September 16th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
10 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. Mike O.

    Carly failed as leader of HP. She just walked away with a nice pile of money for herself. I hope Carly enjoys life in the private sector. she's not going to be working for the next administration.

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Mark - VA

    CNN – you have lost another viewer.

    Honestly, the headline of this article is flat out bias – and you continue your campaign against Gov. Palin with this garbage.

    Don't you think that an appropriate title of this story would be "Palin not qualified to run major international IT company". I would also remind you that Gov. Palin has indeed ran a company in the past.

    You are more and more like MS NBC every day. Your coverage disgusts me.

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Allen, Jacksonville, Florida


    On the next episode of "Cherry Picking a Headline!"

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Mack

    Let Obama supporters take this and run crazy...Its clear what Carly said and she also pointed out this differance of a corporation and government...Is it just me or is anyone else ticked off that the Obama campaign has totally went back on its main promise of a new kind of politcs. Seems to me if he can not keep his first promise, how can we trust that he will keep any of them.

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. David

    Apparently neither was she. She got canned after she ran HPQ into the ground. She never did anything for HPQ but cut company jobs! She should shut her mouth, go back home and roll around in the millions she earned in that multi-million dollar severance package!

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. JJ

    She is talking out both sides of her neck and she's being sexist as well. If she calls the skit with Tina Fey sexist she needs to look at her own statement. Her statement was worse than the skit (which was pretty funny by the way). 🙂

    Didn't she run HP into the ground?????? The Republicans are getting funnier by the minute.

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Lynn:60 yr old Obama supporter

    Palin was mayor of a town of less than 7 000 people. When she was elected it was debt free. She hired a lobbyist who got 23 million dollars of earmarks for her town. When she left, the town had a debt of 22 million dollars.

    Palin's " executive experience" is a dismal record of financial mismanagement!!

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. wake up!

    Funny how you wouldn’t trust her to handle a multi billion dollar company-but would trust her to speak to world leaders and to help run one of the most powerful countries in the world.. that sounds so backwards!! Obama represents most of the people I know and his experience alone as a community organizer is more relevant then a senator who pretty much supported Bush 95% of the time and a governor of a state that has more deer then people...come on people Wake up…!! Lets try to make the future better and vote Obama/McCain.

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. susan

    She's got more "executive experience" (and no other kind) to run the whole country, but she doesn't have enough executive experience to run a big corporation. Are you kidding me? When is this country going to wake up?

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. joe

    She has spoken. Palin is simply not qualified for the job. She is ill-equipped for the job.Palin should go back to Alaska, consolidate her base and prepare herself for future, but at the moment ,NO.

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. kleekarg

    Okay so here it rant...this woman is saying that this inexperienced governor from alaska is not fir to run a company, but yet she believes that she is fit to run a country. she points out that palin is not the one running for president, but mccain and obama who are. Let's see...the average life expectancy of a white man is 78.3 yrs old, while this is an average, men more likely die between the ages of 70-73. John Mccain is 72 years old, so in all reality, he could kill over, and then we would be stuck with this palin lady (who has WAY lesss experience than Obama) running our country.
    What's that you say? You wanna move to Candada?? Hell yeah...NO MORE REPUBLICANS IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. American Son

    moose-munch and bunch strike again.........

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. brenda

    i agree with what Fiorina said, is what i meant to say.

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Que Quedas

    Fiorina did you know the US is one big your campaign could not run this country my observation of the money you waste on campaign commercials already stating known facts about Obama.......Reformers my A55 .......transformers yes, so what are you gonna transform into this week Palin? That pig was pretty cool last week!.......oh a Liar this week ......great I'm sure Americans will love you for it.

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Danny

    Carley Fiorina(Senior McCain warrior)……She ran HP to the ground.

    Phil Gramm (Senior McCain Warrior)……..Says Americans are whiners. If we were to send 5 people to jail today for the bank/mortgage meltdown, he’ll be one of them.

    Sarah Palin (VP wannabe)..... Beauty queen distraction.Still reading the teleprompter from convention day. Reckless pick by McCain veeeeery Reckless! Knows NOTHING!

    The McCain Lobbyist ring (7 Senior McCain warriors)……. McCain owes them big time because these folks are working day and night for him. You really think they will not be rewarded. We cannot be free of lobbyists in a McCain administration.

    McCain PROFILE

    PRO-LIFE …… According to him
    PRO-LIES……. Yes, see his campaign ads and redefinition of economic fundamentals at his convenience
    Nat. SEC……… Voted for IRAQ, Anti Time table withdrawal, Obama was first to urge surge in Afghanistan.
    TEMPER…...Has bad temper which causes poor judgment and cost us blood and treasure.

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. mac attack

    Can we see Palin's tax records?

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Cathy

    Let's face it, Carly Fiorina can't run a company either. When she left both Lucent and HP, both companies were not on the best financial footing. While at HP, she was the #1 proponent of using contractors and off-shore employees... a policy that continues today as more and more U.S. HP employees are laid off in favor of low-cost replacements. I'm not sure why everybody is so ga-ga over her history. All she does is sell off America to the lowes bidder. She tells a good story that just doesn't pan out when the details come to light.

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. Obama supporter in New Jersey

    not qualified to run a multi billion IT company and is qualified to run the US? I think we can honestly say, her words....not Obama camp. I would be ALL OVER this if I were them. But one thing for sure, I think she is RIGHT!! Palin is not ready for prime time!

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. Nija

    If she cannot run a multibillion dollar company then how can she run a multizillioin dollar country.

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Republican for Obama

    OMG! Carly is right...for the FIRST TIME in her career.

    Palin is unfit to run Hewlett-Packard – a company that operates in only ONE industy (hi-tech), with less than 140K staff and revenue of $104Bn?

    And she's ready on DAY ONE to be POTUS???!!!!! Whatever makes her incapable of being HP CEO clearly disqualifies her to be VP.

    My head is spinning!!! Please, God, h-e-l-p!!!

    *CNN, please post this!!! All my posts have awaited moderation! Are U censoring me like Palin is censoring U?*

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. McWhine

    The outsourcing queen is a sexist. This is a sexist comment against Palin.

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |

    J U D G E--P A L I N--B Y-–H E R-–R E C O R D ---A S--

    A --C H I E F---E X E C U T I V E::::2 YEARS---A S---–

    G O V E R NO R--–8---Y E A R S---A S---M A Y O R--–

    O B A M A:::::::2 YEAR S--–I N---T H E--U S--S E NA T E---

    4---I N---T H E---I L L I N O I S--–S E N A T E----

    W H O ' S-–M O R E--E X P E R I E N C E D ???

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Party Crasher

    Why is she on the bottom of the ticket with all of her executive experience. Its really sexist of the republican males that would pick an unqulified 72 year old man over a woman that has as much executive experience as she has.

    September 16, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Palin Is Failin'

    Failin was a student in journalism. She is not ready to be VP of a grocery store, much less the country.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Venus

    Too funny! She is attacking Palin! Is this sexist? Ha,ha,haaaaa

    September 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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