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. brian

    Carly Fiorina is great. She helps the dems more than McCain! Thanks Carly, keep talking!

    September 16, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. ♪♪♪ ۩ The WhistleBlower ♪♪♪

    Good to see people tell the truth ....even if it hurts
    Palin = supported bridge to nowhere
    Plain = sold AK-gov. plane to GOP insider, not on ebay
    Palin = interested in taking away some books
    Palin =does not believe in made made global warming.
    Palin = Queen of pork – hired a lobbyiest to get more PORK
    Palin =under investigation for abuse of power
    Palin = Far right extremist.

    September 16, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Wake up!

    If, God forbid, something should happent to McCain, Sarah Palin will be President!

    :shudders:

    September 16, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Cindy

    But I thought she had all that executive experience that supposedly, accordingto her and the McCain campaign, made her much mroe qualified to run the oval office than Obama- So she's not qualified to run Hewlett-Packard but she is to run the most important office in this country- What kind of sense does that make!!!!

    This woman is clearly watching her words in fear of Palin coming after her to!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. SEH

    According to the Board of Directors, even Carly Fiorina wasn't qualified to run Hewlett-Packard.

    September 16, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. JOHN

    I'll never buy from Hewlett-Packard again.

    September 16, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. Debby

    Didn't Fiorina get fired from HP so how can she even comment on who can run a company or not.

    September 16, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Diana NJ

    Carly Fiorina is right because there is less accountability required by the government versus private corporations. Otherwise, Fiorina should still have her job as CEO.

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. barbara

    First Rove and now Fiorina – Starting to see the truth!!

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Sig, Los Angeles CA

    If you can't run a corporation, then you can't run a country. LOL!

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Tommy

    Palin has more executive experience than McCain does too! BFD!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. steve

    as usual, your "freedom" of the press has taken license with the story and especially the title. the title is a negative toward Palin and yet when you read the story, it actually points out that she has more experience than that Obama clown! You slant the headline to plant seeds but the story is completely opposite of it......get it right and quit trying to stir up emotions and just report the truth.....which seems to be forgotten these days............

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Jack

    Lies, lies and more lies Sarah Palin does not have executive experience. Being mayor of a city of 5000 people with a "Full Time" paid administrator that actually ran all the day to day business is not executive experience.

    Being Governor of a state that is smaller than Charlotte, NC is not much experience either and to top it off Carley admits that she couldn't run a company like HP. Well running the country of AMERICA is much more complicated than a little company like HP and with John McGeezer stumbling daily, we need to be concerned about his longevity.

    Being a US Senator is the only real job John McCain has ever had and judging by the economy he and his party have failed miserably.

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. Joyce, nj

    No wonder you got fired from HP.

    If you can call being a town mayor of 5,000 plus population enough experience to govern a country of 300 million, you've got to be the most naive person on earth.
    She barely got 600 votes in that election. It's not even a hidden fact how she mismanaged funds in Wasilla.

    It's not the title that counts but how good you are with the task at hand. Obama's entire campaign staff and magnitude of his campaign certainly outweigh Palin's 'government' experience.
    He run a solid campaign, even out maneuvering a seasoned veteran like Hilary.

    The Presidency is about management skills, about being able to make decisions based on facts, about having wisdom to stir the economy, foreign relations issues towards what's best for the country.

    With Palin's record (whatever little is know so far) do you seriously believe she has the tools and capacity to do that? Heck, I'm not sure McCain has it either.

    CNN please post this -

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. rich

    So let me get this right. Using this logic, Palin is not ready to run a multi-million dollar company, but she is ready to run a trillion dollar economy? Say, it aint so. She is just not qualified, and thats the bottome line.

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. DG

    Wow....that speaks volumes to me.
    Fiorina is right, it is a "different set of things," a much more difficult "set of things. The safety and well being of the entire nation are at stake.

    And her statement that Palin is not running for president is wrong in my book. Both VP nominees are definitely running for president. It's a well known fact that if anything happens to the president, the VP immediately has to step right into the president's shoes.

    BTW...approximately 20% of our presidents have had to be replaced by the VP. That's a staggering statistic if you really stop to think about it. If you don't think someone is qualified to be president, you should most definitely NOT support them to be you vice president.

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. IndependentThinker, NY

    Palin who?
    It's the economy stupid now
    People are concerned about their jobs, the money, their houses not about a bogus/trophy/gimmick VP who barely knows what she's talking about and keeps telling the same speech and lies over and over
    Do you really think this great nation deserves this ?
    Come on !

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Hawk in West Palm Beach, Fl

    Wow! She's not qualified to run a Multi Billion dollar corporation but is qualified to run a Multi Trillion dollar nation. Un Phucking believeable.

    September 16, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. NonTypical

    I think what she said was "sexist".

    September 16, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. A, Los Angeles

    Florina - Isn't this the same lady who doesn't know the definition of "sexist"?

    September 16, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    Wow. Talk about putting lipstick on a...

    Oh, never mind.

    It's the ECONOMY, STUPID!

    September 16, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. M.Serafin

    But it is fine to put her a hearth beat away from running USA ??

    So how can she run USA if she cant even run one company ??

    September 16, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  23. Phoebe

    Think about it – where has Palin spent her life? In small towns in Alaska and Idaho. Remote places. Where has Obama spent his life – Hawaii, Indonesia, Africa, California, New York City, Chicago and Washington DC, to name most of them. Has anyone seen the picture of the Wasilla City Hall next to the Illinois statehouse?

    And Palin is more experienced? Say, what?????

    September 16, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. Johanna not voting GOP

    This is the same Fiorina that ran HP into the ground. Man, this election process keeps getting better everyday.

    September 16, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. ujw, ny

    Pretty smart question by KTRS, playing right into Fiorina's ego. In her answer, Fiorina effectively insulted both the office of the vice president as well as Palin in a single breath. Now THAT'S sexist!

    September 16, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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