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. WhoIsPalin?

    And the Republican's Buyers Remorse for Palin Caribou Barbie begins. Mark my words Americans will not be fooled this time if the FREE FALL of McCain in the Polls is any indication.Despite the so called Palin Power McCain keeps dropping in the Polls. This Election is and shall always be about the ECONOMY and OBAMA-BIDEN are the only ones capable of Leading this Country out of the current financial mess in which the GOP has put it.
    Hotline/FD Tracking 09/13 – 09/15 909 RV 42 46 Obama +4

    In the wake of Monday’s crisis on Wall Street, voters continue to say that the economy is the
    top issue facing the country, with a vast plurality (39%) saying this. Obama continues to have
    an advantage over McCain on his perceived performance on the economy by an 11-point
    margin, with McCain dropping slightly on his perceived performance since the September 15
    Pol

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. St. Paulite

    You got that right!!! Obama is not qualified, nor experienced enough to be president of our blessed United States of America! And he thinks he's somethin' to say the Republican Vice Presidential nominee doesn't have the competencies!

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. hrsc

    We don't have much informatiom on this person who wants to be our VP. She's for the people she states yet we are not suppose to ask her questions and oh by the way the media employees are voters also.

    What experience, it appears she has great abilities in delegating authority. Be for real if she were taking kids to the office either someone on her payroll was babysitting / being payed to for duties other than there job. How is she in meetings and handling official business with a child in tow.

    Some of this is just plain idiotic. Issues please..

    Oh yeah this from a woman who's company is about to fire almost 25,000 people great...

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. ???

    So, was Fiorina capable of running HP? Didn't they just have to lay off about 27,000 people?

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Thebe

    You cannot reason with an addict. You cannot try to figure out this woman's or Palin's or any Repugnican's logic. Why? Because it would be like trying to reason with an addict or alcoholic. Their denial is so deep they believe, in their conscious mind, what they think and say is true.

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. darrell in NJ

    About the only company 'Caribou Bartbie' is capable of running is the local tanning salon. Afterall, she DID buy, at the taxpayers expense, a tanning bed for the governors mansion In Alaska.

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Jessica Grimes

    If I see one more person write " one heartbeat away from the presidency" I am going to vomit...get a new line PLEASE!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. deb

    Fiorina is a piece of work! All of these CEOs (remember Home Depot) who screw up a company after a year of employment and then when they are "asked to leave" get huge multi-million dollar "severence packages". Give me a break! Just another reason to vote for Obama.

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. The BOTTOM Line......

    THAT JUST MIGHT BE THE ONLY THING SHE HAS EVER SAID THAT WAS TRUE...............WAIT A MIN....NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT, THAT KINDA SOUNDED SEXISET.... :-D

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Lewis

    Are you kiding me? She can't be serious how can you not be ready to run a corporation but ready to lead the free world if something should happen to John "POW" McCain.

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. brenda

    i agree.

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Barbara Chicago, IL

    But isnt that what Guliani was barking at the GOP Convention, that you have to have Executive experience to be President. Now you dont need that Fiorina. You are a joke!!

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. Gimmick FIRST

    Today my 8 year old son said, “Look dad, I can see the garden from here. I guess that qualifies me to be a great gardener”

    This is in reference to Palin’s comment that because she can see Russia from her home, that provides her with enough foreign experience to be a heart beat away from the President

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Michael

    Hummmm, Not qualified to Run a Fortune 500, but qualified to potentially be the MOST POWERFUL PERSON ON THE PLANET????

    More double speak and Bull--.

    Bill from FL... Amen, Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Tom in CA

    McCain always says "...I know how to fix it and I know how to get things done." Those things are – fix Washington, fix the economy, capture Osama bin Laden, etc. Unfortunately, McCain offers no specific remedies during his appearances.

    ...and Carly you're being sexist saying that a "Hockey Mom" can't run HP. At least a "Hockey Mom" wouldn't have bought Compaq that drove HP into the ground nor would they have walked on HP's ethical standards. Unfortunately, your "Hockey Mom" would have with her own cronyism, vendettas and vindictiveness.

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. jenjen

    So Carly--could you explain? is a company is more important than our country? Is that your message....that any shallow wannabe can run the country, but it takes a real brain to run a company?

    Or, are you saying that we should pick our country's leaders based on ....um....what? tiaras? hairdos? helicopter-animal slaughter skills...pregnant children? just curious.

    Well, at least for once you told the truth. Palin is not fit to run a company -or to run our country.

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. POW = Persons of Wealth

    John left his three kids and wife, and pretended he was a hero for years. What hero leaves three kids and his wife to have an affair with a 25 year old.

    He's having a tough time now because of his stupid "fundamental statement", so watch, he'll try to change the subject and pull the POW card. Sad.

    Obama/Biden is the right ticket

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. Chispter

    Barack Obama was Director of a community service organization that lifted neighborhoods out of poverty by bringing the people together to share the skills needed to achieve what they could not do individually. He taught constitutional law for 12 years so he should know something about the subject that the current Administration clearly doesn't. He was an Illinois Senator for 7 years. He has a Juris Doctorate from Harvard so he knows a little something about the law.

    Gov. Palin has a degree in journalism and was mayor of a very small town, which she left in debt and with a 38% regressive tax increase. As Governor, she has collected hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks and yet brags on the campaign trail that she has turned them down.

    You be the judge. Who's better qualified?

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Mario fl

    Wow she should think twice ... Obama run a campain with millions a month and did just great... Palin fake as governor to run a large state. Who I think have the most credit to run as president and vice president Obama, Biden, no doubt

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. SB

    I find it quite stunning that this dimwit ever ran a company.

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. MK, Apex NC

    Her not knowing the Bush doctrine is enough of a reason for anti-Bush voters to vote for Palin.

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. rusty

    if i were the obama campaigne, i would not touch this. Obama has never run ANYTHING, NADA, ZIPPO, ZILCH !!!.

    He is the most inexperienced candidate to ever run for president. It is rather funny that the only woman of the bunch has executive experience, and she is running for vice oresident.

    Everybody is now waking up and thats why ALL the polls are moving in John and Sarah's direction. I cant wait for nov. 4th for obama to curl up in his shell.
    H

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. jelow

    Not exactly a vote of confidence.

    Palin's own team mate doesn't think she could run a major company but she could run the United States of America in McCain's absence?

    Where's the logic there?

    But what about all that "Executive Experience" the McCain Campaign has been bragging about?

    September 16, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. d

    About the only company Caribou Bartbie is capable of running is the local tanning salon. Afterall, she DID buy, at the taxpayers expense, a tanning bed for the governors mansion In Alaska. Go figure...

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. Election Watcher

    Obama is not fit to run a company. He's not even fit to run a campaign.

    September 16, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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