Throughout much of her presidential campaign, Carly Fiorina has attacked Hillary Clinton, calling on the former secretary of state to "name an accomplishment".
"Throughout this campaign, I have repeatedly asked Hillary Clinton to name an accomplishment," Fiorina wrote in an op-ed for CNN. "She has yet to name one. Note: Flying is an activity, not an accomplishment."
While serving as a surrogate for John McCain's 2008 campaign, however, Fiorina offered high praise for Clinton.
Over the weekend, the Washington Post Ruth Marcus wrote in a column that Fiorina told her in May of 2008 that if she wasn't backing Sen. John McCain, she would have backed Clinton. A Fiorina spokeswoman said that Fiorina couldn't remember the exchange and was probably talking about who she would back in the 2008 Democratic primary if she had to choose.
The article also noted that Fiorina declared her "great admiration and respect for Hillary Clinton and her candidacy and leadership," at one gathering in 2008.
In one video uncovered by BuzzFeed News, Fiorina delivers a long and forceful praise of then-Senator Clinton for a political organization that promoted women in politics. Fiorina called Clinton "incredibly intelligent," "determined," and said she took great pride in her presidential run.
"I have such great admiration and empathy for Hillary Clinton," Fiorina says in the video. "I have great admiration for her because I know what it takes in some small measure to do what she has done. She is obviously incredibly intelligent, focused, tough, determined, empathetic of all the tens of millions of people that she was trying to represent in her quest to become the first woman president of the United States."
"And as a woman, I take great pride in the fact that Hillary Clinton ran for president. And I also watched with a lot of empathy as I saw how she was scrutinized, characterized, talked about as a woman," continued Fiorina.
"While I think woman have made great progress in so many ways I also known from personal experience that women in positions of power – particularly bold women – who are trying to drive change as Hillary Clinton must surely is…bold women, women in power are characterized, scrutinized differently than their male counterparts are."
That glowing praise is in line with a statement she made at another 2008 gathering, a press conference where she said Clinton had been subjected to sexism, albeit not by the Republican Party.
Fiorina said any woman in politics owes a debt of gratitude to Clinton.
"I have said numerous times, I disagree politically with Hillary, but I also have great admiration for Hillary Clinton," declared Fiorina. "Her run for the presidency was historic. She was a great candidate. She has helped millions of women all over this country. Women of any political party owe a debt of gratitude to Hillary Clinton and I will bet that every woman up here agrees with me."
A spokeswoman for the Fiorina campaign said, "none of this is really news,"
"And as I said in the Marcus column, if Carly was asked in 2008 to pick between the two democrats, she would have picked Mrs Clinton. She was a top surrogate for John McCain at the time--so none of this is really news," Fiorina's spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman likewise added that Fiorina "has often listed positive qualities of Mrs Clinton," linking to a Legal Insurrection article from April.