A typical political answer

A TYPICAL POLITICAL ANSWER…. California’s Carly Fiorina (R), still hoping to parlay her striking failures in the corporate world into a successful U.S. Senate campaign, took her message to Fox News yesterday. She was asked one question in particular she really didn’t want to answer.

California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R) reiterated her call for an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts on Sunday but refused to name entitlement programs she’d cut to offset the resulting growth of the deficit.

Extending all the tax cuts is estimated to add $4 trillion to the deficit.

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Fiorina, who’s challenging Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), which programs she’d cut.

But she didn’t want to talk about it. Like far too many of her GOP brethren, Fiorina loves the idea of cutting taxes for millionaires, and is equally fond of touting the idea of deficit reduction, but seems to fall apart fairly quickly when pressed for any kind of substance that would make this agenda coherent.

Eventually, a frustrated Wallace asked, “Where are you going to cut entitlements? What benefits are you going to cut? What eligibilities are you going to change?” Fiorina refused to answer, calling the line of inquiry a “typical political question.”

I haven’t the foggiest idea what that means. Asking a Senate candidate who’s talked about entitlements to answer a question about the details of her approach to entitlements is too “typically political” to warrant a response? By this reasoning, isn’t literally every question directed to candidates about the major issues of the day a “typical political question”?

Watching the interview, it became clear Fiorina just isn’t ready for prime time (or Sunday morning, as the case may be). She eventually suggested our problems could be solved by “engaging the American people in a conversation,” which is a dull euphemism for “I’ll lose if I talk about substance before Election Day.”

Seven times Wallace asked for any kind of details about the kind of spending cuts Fiorina would support if elected. Seven times, the confused conservative candidate declined. It was embarrassing for the candidate, exasperating for the host, and painful for the viewers.

What’s more, as Tanya Somanader noted, it fits in nicely to a larger pattern: “While frustrating, Fiorina’s lack of solutions should not be surprising. As a member of the GOP, Fiorina joins a slew of Republicans in their refusal to offer any deficit solutions no matter how many times a reporter may beg.”