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. Marti, Plano

    Not qualified to run a company but qualified to be second-in-command of (what I hope still is) the world's remaining superpower. I thought she had so much "executive experience...?"

    September 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. jo

    I don't think she could run HPagian after she spent all this time with mcsame.

    September 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. CRAZY

    FIORINA IS PRETTY DUMB HERSELF. SHE IS QUALIFIED TO BE MCCAINS VP.

    September 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. DB

    Once again somebody is not doing their homework. Whlie Palin was a beauty queen Obama was involved working with people ( community organizer the one the Republicans laughed at ). And they say she has more experience.

    September 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. michael

    OMG. What on earth is with these people. She is running for PRESIDENT. Call it vice president if you like but it is PRESIDENT. SHAME on JOHN MC CAIN. However let no one be foolish enough to fall for these distractions. Just shut McCain and his crew down. CNN lok into the voter fraud being perpetrated by the Republicans and McCain in Misc. Fla. Ohio and Penn.

    September 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Washimba

    Sure, Gov. Palin can't run a 'multi-billion dollar IT company' but she can effectively run the most powerful country on earth should sen. McCain demised. That is because of her given executive experience as a mayor & 19 months in office as a Governor from Alaska. That's quite an interesting possibility.

    September 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Amazing to me that McCain supporters, when challenged on what Palin can do, automatically compare her qualifications to those of Obama, who is running for PRESIDENT...so, to that end, Palin is not qualified to run HP, nor is she qualified to run this country...McCain is not qualified to run anything, but to run scared when he makes yet another misspeak (i.e., as in yesterday's comments about this country's fundamentally "sound" economy). We are left with one team and one ticket, of sound mind, body and principle, to run this nation.
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12 YES WE CAN!!!
    p.s. guess that Carly couldn't run HP either, since she stepped down. These Repubs need to have scripts to say anything!

    September 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Andy in Charlotte, NC

    Fiorina herself could not run her own company. She got fired...look it up. Who is she to be speaking out all the time about who's qualified to do what? She needs to find a job.

    September 16, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. barbara campbell

    Here in North Carolina, people who are expected to vote Democrat are receiving unsolicited "absentee ballots". This is obviously another of the Republican dirty tricks to suppress voter turn-out. People will think they've voted on the bogus absentee ballot and will not actually vote.

    Absentee ballots must be requested in writing from the Board of Elections. Any unsolicited ballot is not valid.

    September 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. jo

    That is sexist

    September 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. The Guy

    Carly nearly ruined HP, so her opinion here is worthless

    September 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Mike, Palo Alto, CA

    So Palin is not qualified to run a multi-million dollar company, but is qualified to run a far, far bigger economic machine ... the US Government. Here in Palo Alto, we live with what happened to HP under Carly. Her comment is another logical absurdity ... like those she has uttered, always with that cloying and annoying smile, to try to paint Palin as somehow qualified. I compare her 'executive experience' as
    mayor of a town (at the time) 1/10 the size of Palo Alto to my executive experience as mayor of Palo Alto, and let me tell, that does not qualify Palin to be Vice President of a company or of the country. Its time for American voters to get real, and vote on real qualifications rather than personality. To steal a line from Roger Ebert, this isn't 'American Idol.'

    September 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Sarah- ARIZONA

    Fiorina is simply hilarious. How pathetic is she.

    palin was chosen to pander to the women voters.

    once women find out she is not for womens rights ie: charge rape victims for their forensic exams and dotn have the right to chose if raped or doesnt believe in birthcontrol....women will not flock to this person who calls her self a woman.

    September 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. RH

    The "logic" Republicans are using to justify Palin's experience seems to be a vulnerability. They keep stressing Palin's 'executive' experience. How much has McCain himself had?
    Quibbling over semantics is no way to campaign for president.

    September 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Reed

    What the heck? Let me get this straight....Palin isn"t qualified to run HP, but she is qualified to run the United States? Fiorina is an idiot, like all the rest of the Republicans. Does she have a measurable IQ?

    This Palin situation is ceasing to be funny, it's becoming dangerous.

    VOTE OBAMA

    September 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. Hahaha

    Fiorina is a douchebag, by suggesting that Sarah can't walk in her shoes it shows she doesn't have faith in Palin at all.

    September 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Robbi

    Careful there, you're tripping over your own talking points. Foolish. We cannot afford another four years of this garbage.

    September 16, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. PoliticoPundit

    How a leaning dem/liberal news media, makes it a head out of quotes without taking the full quotes into account. She, Fiorina, was compairing Palin to Obama for the experience. But News Media has to dostort the comments and make an anti GOP headline.

    IF you take the full comment into account she is saying Palin can't run HP but She has more experience than Obama. Headline should be Obama can't run HP so how come he is going to run multi trillion Dollar economy?

    September 16, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. park more

    As democrat we wil vote McCain/Palin or not to vote at all but Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Obama and Michelle

    Hillary on 2012

    September 16, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. California Gold

    This Fiorina woman is obviously impaired.

    September 16, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  21. John in Ohio

    Palin's not qualified to run a hockey team.

    Judging by the $27 million debt she left Wasilla straddled with, she's definitely not qualified to run a small town.

    And McCain has a history of cancer and of medical problems related to his time as a POW, and there's about a 1 in 3 chance he won't make it through the next four years. So this election is VERY MUCH about how Palin would function as commander in chief.

    September 16, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. It's The Economy

    Get a clue lady, talking about the economy is more important than talking about Sarah Failin.

    It's the economy stupid, not Sarah Failin (McCain's cheerleader).

    September 16, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. SONGBIRD MCCAIN

    Fiorina is what is wrong with our country. She negligently ran a multi-billion dollar company into the ground and then bailed out with a golden parachute. The GOP then fight to have her consult for them. What a pack of heartless charlatans

    September 16, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. Switch The Ticket

    Does anyone out there notice that the Repubs keep saying that Palin has more exec experience than Obama? This would mean that Palin also has more exec experience than McSame, right? McSame has never been a Governor or Mayor either. So if the Repubs think she is so great, why not have Palin at the top of ticket? She pulls in larger crowds than McSame anyway.

    September 16, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  25. Andy in Charlotte, NC

    "She’s got more executive experience than he does and she is the vice presidential nominee, Barack Obama is the presidential nominee."

    Ok, if we are going with this argument...she also has more experience than John McCain too! All the experience in the world doesn't necessarily mean someone makes wise decisions...am I right?

    September 16, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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