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. Will, NJ

    Apparently she can't run a company either or she wouldn't have been fired!

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

    FIORINA IS NOW TRYING TO SPEEN WHAT SHE SAID ABOUT PALIN
    HOW STUPID FIORINA ? YOU CAN'T UNRING THE BELL.

    September 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. dEMOBRAT

    OBAMA CAN RUN A CAMPAIGN THOUGH, THAT'S HIS EXPERIEINCE REMEMBER? THAT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN RUNNING A STATE LIKE GOV. PALIN.

    September 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. creative editing

    more half truths and creative editing at cnn. Wonder why Fox news cleans up on the ratings.....

    September 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. RoFL

    LOL, and the jokes keep coming....How about putting the other foot in your mouth, as you demonstrate the Olympic backpedaling obstacle course for us?

    The McCain camp has officially reached the level of absurdity. If surrogate Fiorina has no faith in McCain/Palin running a company, I do not want them running our country. Thanks but no thanks.

    September 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. KIR

    FINALLY, A REPUBLICAN WITH SOME COMMON SENSE.

    September 16, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Voice of Reason

    Republicans doctrine: If I mess up just change the meaning of what I said but call it clarification. For example I say palin is not qualified just and say no one is clarified. I say fundamentals of the economy are strong just clarify and say fundamentals now mean hard workers.

    September 16, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. John Kaleto

    The dumbocrats only hear what they want to hear. She also said, "I don't think Barack Obama could run a major corporation, I don't think Joe Biden could run a major corporation."

    'Nuff said.

    September 16, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. America The Beautiful

    She's an idiot. She's the spokewoman for McCain. If he can't run a company, why do you think we believe he can run the government, with millions of employees.

    Take your time on this one, you'll have to come up with a huge lie.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  10. PALIN POWER

    I agree with everything she said about Obama...

    September 16, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  11. Betty

    My son is voting for the first time and said he is backing Palin because she is smart and very pretty. He thinks she will do a great job along side of McCain in the white house. He is getting all his friends and more to vote McCain/Palin.

    September 16, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. Mary, NC

    And that's why she no longer works for HP.

    Moving on.....Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  13. Alex

    Well now we know why Carly got canned! She doesn't know when to keep her comments to herself. But I do like the Democrat's reasoning....McCain-Palin aren't qualified to run a company, but Obama-Biden are! What a bunch of ROCKET SCIENTISTS!

    September 16, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  14. Nan in Nevada

    I missed the part where Ms. Fiorina admitted she was also unable to run a large corporation. Who the hell is she to say that Obama is not capable????? She was dumped unceremoniously!!!!!
    Go Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. j

    If she says none of them can run a company, why does the article title only mention McCain? Keep it balanced!!! BTW, ask most people at HP and they will say SHE doesn't know how to run a company! They basically had to pay her to go away...

    September 16, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. Steve, Madison WI

    When you own advisors start questioning your abilities, look out.

    One would expect her to diss Obama and Biden but her own candidates?!

    Open mouth, insert foot.

    September 16, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. LBD

    Holy Crap Batman! Can't any one say anything and not have it taken completely out of context these days? I am glad she didn't say McCain could not take a crap. Because the next thing we would see is a campaign ad showing Obama and Biden showing us their dirty hands proving that they could!

    September 16, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. vperry

    I am scared that Obama is a fascist.

    September 16, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. Erin Smith

    To Abby: "OBama is NOT Qualified to lead us – McCain is – simple fact."

    You'd rather have a liar than a forward thinker?
    If you're how this nation thinks, I think I'll move to Canada.

    September 16, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. The Truth Hurts

    Freudian slip much Carly? That's twice so far today. Whose campaign are you really working for? You worried about Scare-rah Sarah's inexperience too? Don't worry, just take a number.

    September 16, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  21. John - New York, NY

    JELOW:

    The point in Fiorina's message has nothing to do with either campaign. They asked her a question that is unrelated to Presidential politics. I agree with her. It takes a different kind of person – with business and executive market experience, to run a corporation. Saying otherwise is plain stupid. NOW – if Fiorina had said Obama isn't qualified and McCain is – you would all pump up how "McCain obviously would be good at it, squashing the little guy and making millions." Get over yourselves. Seriously.

    September 16, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. s.b.

    She also said that Obama and Biden couldn' run a large company, so why do you keep distorting her remarks in your bylines? Gee I wonder. It was just Palin you singled out earlier, which was clearly just another attempt to slime her now you think including McCain makes it fair? She said that none of them could run a fortune 500 company. You twist it into a biased attack. Shame on the MSM.

    September 16, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. Gary Chandler in Canada

    America OR company?, they can both driven into the ground!

    September 16, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  24. GA4OBAMA

    ok i'm confused. your aides are supposed to support their candidate right? this has been a bad week for mccain and it's only tuesday. the things coming out of mccain's camp is laughable. they are a complete joke. mccain needs to keep the media away from his spokespeople as well as palin. HA!

    September 16, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  25. Dave

    Michigan loves McCain/Palin......

    September 16, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
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