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. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    All Palin had going for her was her "executive experience". Now, according to a REPUBLICAN surrogate, she doesn't have enough of that to run a corporation. hmmmm!!! I guess she's not ready to be VP after all.

    Wake up America.............. Get a clue. Do you really want McFossil and Palin running this country with people like Carly Fiorina and Phil Gramm as their financial advisors?

    September 16, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Peter (CA)

    Why does Firoina continue to garner air time?
    Carly, if Palin is unqualified to be a CEO, were you qualified to be VP since McCain apparently had you on his list?

    She almost ran HP into the ground and now she wants to set policy to run the country further into the ground. And, stop worrying about Obama's experience. He is incredibly smart and will do quite well. Remember when you guys doubted he could do well on the world stage-and then went to Europe and the Middle East and proved you guys wrong?

    September 16, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. David

    But neither can McCain and Obama run HP. This question is just a trap.

    Only Bush and Cheney can run big companies. They were CEOs of big companies. McCain can run the Pentagon, though.

    September 16, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. A Boston

    C'mon, I wish these people would get it straight. It was never Obama who questioned her experience. It was the media. The whole thing has been distorted and blamed on Obama. But since we're on the subject Palin only has a few months of executive experience in which she used over used her authority. That doesn't amount to much experience if you ask me. COCKY WACKO!

    September 16, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. barbara

    same old carly

    "that carly" who let 20,000+ hp employees go and shipped the jobs overseas.

    September 16, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. GCG - Austin, TX

    And, of course, Fiorina would be eminently qualified to be POTUS because, just like Bush, she had secret wire tappings and surveillance on her board members.

    This is the pot calling the kettle black, if you ask me.

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Clinton Democrat

    If she's not qualified to run a company, how is she qualified to run the U.S.?

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. College Students For Obama

    Obama supporters, don't let Fiorina or whoever she is, change the subject. They want to control the news cycle so don't let them. It's the economy, stupid. Stay focus.

    Do not respond to idiots.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Nick, Chicago, IL

    That is sooooooooo sexist!

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. joey from nc

    I do remember a little thing Palin said on July 30th. How she had no idea what a VP even does. At least Obama has a VP that has the expierience we need!

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Pam - Long Beach, CA

    Doesn't running the country take the same skills to a higher level and then some??? The US government is a much larger and more complex entity than HP.

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. S. Boatman

    You Ran HP Into The Ground, Shipped Many Jobs Over Seas, And Ran Off With Millions! You Have Zero Credibility!

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Joe R., NC

    Q.> Do you know what the difference between Palin and Biden is?

    A.> A resume.

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Sammy

    She is right about one thing. This election is between Obama and McCain. However, that means for VP it is Biden and Palin. Ask yourselves, which would you want to head a major company?

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. J L

    Fiorina ran HP into the GROUND!!!

    HP is nothing of what it used to be thanks to her!!

    And for her efforts, she got a $23,000,000 bonus check!!!! Just like all the other incompetent CEOs.

    Go repubs, go fat cats!!!

    Go big money lobbyists!!!

    Squash us little people under your shoes!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Truth Be Told

    ????? Who are you? And who cares? Back to the issues, please...let's skip the I can't formulate a clear sentence rhetoric!

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. Jack

    Why is Carley an "EX CEO" because her judgment was so poor the company was sinking faster than the Titanic and she wants us to listen to her opinion – I DON'T THINK SO!

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. Davdi

    Honesty Hurts!

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. bernj

    Paul September 16th, 2008 1:26 pm ET

    Duh. Neither was Fiorina.

    ____________________

    A point well taken. The republicklans can't run the country. McCain can't run a jet. Carly can't run IBM and Sarah...poor Sarah....can't run her family.

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Cam

    I think Obama should have an ad saying that McCain and Palin say they are going to end big corporate bonuses for failed CEO's and then highlight that his top economic advisor (Fiorino) received 21 million after neutering Hewlett Packard.

    Of course, saying that Palin couldn't run HP is probably the only truthful thing this pathetic woman has ever said. Fiorina should know, she couldn't run HP either so she is somewhat an expert on not being qualified to be a CEO.

    September 16, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. votor

    This coming from the woman who got 44million when HP kicked her out. And she is now a major spokesperson for McCain

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. Robert Ferry

    Well, as a former HP shareholder I can remind you that FLORINA WAS NOT QUALIFIED TO RUN THE COMPANY EITHER. In fact, she was the most terrible thing ever happened to HP!

    Vote Obama/Biden SAVE THE ECONOMY!

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. anonymous

    Latina (hrumph) – why be racist and put a label on yourself? And, yes, Palin has more experieince than NOBAMA! Even my Tom cat does!

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Heartbeat!!!

    Would everyone just admit that the VP position is very important!!!!!

    The person may become President even on day 1!!!!!!!

    So, yes, it is important to look at all 4 canidates!!!!!!!

    Stop the stupidity please!!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Susan

    Carly is a joke. Palin is not fit to run HP, but Carly thinks she can be a heartbeat away from the BIG RED BUTTON? The Republicans are sure shooting themselves in the foot toady and everday! Let the thunder roar, Dems are taking back the government and set it straight!

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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