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. JY

    Fiorina is full of double talk. She's afraid of RNC backlash

    September 16, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Kevin from Boston

    Wow, another admission by their own campaign that she is a joke basically!! I love it!!

    September 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. People make no sense

    Thanks for telling us what we already know. This woman is sexist.

    September 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. b. Krause

    Ain't about abortion. If one doesn't believe that it's an option, don't do it. It's the economy, stupid! Otherwise, how you gonna pay for that kid your daughter brings into the world at 15 years old?

    September 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Dennis

    The question is irrelevant since Palin is not running to be CEO. If the Democrats feel the question is relevant, they have a big problem since the person at the top of their ticket has no executive experience at all.

    September 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. brian

    LOL!! She can't run a printer company but she can be a heartbeat from the presidency. All idiots.

    September 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. MIKE chicago

    Everyone knows she cant run anything except McCain. Wasilla was in surplus before Palin, when she left office they were in record deficit. Familiar? Yes Bush. No real idea of what to do. Sold the Alaska airfore one for a 35% loss. What an economic acheivement.

    September 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Realistic

    Uh, wasn't Carly herself fired from HP for incompetence?

    September 16, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Frank Shmingo

    Um...and John McCain has HOW much executive experience?

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. Christopher in TN

    Fiorina ran a company into the ground. I guess she should know?

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. NoMoreEvil

    She can't run a company, but she is going to shake her booty all the way to Washington...... Scary??? Right???
    Be Smart vote Obama!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Baze

    Gotta love this "executive" experience Palin has. A few years as governor of a state that has twenty + hours of darkness over a quarter of the year. Please...

    ONE NATION

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Douglas, Los Angeles California

    Dear News Media,

    Since Mrs. Palin refuses to talk to you and and answer questions from the the American People, why do we do one thing; STOP COVERING HER. She does not deserve the news coverage she gets. I'm tired of hearing about this person who refuses to be transparent and insist on running a transparent government. She reminds me so much of our current president and vice president who are not at all open and truthful with the American people. We cannot have this anymore. No talk, no truth, no coverage. The other three candidates talk to the media all the time; what's her problem?

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. PalinLiesTooMuch

    Who care what Carly Fiorina thinks she is only interested to see a feamal vice president, wheather the candidate has what is takes or not as long as she is a female. Some one need to tell this idiot Palin is not Hillary Clinton.

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Donna

    ok..she states that "Barack Obama is running for President...John McCain is running for President" but then she compares Palin to Barack...now I find that quite stunning...how about comparing her to Biden since he is running for the same office????

    No wonder why they booted her from HP....

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Ted

    how dare you Carly? That's sexist. She's not good enough to run your company but she's good enough to the VP for the greatest country in the world, the country that has 2000 other companies bigger than yours? These people continue to lie to themselves!

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. Geeque

    If she is not qualified to run a company than she is not qualified to run the country.

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. RR in AZ

    Hey Carly!........Get your foot out of your mouth!......If she can't run your old company, how is she going to be "second" in command and help run this country?.....Don't throw this back on Barack, because this comment came out of YOUR MOUTH!!.....CNN Please post....Thanks!

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Mike

    WHAT?!?! Carly, are you saying she isnt qualified to run a company?? I think thats sexist. You are sooo sexist Carly. Sheesh, someone needs to stop giving this woman a microphone. Or maybe its ok because she will keep putting her foot in her mouth....but I am sure she would find some way to call this comment sexist....

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. Dana

    Too Funny!!! Fiorina is in no position to talk about experience- all she knows how to do is run a business into the GROUND!
    She is the epitamy of the Republican Female- all these words coming out but not SAYING ANYTHING....and a SNOB!!
    What a disgrace to educated strong women everywhere!
    Well next to Palin that is....

    But she did get one thing right- Palin doesn't have what it takes to run a corporation= SOOOOO she wouldnt have what it takes to run the entire COUNTRY- there is a lightbulb moment for ya!

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. White Mother for Obama!!

    Sorry but Palin does NOT have more experience than Obama in Politics... PERIOD. Its proven she abuses her power, its proven she lies, its proven she cannot handle anything including foreign relations.

    Sure she is running for VP.. but the odds of McCain dying within 4 years is VERY HIGH... and for Palin to take office would be worse than McCain in Office!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Danielle, TX

    Hmmmm......wouldn't "executive experience" have just a tad to do with running a large corporation? They're always talking about how she ran a city and now runs a state. Umph, umph, umph....

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Jim

    I find it stunning that out of one side of her mouth Fiorina admits that Mooseburger couldn't run a major corporation, and then out of the other side she is shocked– shocked!– that anyone would question Mooseburger's qualifications to potentially run the entire nation.

    Oh, the arrows of unintentional irony wound deeply!

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Ric from NM

    Palin has some executive experience and a undergraduate degree in journalism from University of Idaho. Would you hire her for any complex job?

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. A, Los Angeles

    Palin also has more executive experience than McCain, but you don't see him taking second chair to her.

    and quite frankly, its not only that she's not qualified to be VP or President, it's that she's ignorant.

    September 16, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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