The Slatest

Carly Fiorina’s Most Personal Debate Moment: “I Buried a Child to Drug Addiction”

“I very much hope that I am the only person on this stage who can say this,” Carly Fiorina said at Wednesday night’s debate, “but I know there are millions of Americans out there who will say the same thing: My husband, Frank, and I buried a child to drug addiction.”

Fiorina did not go into further detail Wednesday in this preface to her comments on drug policy, during which she criticized equating marijuana with alcohol. There are, however, revealing passages in her newest book, Rising to the Challenge, according to this Time piece. Fiorina’s stepdaughter died at age 35 as a result of “struggles with alcohol, prescription pills, and bulimia.” From Time:

Fiorina often mentions that her stepdaughter Lori died in 2009, but she typically only notes that she was “lost to the demons of addiction.” It’s striking, then, that Rising to the Challenge opens with a detailed section about Lori’s death.

“The two police officers stood awkwardly in our living room,” the book begins. And farther down the first page: “They asked us to sit down. Frank collapsed in a chair. I sat on the carpet next to him, my arms wrapped around his knees. The police officers said our daughter was dead, three thousand miles away.”

According to Time, Fiorina concludes the opening section of her book by connecting the impact of Lori’s deterioration and death to the candidate’s concern for the direction of the country. “Lori’s potential was never fulfilled but death is not the only thing that crushes potential. … What I also know is that Americans are failing to achieve their potential today.”

Read more of Slate’s coverage of the GOP primary.