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 chicago

    Everyone on the GOP has always compare Obama with Palin including McCain..IT WAS OBAMA HAS NO EXPERINCE BEFORE PALING the story has changed. McShame refuted two of his ads yesterday when he said he believed Obama didnt call Palin a pig...Someone pls ask him why did he say Obama did at first?

    September 16, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. Karen - Missouri

    Oh great, since when is the fired ex-ceo of a company an expert????

    If Palin isn't qualified to run a company, she certainly ISN'T qualified to be a VP or Pres. in waiting. Good grief, the government is THE largest "business" in this nation!

    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Lynette

    she's got more executive experience than John McCain also if that is the measure...that line is getting old. She has the wrong kind of experience to be president...she is clueless and hires her unqualified high school buddies and husband to the highest offices in her state, that won't work in Washington DC like it does in Podunk, Alaska

    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. No Palin Pitbull Lips

    The Republican comments don't even make sense. They don't even make stupid. They are just not worth commenting on.

    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    well then by that logic... McCain isn't qualified to run a lemonade-stand!

    Lets be clear.. Obama calls the shots...

    Look at his campaign.... This lady is out of her mind... HP didn't even want her at the helm any longer...


    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Independent

    Being a Govenor doesn't account for crap. Look at Bush...

    “She’s got more executive experience than he does and she is the vice presidential nominee, Barack Obama is the presidential nominee.” You could insert Senator McCain's name for Senator Obama and the quote is still 'acurate' in it's context...The GOP really needs to let this critique die or continue being hypocritical.

    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Shari, NY

    The heading of this story is misleading. One would think that Florina is bashing Palin but, in fact, she is not. Slow day!

    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. Lyod

    Now people, you need experience to run HP. The United States of America, on the other hand, none.

    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Mr. Eko

    That's amazing – she can't run a big company, but she CAN run the country?????? Wow....

    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Chris

    come on Carly stop fooling yourself, if a person can't run a multi-billion $ company, how then can they run a WHOLE country with trillions of dollars and the whole experience factor is now thrown out the window, by your definition she also has more executive experience than John "George "W"" McCain Bush

    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Dee Jay a young republican

    lol... that must means that she has nore experiance than
    Imma repulican 4 Obama... and that is so funny when McCain has no Execuitive Abraham Lincoln had none neither did alot of presidents

    Obama Biden

    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. EK1958

    When taken in context of presidential campaigns of the last 230 years, this campaign is so vanilla as to be boring. Americans don't know the issues and, frankly don't want to know the issues. We want to be led to the political trough by the heady scent of personality and sound-bites. Poltics fueled by hate are nothing new and, in this election, nothing particularly notable. When's the last time one side refered to the other's candidate, as John Adams was, as a hermaphrodite? This is nothing. C'mon, take off the gloves and, start making some outrageous allegations that are more in keeping with our history or rancor!

    September 16, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. Barb

    She does not think she is qualify to run a company but it is okay for her to be a heart beat away from running the biggest company of all (USA). So I wonder what they would do if they win and one week after they are in the white house something happens to McCain. There goes putting country first, it is obvious that it is putting John McCain first. He does not care about the country he only want to have the title of President even if its only for a few days, Once he is gone he does not care what he leaves behind.

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Kara

    See, i told you, the Republicans are turning on Palin. They can't seem to distance themselves fast enough. It's now time to save their own butts!

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |


    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. MW

    Ya Ya Ya Carly. You sound just like the rest of the Tucker Bounds/John McCain clones. Can't wait for the debates. We will see just how well McCain and Palin handle REAL questions. McCain and Palin will not be able to dodge questions asked during a debate. I guess they could if they want to look even worse than they do now. The Electoral College poll from CNN still shows that Obama has a strong lead over McCain. And none of these polls include the millions of young Obama voters that do not have landline phones. These polls do not include cell phones and I think that this election will change the way polls are managed forever because of the cell phone factor.

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. DJ Los Angeles

    Carly Fiorina is irrevelant. The GOP keeps trying to trump her up as some sort of spokeswoman for the party. What has she done, spy on HP employees....err....what political experience does she have anyways.

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. oswanegan

    It was the radio station that asked the question... not an Obama supporter.

    Is the McCain campaign reprogramed every day to repeat the same lines over and over again... my gosh?

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Spencer from VA

    Is this some kind of reverse psycology Fiorina is trying to pull???

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |

    Help me understand Govt Palin can't run a company,but she can be second chair (VP) of the United States of America????

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Joe in MN

    "Duh. Neither was Fiorina."

    That was hilarious.

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Curious

    Wasn't Fiorini forced out of her role at HP because the board didn't like her leadership?

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Palin shot Bullwinkle

    GOP is trying to confuse us into forgeting about-

    She IS qualified to hunt Moose and Wolves.

    Obama-Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. Independents For McCain

    OBAMA has not run a business, city, state, county, lemonade stand, nothing, zero, zilch. OBAMA is an empty suit.

    Americans have already started to realize all this guy does is read off a telemprompter. OBAMA has flipped flopped on more issues then a fish out of the water.

    Example: OBAMA " I am the type of change we need, I will take the high road and not run negative adds and be a part of gutter politics."



    Independents for McCain/Palin

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Mrs. Daniel

    Per Sen Obama 9/16/08"

    First, if you’re a financial institution that can borrow from the government, you should be subject to government oversight and supervision. When the Federal Reserve steps in as a lender of last resort, it is providing an insurance policy underwritten by the American taxpayer. In return, taxpayers have every right to expect that financial institutions with access to that credit are not taking excessive risks.

    Second, we must reform requirements on all regulated financial institutions. We must strengthen capital requirements, particularly for complex financial instruments like some of the mortgage securities and other derivatives at the center of our current crisis. We must develop and rigorously manage liquidity risk. We must investigate rating agencies and potential conflicts of interest with the people they are rating. And we must establish transparency requirements that demand full disclosure by financial institutions to shareholders and counterparties. As we reform our regulatory system at home, we must address the same problems abroad so that financial institutions around the world are subject to similar rules of the road.

    Third, we need to streamline our regulatory agencies. Our overlapping and competing regulatory agencies cannot oversee the large and complex institutions that dominate the financial landscape. Different institutions compete in multiple markets – Washington should not pretend otherwise. A streamlined system will provide better oversight and reduce costs.

    Fourth, we need to regulate institutions for what they do, not what they are. Over the last few years, commercial banks and thrift institutions were subject to guidelines on subprime mortgages that did not apply to mortgage brokers and companies. This regulatory framework failed to protect homeowners, and made no sense for our financial system. When it comes to protecting the American people, it should make no difference what kind of institution they are dealing with.

    Fifth, we must crack down on trading activity that crosses the line to market manipulation. The last six months have shown that this remains a serious problem in many markets and becomes especially problematic during moments of great financial turmoil. We cannot embrace the administration's vision of turning over the protection of investors to the industries themselves. We need regulators that actually enforce the rules instead of overlooking them. The SEC should investigate and punish market manipulation, and report its conclusions to Congress.

    Sixth, we must establish a process that identifies systemic risks to the financial system like the crisis that has overtaken our economy. Too often, we end up where we are today: dealing with threats to the financial system that weren't anticipated by regulators. We need a standing financial market advisory group to meet regularly and provide advice to the President, Congress, and regulators on the state of our financial markets and the risks they face. It’s time to anticipate risks before they erupt into a full-blown crisis.

    September 16, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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