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. Blue

    After over half a century since the discovery of computer, the Republican nominee, John McCain, still don't know how to use a computer. The question is: where's the brain in the head?
    Or should this be a case of the dullest brain ruling the mightiest nation in the world?
    The further down we go, the further other countries like China laugh at us.
    Be wise, Americans!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Tom

    What is with these people with this "Executive Experience" that they claim Sarah Palin has?, and the notion that she has MORE experience than Obama get real, and get a life.

    September 16, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  3. Kim in AZ

    Palin is not qualified to "run" her mouth!

    September 16, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Brina

    Did somebody go off message..LOL.

    September 16, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. College Students For Obama

    Fiorina wants to change the subject of a very bad day for John McCain. It's Tuesday and we will still be talking about John's statement right into the debates. He is not going to throw distraction balloons in our faces.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Seriously

    Oh my god... This lady needs to keep putting her foot in her own mouth.

    September 16, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. afra

    She cannot run your old company but can ran the USA. Wow.

    September 16, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Timothy

    I can know longer try to make since of the comments others make in regards to their candidate. It is best to shut up.

    September 16, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Scott NYC Independent

    If Palin can't run one company with the limited restrictions it would have how then is it she is qualified to run an entire country or even be one heart beat away from that seat. She has not experience in immigration, foreign affairs, economics, interstate infrastructure, health care or international trade. What experience are they talking about being elected mayor with none of the above problems, but having a surplus when she took office and leaving office with a $20 million dollar deficit. Get real, the republican machine only wants your vote and put a women there for all the stupid ones that will vote for her because she has the same body parts.

    September 16, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Cindy

    It's not executive experience that matters, it's what you've done with it. After all, GWBush had executive experience, too. Get my drift?

    Right now, I'd like to see a part of Palin's executive experience... the part she is avoiding... trooper-gate. If her current handling of that experience is any indication... I don't want her anywhere near the vice presidency. It seem like she's already acting like the current corrupt administration. Yeah, she's a quick learner alright.

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Truth be Told

    It is because of people like Fiorina, that wall street and the job market is bleeding. Compare her contribution to pay ratio with that of so many HP employees. Please talk issues not stupidity anymore.

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. PK

    Oh give it up Fiorina. Palin has only been a governor for two years. Look at Bush he was a governor and look what happen!

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Stacey

    Palin's not qualified to be v.p. nor president of the U.S. either. She's supposed to be the answer for Hillary Clinton not being chosen as Obama's v.p. pick. 59% of white women now feel they have a reason to vote; nevermind that many of these women don't share Palin's ideology; I guess that just doesn't matter so long as there is a white woman on somebody's ticket. As far as executive experience, has anyone really studied Alaska? Palin's great state of Alaska has one of the highest umemployment rates; has one of the highest high school drop out rates; one of the highest teen pregancy rates; has one of the highest rates of people strung out on crystal meth – the list goes on. So much for her so-called executive experience. Obama can definitely run a multi-billion dollar IT company with or without Palin's so-called "executive" experience. Give me a break!

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. PCL

    Sorry Carly...If America were run more like an efficient business the economy would not be in the tank.

    What exactly is it that you think the Chief Executive does?

    in reality, running America's complex financial matrix is actually MORE complicated than running HP.

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. watching

    Fiorina,
    the question came from the host you were talking to, not the Obama campaign.
    you are the one out there pushing the legitimacy of McCains false ads

    and why is CNN pushing the 527 add on abortion so hard?
    didn't McCain & Obama denounce 527s

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Ben

    I find it amusing that the woman that has such low moral standards that she felt it OK to spy on her own board members and employees is given ANY credability as a spokesperson for ANYONE.

    Carly Fiorina could not run HP and neither can Palin. Neither has the skill, temperament or understanding of domestic and world affairs to effectively govern ANYTHING. The Republican ticket has no clue of the circumstances experienced day to day by the average American working/family person and has no place in setting the agenda for America's future, be it on legislative, moral or any other grounds.

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. Ricardo Velasco

    You are right Fiorina, she is not campaining to run a major multi-billion company. She is campaining to run a multi-trillion country. SO tell me, if she is not ready to run a company, how can you dismiss her qualifications to run a country. Running a company is nothing compared to running a country and you said she is not ready to do the former. Regarding Barack Obama's experience I would like to remind you that 18 million voters decided that his judgement was a lot more important in this election than his experience. And if you compare Baracks judgement to that of McCain and Sarah combined the decision is easy.

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. Sharon Kitchen

    In a previous article moments ago, McCain is said to have told folks that he created the Blackberry. Well , If anyone wants to check, just google blackberry.
    Does that mean that McCain was involved with the $612 Million dollar lawsuit with the Canadian firm Reasearch In Motion (RIM) and NTP in 2-9-06 ???? I understand that the DOD got involved because of all the goverment workers who use this. What role should Judge Spencer who heard the case know concerning McCain's supposed development --since RIM says it had the patent /But NTP brought the patent infringment case to court. It seems that anyone around McCain is invloved in some sort of investigation......Palin included.
    Not very comforting..........on it goes.

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Deb, Allentown,PA

    This is hilarious. So if Fiorina dismisses Palin's abilities, is that sexism? Or is it only sexism if questions about her abilities come from the Democratic side?

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. Sunny

    Totally agree... although I am a democrat, turned independent and cannot ever vote for anyone agaist Pro Choice and Same Sex Marriage.

    CNN has been so pro-Obama. Just look at the headline and then read the actual news content... hilarous!! I am amazed how news media can be so biased. CNN has lost all credibility in this election.

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. Palin shot Bullwinkle

    CEO is an Executive job – but she HAS executive experience,right? She was Mayor and Govenor- she ran them eficiently,right?

    Unbelieveable?

    You cant make this stuff up.

    Obama 08

    September 16, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. a

    “She’s got more executive experience than he does and she is the vice presidential nominee"

    she also has more than John Mccain, maybe they should flip sides and Palin can be the presidential nominee

    September 16, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Lamonte

    I thought Carly was a very intelligent women until this comment. You mean to tell me that HP is more complex than the US Government. Cause that's exactly what she would be running if McCain were to win and GOD forbid anything happened to him. I think I just made up my mind.

    September 16, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. Will

    But I thought you guys hated CEOs of big, big corporations? You should be glad Palin is focused on the vice presidency and not working for one of those mean, evil corporations you can't stop blogging about.

    September 16, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  25. caywen

    Didn't HP fire her or something?

    I find the whole statement about Palin not being able to run HP completely sexist.

    September 16, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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