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. Wayne

    what makes this news is that it comes from McCain's own camp...and from a woman who failed miserably at running her own company..and who has tried to pin the sexist label on anyone critical of Palin...

    what makes it pathetic is her premise that being President or Vice-President is somehow less of a job than "running a major corporation..."

    September 16, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Kate

    Betty: Your son is voting for McCain/Palin because she is "smart and very pretty"? You must be so proud.

    September 16, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. Carl29

    Yeah ! ! ! You got to love Carly :-) You go girl; Express yourself.

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  4. Susan

    She gives real confidence to the American voters doesn't she? McCain you have a winner in her- keeps tripping on her own feet!

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. Tibor Lin

    CNN: Please do not suppress this comment !!
    =====================================

    Is this a joke ?? FIORINA STATED THE OBVIOUS

    A politician without business experience cannot run a corporation,
    this include living and deceased presidents as Bill Clinton, John Kennedy, Ronald Regan and Franklin Roosevelt.

    The required knowledge of economics from a politiciam is fundamentally different to the one of a entrepreneur, as Fiorina states

    Then, why is CNN run this story ?? Could it be that they think that Fiorina being a Republican, this could hurt McCain ??

    TIBOR

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. Marcel - Atlanta

    Open Foot... Insert Mouth!

    That Carly is a loose cannon. I'm glad she's working for McCain. Wasn't she the same person who raised the birth control equity flap?

    You can't make this stuff up! I can't wait for late night TV to get hold of this sound byte.

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. Rose

    She is his "top aide" ???

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. Bob

    It's interesting how CNN failed to add Obama's name to the headline. So biased. I'll be on the lookout to see if CNN once again blocks my right to free speech.

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. jt

    He's a grand pa 72 years, should not he be retired by now...

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. Mark

    I can't believe a McCain aide is actually telling the truth for once and when she does she is in hot water. What does this say about the McCain campaign?

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. Kate Fergus

    AMERICA NEEDS A COMMON SENSE REVOLUTION!!! COMMON SENSE MEANS GETTING RID OF THE REPUBLICANS!!! THEY HAVE DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE DURING THESE LAST 8 YEARS.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE AND SMELL THE FOUL ODOUR!! MCCAIN AND PALIN DO NOT REPRESENT CHANGE!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  12. Ex-Republican for Obama

    She thinks none can run it. But here's a sad truth:

    She KNOWS McCain and Palin can't because of her close proximity to them in the campaign...so while she indicates the same about Obama and Biden, her knowledge is by far less accurate in regards to those two.

    Her job is to help McCain. Of course she will include Obama's name in the mix of her admittance that McCain and Palin aren't able to run the biggest economy in the world.. Because she's not only sexist, but racist as well (she fired black people...oooh...racist pig she is (sarcasm included))

    Obama/Biden '08 (it's who McCain and Fiorina are voting for, along with all of the smart republicans)

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. NOW WE KNOW WHY YOU WERE FIRED from HP

    You are a raving lunatic!

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. RH

    This is coming from a person that can't run a fortune 500 company either; just take the 93 million dollar bonus from the compaq buyout and run, Fiorina!

    September 16, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. brian

    Obama doesn't even have to point the obvious out, McCain's own advisers keep sinking him! This is great democracy in action!!

    September 16, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Matt

    Careful CNN. They're bating the media to set up their victimhood.

    September 16, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. jim in indiana

    Not only could Palin not lead a company..she couldn't lead a horse to water.

    September 16, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  18. Annette, Washington, DC

    Carly, finally said with millions already know, she told it, like it is! Neither McCain or Gov. Palin could be a Chief Executive Officer, Handle that!

    September 16, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  19. Bob (Illinois)

    In fact, neither could Carly Fiorina!

    September 16, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  20. Allen

    And celebrity loud-mouths are the only whackos?

    Carly, add your name to the list of those who are incapable of running a company.

    September 16, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  21. Jack

    Dave, Michigan loves McCain/Palin? Uh, not in my neighborhood.

    September 16, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  22. Sohail

    Take away the tax break and she couldn't run one either.

    September 16, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  23. shannon

    apparently all she can do is run her mouth

    September 16, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  24. Dmitriy

    Obama is running a deceptive campaign. Fox reports that Obama Camp ‘Deceitful’ in Clipping Fiorina's Quote. Obama is dishonorable is his new politics of hope and smear. Too bad CNN is encouraging this nonsense.

    September 16, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  25. Mike

    Fiorina is goofy. She thinks Palin has 'executive experience'. What good is experience if it is negative. Like running up a twenty two million dollar debt in tiny Wasilla Alaska. And firing numerous qualified State employees and replacing them with her high school
    buddies who have no qualifications,experience or education. Palin like McBush has exhibited very poor judgement in office. That is her 'experience'.

    September 16, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
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