September 16th, 2008
06:20 PM ET
6 years ago

Fiorina: McCain can't run a company either

Fiorina is a top aide to McCain.
Fiorina is a top aide to McCain.

(CNN) - Hours after top McCain aide Carly Fiorina said Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin isn't qualified to run a major corporation, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO said she doesn't think John McCain is either.

In comments that are strikingly off message as the Arizona senator attempts to position himself as the candidate best positioned to fix the country's economic woes, Fiorina said in an interview on MSNBC Tuesday running a Fortune 500 corporation is not the same as running the country.

“Well, I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation, I don't think Barack Obama could run a major corporation, I don't think Joe Biden could run a major corporation," Fiorina, a top McCain advisor, said.

"But, on the other hand, a major corporation is not the same as being the president or the vice president of the United States," she continued. "It is a fallacy to suggest that the country is like a company. So, of course, to run a business, you have to have a lifetime of experience in business, but that's not what Sarah Palin, John McCain, Joe Biden, or Barack Obama are doing."

Fiorina was president of Hewlett-Packard until her high-profile ousting in 2006 after the company's uneven performance. Her comments Tuesday were immediately circulated by the Obama campaign as part of its continued effort to paint McCain as a candidate who lacks understanding of economic issues.

“If John McCain’s top economic advisor doesn’t think he can run a corporation, how on Earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis?" said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor. "Apparently even the people who run his campaign agree that the economy is an issue John McCain doesn’t understand as well as he should."

Fiorina made similar comments earlier Thursday to a St. Louis radio station when she was asked if Palin was qualified to run a company like Hewlett-Packard.

“No, I don’t,” Fiorina answered. “But that’s not what she’s running for. Running a corporation is a different set of things."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. jelow

    STOP DIGGING.

    September 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. j.williams, san diego

    NO EXPERIENCE–NO OBAMA.

    September 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  3. johnt

    Well, she is right about Obama.

    September 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. Julia in Eugene, Oregon

    No, indeed, Ms. Fiorina – running a business is not the same as running the country. Running a country – OUR country – is a whole heck of a lot harder.

    Oh, I'm sorry, is that SEXIST of me?

    September 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. Peter (CA)

    Why is she still talking?
    What is the point she is trying to make?? Shouldn't someone who can lead a country be able to deal with a company? Aren't there many similarities?

    CNN, please ignore her from now on. She makes no sense. And, while you're at it, ignore everything Tucker Bounds says. These McCain spokespeople make my head hurt.

    September 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  6. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Bwahahahaha!!! She's quite the bonus to your campaign John! Maybe she can share an office with Phil Gramm,

    September 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. Zion

    Hey, whose side are you on chica? Which I do agree, Palin/McCain are a disgrace to the Republican party.

    Republicans for Obama

    September 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Abby

    And neither can obama!!!! This is NOT a job to run a company – we arre electing the President of the USA!
    OBama is NOT Qualified to lead us – McCain is – simple fact.
    This is one DEM – moved to REP – and that is how I will VOTE.

    McCain/Palin – best for our country.

    September 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. Irony

    Well, now we kno, McCain, Palin, and Fiorina can't run HP well...

    Brilliant!

    If they can't run a company, they should not run a government!

    September 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. Ron from Baltimore

    OMG--now, are we getting a better idea of the type of people McCain would surround his administration with? Phil Gramm, Carly Fiorina, Sarah Palin....... where is his rudder?? How ever did he get where he is, out of people's generosity to a once-plain-spoken politician? Well, he's lost that mantle in recent weeks, and now his leadership skills just are not checking out.

    September 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. Paul, NY

    LMAO!!!

    Neither of them are qualified to run a company, but she supports them as candidates for the most important position on earth!!???

    Republicans are unbelievably stupid!!

    September 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. values

    SHE IS RIGHT AND SHE KNOWS HIM BEST. FOR THE FIRST TIME A REPUBLICAN TELLS THE TRUTH.

    OBAMA.......08

    September 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. dEMOBRAT

    Cheap shot. This BS is getting really old. Oh, yeah, same old politics as usual, right Obama?

    September 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. sharon

    But smooth ole Barack decides to edit Fiorina's comments in his new ad so that his name isn't included on that list. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

    September 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. mitchell

    what can he run? anybody? i know. he's a former POW.

    September 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. joe_pa

    Why don't you put the Ticker Headline as: Obama can't run company (or country for that matter) – oh that would reflect negatively on Barry so we can't do that can we?

    September 16, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    And this woman is a McCain supporter? Further, if running a country is different than running a company, why bring up the comparison? This woman continually strikes me as a dud whenever she speaks and from the sounds of these latest "campaign efforts" on her parts, I'd say Fiorina is a prime example of the phrase, "with friends like her, who needs enemies?" McCain can't run this country either, honey!
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12 YES WE CAN!!!

    September 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  18. inga

    McCain's judgement to surround himself with THE WORST surrogates, advisors, and VP pick has to rank right up there with Nixon.

    September 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. Charla in TX

    If McCain invented the Blackberry, I'm dropping mine in the toilet.

    September 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. Chris from San Antonio

    Nice damage control.

    September 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. gman

    For that brief moment...she was insulted that someone could even think (someone like) SP could do her job. She (CF) has worked her way up and earned her positions. I dare you even compare her to someone like SP. She's a career woman...it's below her to put lipstick and pitbull in the same sentence. Then she caught herself and said well Obama nor McSame can run HP either. But the damage was done. Now everytime she goes on a talk show, she will have to defend herself not the McSame campaign as to why SP is not qualified to run HP, but she's qualified to run a country. But she forgot one thing...she can't run HP either.

    September 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. johnt

    Also, I wonder why CNN didn't' tile this "Fiorina: Obama can't run company either". One wonders...

    September 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. MC

    I have a feeling CNN is about to lose another interview with the McCain camp.

    September 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. dave

    After yesterday's Mortgage crisis, we really want to know the dealings of Penny Pritzker, OBAMA 's finance director instead of this drivel. When is CNN going to start reporting on things that affect the working american and investigating people who break our backs?

    September 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Amy

    Somehow I think the McCain campaign is going to say,"Thanks, but no thanks" to Carla on the campaign trail.

    September 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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