September 16th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Fiorina: Palin not qualified to run a company

Carly Fiorina spoke at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.
Carly Fiorina spoke at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

WARREN, Ohio (CNN) – Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO turned John McCain Victory chair, said Tuesday that Sarah Palin isn’t qualified to run her old company.

Appearing on a KTRS Radio show in St. Louis, Fiorina was asked by the host, “Do you think she has the experience to run a major 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."

"I would just remind you that it is Barack Obama who is running for president," she continued. "John McCain who is running for president.”

Fiorina contended that while Palin may not be up the task of running a multi-billion dollar IT company, she does have more relevant governing experience than Obama.

“I find it quite stunning actually that the Barack Obama campaign is questioning Sarah Palin's experience,” Fiorina said. “She’s got more executive experience than he does and she is the vice presidential nominee, Barack Obama is the presidential nominee.”

UPDATE: Asked about the comment during an MSNBC interview, Fiorina replied: “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.

"But, on the other hand, a major corporation is not the same as being the president or the vice president of the United States. 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."

The response was immediately circulated by Obama's campaign:

Listen: Obama spokesman Bill Burton on Fiorina's comment


“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."


Filed under: Carly Fiorina • Sarah Palin
soundoff (295 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Duh. Neither was Fiorina.

    September 16, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Spencer from VA

    Why is HP laying off employees? I'm sure the previous CEO has some knowledge about that.

    September 16, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. McCain the Copy-Cat

    Here we go again. A rep. talking out of both sides of the mouth.

    September 16, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Bill - FL

    So she can't run a company but she can run the country? Hmmmmmmmm.

    And as long as we're talking HP and excessive CEO compensation is a hot topic, why does the Mccain campaign keep trotting out this failed CEO that ran HP into the ground with the Compaq merger and then got $41M when the Board kicked her out? Carly is the poster child of executive greed and mismanagement.

    September 16, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. anon

    Good Lord!!

    Am I the only one that got a headache trying to understand her statements?!

    I forgot, it's the Republicans, I'm not supposed to understand.

    September 16, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. Rodger

    Now we know why she's no long with HP. Perkins got it right!

    September 16, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Tammy

    oh i can't wait to see people run with this one...isn't this lady a republican. I don't know how long it takes for these folks to recognize the media will take THE MOST NEGATIVE line in your comment and make it the headline...way to go CNN....once again you go for the attention grabber...instead of focusing on the real intention of her comment which is to say, she doesn't need to be qualified to run a Fortune 500 company since it's a different set of skills entirely.

    September 16, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. Denise

    Stupid is as stupid says. If Paylin is not capable of running a company, why would this idiot support her running for VP?

    September 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. stop it already

    Not qualified to run a Fortune 500 company, but qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Trying to figure out this kind of logic would cause one's head to explode, so don't even bother.

    September 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. FactCheck

    A Republican speaking the truth? Wow, who would have thought it? I guess abuse of political power and corruption at every scale of local politics is not the same as abuse of CEO power and corruption at the private sector.

    September 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Abby

    que in Warren Buffet or any number of Obama admirers supports who would be ecstatic to have him run one of their Fortune 500 companies if free ( GOD willing he’ll be busty rung a country!) .

    September 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Chad, Wisco

    And the point of this is what? She isnt qualified to do my job either, please come write an article up on me. Please report real news or dont report any.

    September 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Latina for Obama

    Palin has more experience than Obama? What planet is Fiorina living on?

    September 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Clearly, Carly also was not qualified to run HP - she ran it right into the ground!

    September 16, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Angela

    Fiorina.....now that is sexism for ya!

    September 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. PA for Obama

    Bush was a governor also! Enough said.

    September 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. TyWebb

    Fiorina not qualified to speak about qualifications.

    September 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Angelina

    Sooner or later, truth will come out. One lipstick to another.
    We knew that. Now it is Official.
    Obama – this should be your ad. Go for it.

    September 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. We want Hillary!

    This is the woman who called Tina Fey sexist.

    The cast of The View is also sexist.

    Since a majority of American women polled say they are voting for Obama and the Democratic ticket, I guess a majority of American women are sexist as well.

    September 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Wait, so if you're not qualified to run a multi-billion IT company, you are qualified to preside in a chief role over the multi-trillion dollar economy? Anyone else see the misstep in logic here?

    September 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. gene

    Uh huh... so she's qualified to run a country... but not a company...

    So if she's not running to run a company... how is her executive experience relevant when the job of VP much more resembles the job of senate?

    September 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. Que Quedas

    the press quested you for one........secondly.......what is the BUSH DOCTRINE......lol.......

    September 16, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  23. Credit Card Republicans

    Carly is a crook.

    September 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. CitizenS

    Palin and 'executive experience' do not qualify in the same sentence. The point is Fiorini, you just admitted that your VP choice is not qualified to lead the USA should Mccain become incapacitated for any reason. Ok, since you put one foot in mouth, you try to pull it out by saying Obama does not have the executive experience, yet he does have one major, major item that neither Repub has that makes a whole lot of sense, a Harvard Law degree and the capacity has a community organizer to get down and understand the REAL people not the imaginary workforce Mccain FORGOT yesterday!

    September 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. Bulldog

    Fiorna – Open Mouth Insert Foot --Whoops, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

    September 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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