Carly Fiorina Digs in on Claim That General's Retirement Was Due to Obama Dispute

Fiorina said she did not misspeak during Tuesday night’s debate.

ByABC News
December 16, 2015, 5:22 PM

— -- GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said she did not misspeak during Tuesday night’s debate when she said that Gen. Jack Keane retired early because he “told President Obama things that he didn’t want to hear.”

But Keane, who served during the Bush administration, retired before Obama became president.

Keane, now a FOX News contributor, came forward to say that Fiorina got the facts wrong surrounding his retirement.

“No, I have never spoken to the president,” Keane said on FOX News. “That's not accurate, and I never served this administration. I served the previous administration.”

When asked Wednesday if she misspoke, Fiorina dug in on the accuracy of her statement.

“No, I didn’t misspeak,” Fiorina told reporters today. “He has been someone of great experience who has been highly critical of the way this administration has not taken threats seriously and unfortunately he hasn't been listened to and I would listen to him.”

Fiorina referenced Keane in Tuesday night’s Republican debate as part of a group of a “warrior class” generals she pledged to bring back if elected as president to aid in the fight against ISIS.

“One of the things I would immediately do in addition to defeating them here at home is bring back the warrior class: Petraeus, McChrystal, Mattis, Keane, Flynn,” Fiorina said in the debate. “Every single one of these generals I know, every one was retired early because they told President Obama things that he didn't want to hear.”

But Keane is not the only general named by Fiorina whose retirement was not a direct result of any disagreements they may have had with the president.

Gen. David Petreaus’ retirement, for instance, followed revelations that he shared classified information with his biographer and alleged mistress.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, on the other hand, retired soon after he was quoted directly criticizing the president and his policies in a “Rolling Stone” article. Though McChrystal did have disagreements with the president, it was the publicity of the discord -- and not the internal disagreements themselves -- that preceded his early retirement.