September 16th, 2008
07:18 PM ET
1 year 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. Ted

    Not surprised, anyone connected with the McCain campaign who dares to speak the truth will vanish. Wake up America Carly was telling it like it really is.

    September 16, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. LAH

    How's that for straight talk? Guess John McCain can dish the straight talk but can't take it...and definitely won't comment on it.

    Guess the Straight Talk Express is now the Stump Talk Express – No questions, no deviations, no substance!

    September 16, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. What she did to HP...

    Ms. Fiorina certainly knows she is speaking the truth when it comes to putting the finger on experiance. She put HP in the headlines when they sent her packing because she was so bad at HP as the head of the company. It's to bad some body didn't look more closely at George W Bush and his business record before they elected him to run this country. It would have most likely saved us all from the financial trouble this country is in today. It's so easy to research the candidate now days with the search engines at our disposal. Why doesn't most people do it??? TOTAL LAZINESS,.

    AMERICAN VOTERS DON'T YOU KNOW THAT YOUR FINANCIAL LIVES ARE AT STAKE IN THIS ELECTION MORE THEN EVER BEFORE IN MY 71 YEARS.... PLEASE !!!! KNOW WHO YOUR VOTING FOR...

    CHANGE ..... YES WE CAN !!!

    September 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Rick K

    That's a cute spin.

    "I'm rubber and you are glue..."

    September 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. Lynn in NM

    I don't want a CEO. I want a leader that knows what they are doing! Notice how many companies are going down the tubes lately? How about WorldCom? I sure want a CEO like Bernie Ebers! How about Enron? I would like someone with a modicum of ethics. Of course, we are dealing with politicians here, regardless of party, so that may be a little problematic.

    September 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. William Mosley

    Fiorina was correct in her comments. What she said about
    John McLame and Sarah Failin, is what we already knew.
    They would run any business as well as this country into
    the ground if they get elected.

    September 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  7. FactCheck

    The woman at least speaks from experience. She knows what it takes to run a conglomerate and neither person on the Republican ticket has a clue about the economy, the infra-structure or the job market. It's hard to take her comments about Obama/Biden seriously since she does not know either of them with the depth that she knows McCain.

    September 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. McCain for Pres.

    CNN your headlines are very misleading. You give the democrates the advantage. Obama tries to say the republicans are running a campaign of half truths, but the real truth is he and the liberal media do it much more often than the republicans.

    September 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. JC

    Truth Be Told, I wouldn't trust John McCain to babysit my kids let alone run a company. And President? – Ya Right. - Please for the love of God and the sake of our children vote for OBAMA.

    September 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  10. Rory

    At least she's honest, moreso than McCain.

    September 16, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. JWB

    "Carly will now disappear," this source said. "Senator McCain was furious."

    How dare McCain to attack Carly ... this is pure sexism.

    September 16, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  12. Fundamentally What?

    2 Republican truths in a matter of days.. Following Karl Rove admitting that McCain is a Liar, Fiorini admits that he is as incompetent as she is. Quite frankly it's unwise to elect people who crash things or take counsel from others who instinctively crash things...whether it be Milion dollar Planes, Multi-Million dollar Corporations or Multi-trillion dollar Economies.. Let's keep these crashers out

    September 16, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Lyndon,CA

    No wonder Carly was ousted from Hewlett-Packard. In a way she is a maverick also, from secretary to CEO, or maybe it is SEXIST to say that she slept her way to the top. Either way, this is who will be running your economy America in the McCain administration.

    September 16, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  14. Laurie

    All of us know that Palin is in NO WAY ready to be VP. (WELL ANY THAT HAS A BRAIN) In NO WAY ready to be a CEO, and if God forbid something happens to McCain, She is in NOOOO WAYYYYY close to being ready to become President of the US. The Republican party again, playing games with the lives and livelyhood of the american people. At least Fiorina's comment is half honest. That's more than we have gotten from McCain or Palin. By the way why are the Repubican's so afraid to let Palin answer questions. What are they hiding about their Prize Palin???Their trophy!!

    September 16, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  15. jo

    She is right - none of the present candidates could run a major Fortune 500 company. That is why they are in politics, and she runs a company.

    September 16, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. RapidRay

    May 16, 2008 from the AP news interview...

    "Fiorina says there are many parallels to politics and running a company. With more than 150,000 employees when Fiorina was fired, running HP could be compared to being mayor of a medium-sized city like Syracuse, N.Y. "

    Oops....

    September 16, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. Obama

    Why will my post not get through???

    Google – obama iraq treason...

    This man cannot be trusted with your car, much less a powerful office.

    September 16, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. Ethan

    Carly Fiorina WISHES she had half the charisma and gravitas of Joe Biden.

    September 16, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  19. Linda

    How would Fioriana know? She couldn't run HP without costing alot of people loose their jobs.

    September 16, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  20. Carl Justus

    Well, at least she is honest, that is more than can be said about McCain or Palin.
    They are not capable of running the country either. Can you imagine we have president Palin???? McCain is 72 years old and the he has a 50-50 chance of not finishing his term in office. He has had several boughts with sken cancer and he also has trouble keeping countries and groups of people separate.
    He gets way too much mixed up if he is not reading a prepared speech or giving the same speech day after day.
    He cannot handle himself with off the cuff remarks.

    September 16, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  21. Rob

    Cnn.com needs to get its facts straight. I know you put a tidbit about it in your article, but the woman did say that Palin, McCain, Obama, and Biden all would not be able to run a corporation. The headline "Palin, McCain can't be CEO, says aide" really does not reflect the comment well. You guys always try to give Obama the advantage, and I am reminded of headlines like "Economy Gives Democrats and Opening" and "John McCain's Lead Will End After Convention." Get it straight. Report unbiased. Thats all I ask.

    September 16, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  22. Sacto Joe

    What's the difference between Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin?

    Lipstick.

    September 16, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  23. Harry Kinnel

    this isnt news. this is someone dropping a quote and using you to make news. why wouldn't this person allow a quote like that to be attributed?

    September 16, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    "She also said she did not believe Democrats Barack Obama or Joe Biden had the right business background either."...but the title on the main page mentions only McCain-Palin.

    No liberal bias...sure

    September 16, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  25. white/christian/veteran/college-grad/male from Delaware

    How are McCain/Palin even taken seriously anymore? They refuse to talk about the real issues facing everyday American's like myself. What about the economy? What about Social Security? What about losing jobs overseas? What about this pointless war in Iraq? What about taxes?

    Never mind the fact that Palin has no business being this close to running our great nation. Never mind the fact that McCain has voted 90% the same as Bush. Never mind the fact that McCain's whole campaign has been full of lies and misleading information.

    How about we cut the BS and get down to talking about the real issues. That is who is going to get my vote in November.

    - Leaning toward Obama/Biden

    September 16, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
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