"The man who led my firing, Tom Perkins, an icon of Silicon Valley, has come out publicly and said 'You know what? We were wrong. She was right. She'd be a great CEO. She'd be a great President of the United States because the leadership she brought to HP is exactly the leadership we need in Washington, D.C.,'" Fiorina said.
Perkins notoriously compared the liberal push to reduce income inequality with Nazi Germany's Kristallnacht in a 2014 Wall Street Journal op-ed. He raised eyebrows again when he suggested the "one percent" should have a proportionally larger say in American politics. He jokingly called it the "Tom Perkins system:" "You don't get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes."
CNBC's Becky Quick, one of the debate moderators, noted that Perkins has said "a lot of questionable things" and asked Fiorina why she would want him defending her record.
"Well, this is one of the reasons why Tom Perkins and I had had disagreements in the board room, Becky," Fiorina responded.