Fight night: Boxer and Fiorina square off in first debate - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fight night: Boxer and Fiorina square off in first debate

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MORAGA, Calif. (AP) - Republican challenger Carly Fiorina took aim at the nation's troubled economy during her first debate with Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, blaming the incumbent for policies "that are devastating the state."

The recession and how to turn around California's sky-high jobless rate loomed large Wednesday as Boxer and Fiorina began the hour-long debate at St. Mary's College in the eastern San Francisco Bay area city of Moraga.

Fiorina says the American dream is becoming too difficult to achieve and blamed Boxer for doing too little to help the middle class.

"Her long track record in Washington DC is consistent and clear," said Fiorina, "and the results of her policies are devastating for this state."

Boxer fired back at Fiorina, criticizing her for shipping 30,000 jobs overseas during her time as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co. She Fiorina fights not for average Americans, but for billionaires, millionaires and companies that outsource jobs.

"Jobs are my focus," Boxer told the audience. "That is why I am working to make California the hub of the new clean energy economy."

At a Republican watch party at the Hazard Center in Mission Valley, Fiorina's vision for job growth was praised.

"It is critical to have somebody in government that understands what small businesses need, and get out of our way, so that we can heal the economy," said Delores Chavez-Harmes, a small business owner.

Democrats, who gathered at Bamboo Lounge in Hillcrest, said they believed Barbara Boxer has fought for the working and middle classes during her three terms in Congress.

"I think Barbara had a superior position, because I think she represents most of the people," said Boxer supporter Jerry Greenspan.


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