By Ross Kohan
October 24, 2016

It’s not too often that you can get simple, straight answers from a powerful business leader. But then you haven’t met Kim Lubel.

Lubel is the CEO of CST Brands, the huge convenience store operator based in San Antonio, Texas. She is also one of a small group of women leading a Fortune 500 company. CST is ranked in the top 300 on that list with $10 billion in revenue.

Lubel met with Fortune’s Susie Gharib during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit last week in Laguna Niguel, Calif., to discuss three hot topics in the business world: the economy, higher interest rates, and why she’s voting for Hillary Clinton.

Here’s what she said:

The weak U.S. economy: “We sell time. And even if the economy is good or the economy is bad, people are short on time. And we sell small indulgences. So even if the economy is weakening, you can still get a candy bar for less than a dollar and you feel like you’re treating yourself.”

Impact of higher interest rates: “If people can earn more money on their savings and spend more money in our stores, it helps. Anything that gets people with more money in the long run in their pockets, that’s healthier for our economy and retail as well.”

Why Hillary Clinton? “What I see in Secretary Clinton is somebody who is very gifted at policy. She is obviously a bit of a wonk. Is very smart and very well educated and educates herself on the issues. I think she will be a centrist in office. Will she make everybody happy? That’s not the life of a politician. But I think she will be able to be a real politician and find compromise between two sides of the aisle.”


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