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Carly Fiorina insists she’s not booking speaking gigs while running for president

Carly Fiorina Campaigns In South CarolinaCarly Fiorina Campaigns In South Carolina
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.Photograph by Sean Rayford — Getty Images

Carly Fiorina is not available to speak at your next corporate conference.

That may have seemed self-evident, considering the former Hewlett-Packard CEO is busy running for president. But a note that circulated around Washington on Tuesday from a top speakers bureau offered a different impression.

The email — from Leading Authorities, which helps Beltway heavyweights pull down five-figure sums for talks — advertised Fiorina’s “limited availability” for speaking gigs amid a crammed campaign calendar. “Her presentation is a common-sense, solutions-oriented, and optimistic look at what Washington can learn form corporate America and how we can fix our current political climate,” read the note from Kate Burns, a vice president with the firm. “Our clients have said that she is fabulous and incredibly accommodating.”

But Fiorina’s campaign insists the candidate isn’t booking any paid speeches while she runs for president. “I didn’t authorize anything they sent out,” Fiorina deputy campaign manager Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. “We aren’t accepting any requests during the campaign.”

Burns didn’t immediately return a request for comment. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the firm’s solicitation. In the note, Burns nods toward the sensitivity of arranging a paid corporate appearance for an active presidential aspirant, writing, “We don’t advertise Carly on the Leading Authorities website, but if you have an interest in booking her for an upcoming meeting or event, please let me know and I’d be happy to share her availability and fees.”

Fiorina pulled in $786,000 in speaking fees from the beginning of 2014 until she announced her presidential candidacy in June of this year, according to a personal financial disclosure she filed with the Federal Election Commission. And, according to that report, she was scheduled this month to deliver another pair of speeches, for $48,000 each, to the Young Presidents’ Organization in Kissimmee, Florida, and at AT&T in Dallas. She pledged to donate her earnings to charity.

Fiorina, who is worth $59 million, vaulted into the top tier of the Republican presidential contest following her breakout performance in the second GOP debate last month. She’s since receded into the middle of the pack.