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. CNN, can I PLEASE get off of your 'list'...

    dAVE... 2 words for you....
    Phil gramm

    September 16, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. Trysh, Los Angeles

    Did she switch sides??

    September 16, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. Jeremy

    What a misleading headline, as Fioriana said Obama and Biden couldn't run a corporation either (and has never attempted to). Palin and her husband run a small fishing company, which is more experience in the real economy than the career Senators and "community organizers" put up by the Dems.

    But can we really expect an honest headline from the Communist News Network?

    September 16, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. johnt

    Also, anyone from CNN want to ask the Obama campaign if they think it is OK to criticize McCain for running a dirty campaign while doing the exact same thing (cutting apart quotes in this case)? Just a suggestion.

    September 16, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  5. Ted

    Neither can she.

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

    Lifetime of "experience"??? She got FIRED because she was terrible!

    Google seems to have done well without a lifetime of 'experience"

    If she knows so much about business with her Marketing degree, and failed miserably at it... then what are her credentials for determining what's required to run the government???

    Personally, I think the Government is MUCH harder.

    September 16, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. NO MCCAIN, THANK YOU!

    Thanks Carly! First the Viagra statement and now this! I LOVE IT!!! I know you think you are special, but you couldn't run HP either. And now it seems that you can't run a campaign. Unfortunately, the United States Government is a tiny bit BIGGER AND MORE IMPORTANT than HP.

    THANKS FOR YOUR HONEST OPINION!

    MCCAIN/PALIN=UNQUALIFIED

    ONE MORE REASON TO VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    September 16, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. McCain/Palin = Liars

    Lol. This is hilarious. The truth hurts. McCain can't run this country either and if America puts him in office then America will suffer. Russia and China and India will overtake this country.

    GET UP AMERICA!! GET UP!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    September 16, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  9. Pippen

    Once again we see partial headlines from CNN distorting the true message of the person speaking. Once again we see the Obama campaign... who time and again said they reject the politics of old... seizing on partial soundbites to distort the message of the speaker.

    You should both be ashamed.

    September 16, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  10. Dvon

    open mouth insert foot

    September 16, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. Give change a chance

    Well doesn't that just figure,
    McCain can run a country but he can't run a company.
    Companies and the presidency have many similarities, one is that

    PEOPLE DEPEND ON YOU!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. Maggie

    I just read your article and I cannot believe that Fiorina said that John McCain/Barack Obama and Joe Biden could not run a major corporation but your heading only read "McCain can't run company either". I don't appreciate CNN running such a headline which is not true based on what was actually said. CNN YOU STARTING TO BE A SECOND GRADE NEWS MEDIA NOW. IF YOU CANNOT REPORT CORRECT ARTICLES THEN YOU DESERVE TO LOSE ALL YOUR READERS AND VIEWERS. SHAME ON YOU FOR YOUR SHABBY REPORTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. Eric Cooper, GA

    Why is this news?

    September 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. RealityKing

    Errrr, did you bother to ask the same question of Obama? Why do we even have to ask??

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

    With people having all the info that we do have it is hard to tell what to believe or how much acerbity is there when the ads from two sides of the take tell two different stories and how is allowed to be put on the air when one is true and one is not that makes me think that someone may be getting payoffs and if that is true than how can we think that any of what is out there is the facts

    September 16, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. Walter, Long Beach

    Carly Fiorina couldn't run Hewlett-Packard either.

    September 16, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  17. CNN loves Palin

    Abby:

    This is one DEM – moved to REP – and that is how I will VOTE

    *****************************************************************

    Puh-leeze Abby, spare us your DEM turned REP act. You are nothing but a GOP troll.

    Was that sexist of me?

    Women for Obama

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

    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?

    Because what's news is the fact that this woman WORKS FOR McCAIN you fool. Of course they would say that about Obama, but you wouldn't expect her to think her own candidate is incompetent too.

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

    Of Course he is not capable of running HP!

    The republicans screw up the economy every time they are in office and it takes a DEMOCRAT to come back in and fix the mess.
    We need a DEMOCRAT back in to get us back on track.

    ARE YOU BETTER OFF NOW THAN YOU WERE 8 YEARS AGO?

    IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!!

    VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    September 16, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. H E Y ----Y O U

    W E --K NO W----H E----D O E S N' T --U S E-–A--P C-

    N E X T--

    September 16, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  21. Mario fl

    Wow the truth hurt... Palin, McCain ohohohohohoho

    September 16, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. The BOTTOM line..........

    HOW CAN YOU NOT RUN A COMPANY IF YOU INVENTED THE "BLACKBERRY"....LOL.

    September 16, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. Bob Smith

    She is fine example for MCain/Palin. She laid off heavily and shipped jobs overseas. Forced a merger that benifited her and not the company so much so that the founder came out of retirement to voice his outrage.

    and oh yes.... HP now is laying off more than 20.00 to stramline and move overseas.

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

    To Johnt

    The title is about McCain, because she is his aide. There's nothing new about Dems mocking McCain or Reps discrediting Obama.
    But how about your own aide says you're not capable for such a job.. a bit different.

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

    You Rupugs who are commenting on this post make no sense. You agree that Mccain can't run a company then bash Obama for the same reason? This really shows who stupid half of America really is.

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