Don't look now, but Carly Fiorina is making a last-minute push to get on the debate stage. Her campaign sent an email touting Fiorina's improving poll position to reporters this weekend, and her sold out speech about national security on Monday could keep the ball rolling.
Fiorina's campaign said she would be speaking to a crowd of more than 1,000 people at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Fiorina wasted little time calling upon GOP leaders to follow Reagan's example, and said the next president of the United States must reestablish American leadership.
"This administration's blind eye to aggression has become a black eye for America," Fiorina is expected to say according to prepared remarks shared by her campaign. "China, Russia, Iran, and terrorist groups such as ISIS—these are the big human rights tests of our time. Women and girls are systematically targeted, subjugated, murdered, raped and sold into bondage. It is the height of hypocrisy for Hillary Clinton to run for president as a champion of women's rights when her record as secretary of state is this dismal. Our ideals are a light that shines in the very darkest corners of the world. Today, without American leadership, we have too many dark corners."
Much of Fiorina's address explains her argument for combatting Chinese hostility.
"We must push back against rising Chinese aggression," Fiorina is expected to say. "Having obtained the highest security clearances available to a civilian, I know the Chinese now possess all my personal information. This is more than a bureaucratic failing. The Chinese now possess incredibly valuable intelligence information."
Fiorina said America should help Vietnam and the Philippines expand their surveillance capabilities and assist Australia and Japan as they develop stronger militaries to deter the Chinese government. She said the Chinese "steal our intellectual property with impunity and engage in state-sponsored cyberterrorism."
"The next President must understand technology," said Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard. "She must understand both how to use it to harness the power of our citizenry to challenge the status quo of Washington and to protect and defend our nation."
Before Fiorina has the opportunity to do such things, she will need to grow her popularity at home. Fiorina's chances of meeting the polling threshold to qualify for the first nationally televised debate are uncertain, but her team is touting two recent polls, from Public Policy Polling and the Economist/YouGov, which show her in seventh place and eighth place respectively.
As the only female GOP candidate running for higher office, Fiorina has fashioned much of her message as a foil to the only female Democrat running for president, front-runner Hillary Clinton. But if Fiorina fails to qualify for the main stage, she will appear with five other Republican candidates at an event beforehand, part of a group which could include the likes of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
To make it to the big stage, Fiorina will need to exceed expectations in the final days before the first debate. Some influential conservatives think she has all the makings of a good candidate. During his radio show on Monday, host Rush Limbaugh mentioned three candidates who would make him as "enthusiastic as I've ever been," including Fiorina, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.