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. anyonmous

    hey voters i just heard that obama new ad come out and mccain say our fudemental of our economy are strong they still say that yes and i mean mccain

    September 16, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. BJGT

    Every time she opens her mouth it's obvious why HP fired her – she can't run a company either..who is she to talk?

    September 16, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. Larry Mac

    The Presidency and the campaign for it is become like reality television, Survivor, American Idol, or the Apprentice.

    On 24, the powers discovered that America could embrace a black president, without 24, Obama wouldn't even be floated out here.

    That being said, Carly was Way out of line.

    September 16, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. Anyonmous

    Oh yeah TWO stories telling the same half truth????

    Wow the wolves are loose in the chicken house.

    You should be ashamed CNN. You won't be will you? The point is you are shameless.
    How does it feel to abuse your rights given to you as the press? How long to you guys have to shower at the end of the day? Do you feel dirty? You should. You are CUTTING OFF THE VIDEO CLIP ON AIR!!!!

    You say McCain is a lying YOU GUYS ARE MUCH WORSE.

    YOU are digging your own hole and you keep digging.

    Washing wont make you feel clean you know. How can you sleep at night.

    September 16, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  5. Chris

    This coming from the lady who said SNL was sexist because they made Hillary Clinton and not Sarah Palin seem to have substance. Hillary is a woman too, Carly. Now, she comes out with a sequel. Apparently, from her record, she wasn't very good at running a company either.

    It is more than obvious that John McCain would run the country the same way he runs his incompetent campaign.

    You pushed me away Senator. Obama/Biden '08!

    September 16, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. Beth

    lmao...riiiiiiiiiight, CNN is biased. Because we ALL know Faux News isn't biased at all.

    The truth hurts, huh?

    Obama/Biden '08!

    September 16, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  7. Read Again

    She said the same thing for all Four, why pick up for McCain ?

    September 16, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Fred

    Nor would 95% plus of all the politicians in the country be qualified to run a large corporation. They are politicians who hopefully understand government. They are not business people and most would fail at being one. That is why they are politicians.
    Different skill sets. Lying to larger crowds is necessary for politicians.
    Funny how the candidate with the thinnest resume selectively picked this up and ran with it but only as it pertained to republicans.

    September 16, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. McSmear

    Carly the difference between "run" a corporation and "ruin" a corporation is 'I". So how that CEO job a HP work out for you, anyway? How big a golden parachute did you get?
    McCain will kick her to the curb by the next news cycle

    September 16, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. Georgia Gal

    So any bets as to how long Carly will have a job??

    September 16, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Sammy

    Stop talking, right now. Even if she is right it is a dumb thing to say. She would have been better off saying yes and defending herself. As always there would be people who disagree, but it's much better than saying what she did.

    September 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. mark

    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!!!!!
    --
    Using your logic, who the hell is she to say that McCain is not cabable??? You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    Go Senator McCain and Govenor Palin!!!! The biased news and lying left won't con the majority of America. They can blog, but come November, they'll be crying again, again, again. They couldn't beat GW, the lowest rated President ever. Why? Because they have nothing to offer. They lie, and attack, and smear. They don't put anything new on the table. The only people the Corrupt Network News (CNN) or the liberal left fool are themselves.

    September 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. Fundamentally What?

    I Guess she's only right about Obama huhhh? Maybe it's because he's more intelligent than both Republican candidates and his IQ just might be higher than McCain/Palin Combined.

    I definitely think he could have run HP better than she did

    September 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. MaryMary

    Clearly, we all know that Carly Fiorina wasn't qualified to run HP and she certainly isn't qualified to run the country. Neither is Palin. But because we've been sidetracked by the *female* factor and not the issues nor the Republican platform, Americans are being duped. Focus on the issues and you'll see McCain and Palin don't have a clue about what's going on in the country. One of the comments said they are voting for Palin because she's pretty. Well if that's the case, we're all in trouble. We're not voting on looks, we're voting on issues people.

    September 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Changing My Vote

    That does it...Obama is my vote. Thanks Carly, McCain has no idea about the economy.

    September 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. ivnprt

    Maybe McCain can run a corporation. I just heard on the news that he invented the Blackberry

    September 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. tydicea

    These people are turning out to be their own worst enemy. Tomorrow they'll find a way to blame Carly Fiorina's statements on Obama. lol!

    September 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Richard

    And this from the lady who almost ran HP into the ground before being forced out!! Some advisors McCain has. OBAMA-'08

    September 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. Georgia Gal

    Oh and btw, Carly ... keep talking ... one of these times you are going to put your foot in your mouth and not be able to get it out.

    September 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. Todd

    I wonder how the Blackberry inventor cannot run Fortune 500 company?!

    September 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. JK in PA

    “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.

    What sound bite should we pick????

    Not news

    September 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. Dal CA

    HP Board gave Florina the correct answer. YOU ARE FIRED! and here is $41 Million to keep quiet.

    September 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  23. Ethan

    How about we play a nice little game.

    It's called "No More Corporate Fascist Republicans Running The Country".

    It's easy to play. Step One is to decide if you want corporate fascists to run the country. Step Two, if you DON'T want corporate fascists to control the USA, vote for Barack Obama. If you DO want corporate fascists then you automatically lose. See? That easy!

    September 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  24. Sol

    The reason this is worse for McCain is because we would all expect the opponents people to trash each other, but when your close supporters don't believe in you then you KNOW you've got a problem. At least Obama's supporters truly believe in their candidate.

    September 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. Lyndon,CA

    Carly will be running the economy in a McCain administration. It would be a promotion from her gig at Hewlett Packard. Carly the Terminator, "I'll be back!"

    September 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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