Carly Fiorina to become NRSC vice chair

at 01:30 PM ET, 07/12/2011

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) announced Tuesday that former Hewlett Packard CEO and 2010 California GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina will be the committee’s new vice chair.

Cornyn announced the news at Tuesday’s lunch with fellow GOP senators. In a statement set to be released this afternoon, the Texas Republican says Fiorina should be a major asset — especially when it comes to fundraising.

“I’m pleased to welcome my friend Carly Fiorina to the NRSC team, where her many business and civic achievements will make her an invaluable leader and fundraiser during this critical election cycle,” Cornyn said in the statement, which was obtained by The Fix.

Fiorina, who joins Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) as an NRSC vice chair, was hailed as a top recruit for the national Senate campaign committee in California last cycle, raising nearly $16 million and losing to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) by 10 points.

Hatch, who has hit the phones hard to raise money for the NRSC in recent years, faces his a potentially tough reelection race this cycle and likely will be otherwise occupied for much of the next year and a half.

Enter Fiorina, whose fundraising prowess is the main reason she’s being brought on (though as an attractive and well-spoken businesswoman, she is also expected to be a surrogate on economic issues).

As the former head of HP, Fiorina has considerable ties to the business community and will be counted on to build the NRSC’s donor base, which has to compete with the Democrats’ success on Wall Street in recent years. (Thank you former Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer!)

Republicans are hoping to retake the majority in the Senate this cycle, which would require them to win four Democratic seats if President Obama is reelected and three seats if a GOPer wins the White House.

Democrats responded by pointing to the layoffs that occured at HP on Fiorina’s watch — an attack used against her frequently during the 2010 campaign.

“Apparently, Republicans are not only protecting tax breaks for millionaires; they’re also finding them jobs,” DSCC spokesman Shripal Shah said.

Fiorina was also the chairwoman of a joint fundraising committee between the Republican National Committee and Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign in 2008, and her continued involvement in GOP politics suggest she may not be done with politics after her 2010 loss.

 
Read what others are saying