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. Lyndon

    She's not fit enough to run a company, but she's fit enough to run a national economy, foreign policy and health care system at the same time. Does it get any more ridiculous than what's been going on with the McCain campaign for the past couple of weeks?

    You know you're unqualified when Carly Fiorina calls you out. I mean......even I think I'm capable of running a company like HP into the ground like Fiorina did.

    September 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. Barbara

    If she can't run a company, how could she run a nation?

    Palin isn't ready. Palin is dangerous for America.

    September 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Ryan in Delaware

    Once again CNN is in the tank for Obama and this proves it once again. The headline is taken out of context. Obama certainly couldn't run a company either let alone be president!

    September 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. The Soccer Mom

    Hahahah Carly..she cant run a multi billion dollar company but she can run multi trillion dollar country? Did you leave your brain at home, Carly?

    September 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Gaffer in Dover, NH

    The earmarks, the Blackberry, now this? Seriously, is there a drug problem in the McCain camp? Their behavior is erratic, paranoid, they're in an alternate reality. Aren't those symptoms of various illicit substances?

    September 16, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Brad

    What a joke of an article. The headline shows like Palin is the inexperienced one, but actually the article says that Obama is the one without experience. Great spin CNN!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Lisa --

    Oh for corn sake. She can't run HP, but she can run the COUNTRY?

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Mercedes

    Talk about flip-flops! These republicans got to kept far away from office for a few years until they get the heads full of some brains. This is so pathetic. I just heard that McCain raised 5 million dollars in Miami, Florida. Well I live in Miami and we are going through really hard times down hear and I can't understand why these people continue to fall blind for the republicans. They come down here and promise these people that they will not lift the embargo and that the democrates are too liberals, linking this comment to democrates are communist or socialits. Wake up Miami, we are in really big trouble. Many are loosing their jobs and homes and kids are education is very weak.

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Rob

    I just watched as both candidates laid out their economic plans at lunch hour evnets:

    McCain) shook his fists, talked about reducing CEO salaries (which the Pres has no control over and he knows it!) and spoke for about 10 minutes.

    Obama) spoke for an hour about economic policy, and only economic policy! Lots of new ideas, specific agendas. Specific plans to implement and reminded us that he warned the Feds repeatedly about the mortgage meltdown but was shouted down.

    NO CONTEST

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Felly

    Palin is a distraction and a time bomb waiting to explode. The truth is coming out and all the McCainnites are liars.

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. Georgia Gal

    Being a Governor does not necessarily make you qualified to be VP of the United States especially when you have no experience in foreign policy and have no clue what the Bush Doctrine is. Say what you will about Barack Obama, but atleast he has some experience in foreign policy – he is a member of both the Foreign Policy committee and the Homeland Security Committee and Joe Biden has immense foreign policy experience across the board.

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. oh wow

    WOW!! Seriously...not qualified to run HP, but qualified to be VP!!!!! If she has sooo much "executive" experiance, then she should be more than qualified to run HP, this just proves that she is not ready for this job. Fiorina won't even hire her to run HP with all that so called "experiance" that she has, but think she could run this country..I just don"t get..really I do not....

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. jed

    "executive experience" McCain has the same amount as Obama, get over it.

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. Yetty for Obama 08!

    And Carly couldn't run HP either, hence she was fired!

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Michigan Mom

    Unbelievable.
    Fiorina would trust Palin with the Presidencyof the United States, but not wtih her own company? We need to send these Republican fools packing! I beg the light blue states, the red states, the pink states and the yellow states to come to your senses and save us from the Republicans!

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. mitchell

    i think obama could run just about any company in the US with his IQ. instead he prefers to use his gifts in the service of his country, for the future of his children and ours. that's what i call sacrifice and patriotism.

    September 16, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Reagan

    The title header is a little bit deceiving isn't it CNN?

    Although, readers from both sides will read it and find it's really a slam against nobamas lack of experience.

    Genius or biased reporting? = )

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Bulldog

    Major Reason for America’s Financial Crisis:

    The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 deregulated the financial system by opening up competition among banks, securities and insurance companies and allowed commercial and investment banks to merge.

    John McCain voted for this bill along with the entire Republican Senate. The Senate Democrats objected against it. Phil Gramm introduced this bill and was John McCain’s top economic advisor before he was forced to resign but still gives McCain economic advice to this day.

    John McCain has a direct responsibility in the financial crisis we are in today along with the banking lobbyists he is employing in his campaign. McCain has supported the very philosophy and mentality that has caused the economy we are facing today. Is that what you want? Look it up, McCain has truly support DEREGULATION throughout his career and now all of a sudden he is FOR it. Give me a break.

    September 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Darlee

    this says all that anyone should need to say. Let's hope this is the end of the hockey mom...

    September 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. Mercedes

    Talk about flip-flops! These republicans got to be kept far away from office for a few years until they get the heads full of some brains. This is so pathetic. I just heard that McCain raised 5 million dollars in Miami, Florida. Well I live in Miami and we are going through really hard times down here and I can't understand why these people continue to fall blind for the republicans. They come down here and promise these people that they will not lift the embargo and that the democrates are too liberals, linking this comment to democrates are communist or socialits. Wake up Miami, we are in really big trouble. Many are loosing their jobs and homes and kids are education is very weak.

    September 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. n

    Headline seems a little deceptive. Fiorina said Palin wasn't qualified to run *Hewlett Packard,* but had more executive experience than Obama – thus better qualified to run a government. By leaving out a modifier, the headline made it a general statement, thus making Fiorina's statement a slur that was clearly not intended.

    September 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Justin, ny

    well, isn't running the United States of America kind of like running the biggest company in the world? if she cant handle HP how can she handle the USA???

    obama/biden '08!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. s

    Umm, excuse me!!! But, the county IS a corporation!!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Competence over Bitterness

    I don't think the Obama campaign is going after Palin's inexperience. The media is doing that enough so there's no need to beat a dead horse. I think the campaign is focused on highlighting the differences between McSame and Obama as it relates to foreign policy, education, economy, etc. I think the Obama campaign realized that Palin and McCain will stick their own feet in their mouth eventually as it relates to her inexperience. It's more amuzing to me how the GOP is trying to defend her inexperience. Executive experience my hiney.

    September 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  25. Cindy

    The Palin effect is disappearing as expected- Now that we're getting a better idea of who she really is and for what she really stands for!!!

    National Gallup Polls:
    Barack Obama 45% 45% John McCain

    September 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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