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. tren

    Fiorina just can't shut her mouth! I mean, she is really jackin' stuff up for the GOP. She is just handing the election to Obama. And I don't mind it a bit:-)

    September 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. KenB, MI

    I'm still laughing at the Blackberry comment...this guy doesn't email...I can't stop shaking my head...oh my GOD

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

    You're not reporting the quote accurately. Fiorina said that none of the candidates could run a corporation. You're not quoting her correctly. Another Palin bash job.

    September 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. EC

    IS THE McCAIN-PALIN CIRCUS IN TOWN BECAUSE IT SURE SOUNDS LIKE ALL THEIR CLOWNS HAVE THEIR FOOT IN THEIR MOUTHS TODAY!!

    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!
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    September 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. JoelWhy

    These comments were totally taken out of context. What she meant by her statements were that McCain and Palin are both just as qualified as she is to run a major corporation (or the country) into the ground.

    September 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. Lesley

    The straight talk express is veering off course once again. It appears that two more top advisors are about to be thrown under the bus, Fiorina and Holtz-Eakin. This campaign is coming apart at the seams.

    September 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. Fed Up

    This is great.

    This only shows not only how inept McSame's judgment is in picking those who surround him. Palin, Fiorina, and that idiot Tucker Bounds are a nightmare at best. Throw them in with the lobbyists and other losers in his campaign.

    At the same time, I don't know how Fiorina can be judging others. She wasn't very good at managing a company either. HP's announced 24,000 layoff is due in large part to her performance, or more appropriately, lack thereof. Congratulations Carly, you fail on every count.

    September 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. JunkNews

    Right right. The fact that George Bush ran a company (before becoming President) and ran that company into the ground has nothing to do with the way he ran the country and ran the country into the ground. Not the least bit of similarity.

    September 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. John Patterson

    Apparrently the board at HP didn't think Ms. Fiorina could run a company, atleast well, either! What a bunch of hot air.

    JP

    September 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. McSame/Pathetic 08

    Based on HP's performance, I'd say Fiorina is NOT qualified either

    September 16, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. MONI

    is she sure.... John Mccain is a corporation and he has many corporate staffers! LOL

    September 16, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. Honestlawyer mostly

    The real story here is that the Obama campaign clipped the quote in what it said to the press and at campaign events, not only distorting the meaning, but making it appear that Fiorina thinks Obama is better qualified. The fact that this is not even mentioned in your story is one reason lies and distortion is alive and well in American politics. Regrettably, you and the other "journalists" are enablers.

    September 16, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. Jack

    Good point Fiorina, neither of the two fools that you support are capable of running anything other than their lying tongues.

    For an unemployed CEO, you sure seem to have a lot of uninformed opinions that seem as useful as the advise you gave HP.

    September 16, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. dan

    well she says the truth about john Mccain since she ran HP into the ground the things we see happenning to hp is most of her doing

    Dan
    Tn

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

    Interesting Headline...

    What Fiorina said was that NONE of the candidates (Palin, McCain, Obama, Biden) are qualified to run a business. Why did the headline not say that? No bias at CNN.

    September 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. kobs

    If he can not run a cooperation then what the hello he is doing running for president. To run the country down like bush ?!

    September 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. GO SARAH!

    David Gergen, Anderson Cooper and Candy Crowley wishing and praying last night that the recent economic news gleefully fullfills Obama's great wish....

    Do you think the recent stock market collapse or troubles in the banking system are good news?

    Well, according to CNN's Candy Crowley, the Obama campaign does.

    On Monday's "Anderson Cooper 360," after CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said "what happened over the weekend with the economy and the bottom falling out of the financial markets...is the opportunity for Obama to seize the momentum back on his side," Crowley actually said, "[J]ust as foreclosures were showing up on B-17, or in the real estate section, along comes this horrific headline out of Wall Street...I mean, this is what they wanted."

    I kid you not. The transcript of this disgraceful exchange follows (video embedded right, h/t Steve Malzberg):

    September 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. Michael

    I don't know what to say about this, especially coming from the person that was fired from HP, meaning she didn't know how to run a corporation either!!!

    But really, is being President that much different that being CEO of a major Corporation?

    Don't we refer to "Business" of governement?

    Don't ALL governement workers, from the lowest sanitation worker, to the POTUS receive a salary to perform their duties?

    Is the CEO of a company the face of the Company to the rest of the world?

    September 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  19. So, to recap...

    John doesn't know how a computer or the economy works, can't run a corporation, knows how to fight a war because he was captured as a POW, and is a pparently maverick for voting with Bush 90% of the time.

    Sarah doesn't know what the VP does, can't run a corporation BUT has "executive experience", and has foreign policy experience because she can see Russia across the ocean. She also welcomed an investigation she now calls polluted.

    Got it? Good.

    September 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. Lisa

    I expected her to say this about Obama and Biden or Any Democrat-But when she said this about John McCain and Sarah Palin it opened up my ears.

    But how can this woman tell anyone they could not run her old company “Outsource HP”? I stop buying HP because of her....I went to Gateway Computer company. That is the only company that keeps jobs in the US.

    I expect her to be leaving the campaign at the end of this week.

    September 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. timber (ex dem)

    Obama could not run a lemonade stand without all his fancy advisors. What a phony.

    September 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. Jackson

    More word twisting by CNN.

    If you people don't realize how bias the major media outlets are by now in supporting OBAMA, you are completely ignorant!!

    September 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. Shannon WA ST

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.........Thats funny I think she might get fired from yet another job!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  24. McCryptKeeper/Cruella 08

    Hey Johnt....because Fiorina is ON Obama's campaign team or a surrogate for him

    September 16, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. paulie_nj

    Hey biased CNN, how come the headline singles out McCain when Fiorina clearly said NONE of the candidates are qualified to run HP?

    September 16, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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