fact that the Democratic nominee will likely be a woman.

"I think its a great thing that there are women on both sides," she said. "Obviously, I'm running to beat Hilary Clinton."

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