Carly Fiorina has said repeatedly that as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she had to defend the company's results in "excruciating detail" and could be held criminally liable for mistakes.
Running for president, however, she's free to ditch the excruciating details. And she has, offering -- and repeating -- sound bites that are long on catchiness and short on specifics.
"This government has been growing bigger and bigger, more corrupt, less effective, and crushing growth for a long time," Fiorina said in her opening remarks at Tuesday's GOP presidential debate, hosted by Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal. Sound familiar? Probably, if you've checked out her website or watched her earlier debate performances.
While she hasn't offered detailed proposals like some of her GOP rivals, you have to admit she's on message. It would be tough to find a Republican who disagrees with her Tuesday night statement on government. She also offered five suggestions on helping the economy that were edited down to a Twitter-appropriate length:
We need to go to zero based budgeting so we know where every dollar is being spent.
We need to actually reform the tax code, go to a three-page tax code.
We need to do a top-to-bottom review of every regulation on the books.
We need to pass the Reins Act so Congress is in charge of regulation, not nameless faces.
We actually have to hold government officials accountable for their performance.
Good luck getting Fiorina to say how she would implement any one of them, though with respect to the three-page tax code, she said such a plan exists without specifying more.
Later, moderator Maria Bartiromo, a Fox Business anchor, pressed Fiorina on how she would help small businesses that have been hurt by the Affordable Care Act. Fiorina's response: The law has to be repealed.
"It's tens of thousands of pages long -- no one can possibly understand it," except for the big businesses that helped write it, she said.
Opponents of the Affordable Care Act could surely get on board with repealing it, but Fiorina never explained how that would happen.
Even if she had a sympathetic Congress, passing any legislation is slow. Furthermore, efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act on technical grounds didn't even make it past the Supreme Court, with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority opinion that upheld the law.
So with that proposal, anyway, the details just get in the way.