September 16th, 2008
07:18 PM ET
2 years ago

Fiorina's comment called 'Biden-like'

Fiorina said neither McCain or Palin are qualified to run a company.
Fiorina said neither McCain or Palin are qualified to run a company.

(CNN) - Top McCain-Palin official Carly Fiorina is facing criticism from some within the campaign for a day of what they call "very Biden-like" comments, after the former Hewlett-Packard CEO told two separate interviewers that neither member of the Republican ticket would be capable of running a company.

Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden is noted for his off-the-cuff gaffes.

Asked by a St. Louis radio station whether she thought Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin could run a company like Hewlett-Packard, Fiorina responded: "No, I don't.

“But that's not what she's running for. Running a corporation is a different set of things."

Asked about that remark on MSNBC, she made the same unprompted assessment of the GOP presidential nominee. "I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation."

She also said she did not believe Democrats Barack Obama or Joe Biden had the right business background either.

But with the economy center stage in the campaign, the words that gave Democrats easy fodder to attack the Republican ticket.

A top McCain official contacted by CNN said, on condition on anonymity, "No big deal, but not how you get on the surrogate all-star team. Very Biden-like."

“This campaign source said Fiorina would be discouraged from additional media interviews.

Another top campaign adviser was far less diplomatic.

"Carly will now disappear," this source said. "Senator McCain was furious." Asked to define "disappear," this source said, adding that she would be off TV for a while – but remain at the Republican National Committee and keep her role as head of the party’s joint fundraising committee with the McCain campaign.

Fiorina was booked for several TV interviews over the next few days, including one on CNN. Those interviews have been canceled.

A third source said "it was another bad day for her, and important people are mad because the timing is horrible… But I would not necessarily buy the Siberia storyline."

Fiorina has forced the campaign off message before. In July, she told reporters women often express frustration over the fact many health insurance plans cover Viagra but not birth control medication.

"Let me give you a real, live example, which I've been hearing a lot about from women. There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won't cover birth control medication. Those women would like a choice," she said.

It was a topic McCain wasn’t as keen to talk about. "I certainly do not want to discuss that issue," he said, when reporters asked if he shared that view.” That comment, and the pause that preceded it, captured headlines for days.


Filed under: Carly Fiorina • John McCain
soundoff (711 Responses)
  1. anyonmous

    mccain will losse

    September 16, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. MLD

    Different skill sets are needed to run a company than to run a government. That is why very rarely does a successful business person become president and no president ever becomes a CEO later.

    September 16, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Tim, Seattle

    “This campaign source said Fiorina would be discouraged from additional media interviews"....

    In other words, she told the truth and is being sacked for it. Welcome to the GOP America

    September 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. m.e.

    Never miss a chance to stick it to Biden. This was about YOUR guy not Biden.

    September 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. LA13

    Niether could Carly. That's why she is an ex-CEO.

    September 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. cb

    Wait, is this the same woman who ran a major computer company into the ground?

    September 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  7. Erin Smith

    A vote for Republicans is a vote for the past. Let's move forward.

    OBAMA – BIDEN – 08

    September 16, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. Leslie, NC

    Good, who wants to see her anyway.

    And as far as her statement being Biden-like. That's a lie because Joe tells the truth, while this woman spins.

    I know it's hard when you're defending Johnny Mac, but that's not our problem.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  9. Loretta

    She's criticized for telling the truth. Hmmm, isn't that sexist?

    September 16, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. cara

    The GOP is so lame...

    September 16, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. McCain Invented the Blackberry

    Calling Fiorina's comment "Biden-like" is SEXIST!

    September 16, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. Cam

    At least if Palin and McCain get to the White House their advisors and spokesman like Fiorina and Tucker Bounds will be well taken care of......I mean didn`t Palin say special needs families would be a top priority.........

    September 16, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. Rashawn

    She is to disappear because she's telling the truth...? See what happens in the McCain camp when you tell the truth...? My mother always told me the truth hurts from time to time but I mean c'mon LOL

    September 16, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. Sandy

    She would know.

    September 16, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. ulysses

    Fiorina knowssomething about not being able to run a company like Hewlett-Packard. She has direct experience not being able to run a company like Hewlett-Packard. I think she knows what she's talking about.

    September 16, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  16. McCryptKeeper/Cruella 08

    Or how about what Sarah Palin said today??? Railing about "CEO's who take million dollar severance packages"

    ....what....Like Fiorina did at HP?

    September 16, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  17. Eric

    Betty said:

    "My son is backing Palin because she is smart and very pretty"

    Betty, I'm afraid to tell you your son is making voting decisions with an organ other than his brain.

    Maybe he shouldn't be voting at all...

    September 16, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. diane08

    In the words of Donald Trump........ "YOUR FIRED!"

    September 16, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. kendall

    didn't HP just announce laying off 24,600 employees over the next few yrs,
    -Wasn't she the CEO of that. Seems like she can't run a business either, she is doing pretty good at running McCamp under the ground.

    If repubs don't think she can run a company McCain/Palin sure as hell can't get my vote.
    -And why is Biden mentioned, he had nothing to do with Fiorina telling the nation that her bosses can't run a company

    planting the seed that everything that comes from that camp is Sexist,Noun,Verb and POW and Barack Obama is a bad bad man

    Better amunition McCamp?

    September 16, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  20. BOB

    If you see all of the clip she said none of the candidates could run a corp.

    September 16, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. Chris

    Biden-like as in she doesn't believe believe in McCain or Palin either?

    September 16, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. VA Republicans for Obama

    Of course they could run companies!

    McCain invented the Blackberry and Sarah Palin invented the John Deere manure spreader!

    September 16, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Nice spin. She's made a moronic comment and the Republican brain trust responds with 'yeah she's as stupid as Joe!" Are there a bunch of 6th graders running the McCain campaign?

    September 16, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. L for Legend

    First she shot from the heart, then when things got tough, she shot from the lips. The second shot, however, had no substance.

    September 16, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. WhoIsPalin?

    Senator McCain was furious! Temper, temper do we want this Testy old man to have his finger on the Button.Welcome WW3.McCain is hot-tempered and risky, he scares the Be-jebbers out of me!!

    September 16, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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