September 16th, 2008
07:18 PM ET
6 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. John

    So long, Carly. Time to start looking for a new job.

    September 16, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. Kime

    "Off-the-cuff?" Is that what they call honesty these days?

    September 16, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  3. pc

    McCain truly is not qualified to be in office or do anythings. He is too old and he forgets. He can't think for himself and he allows his campaign manager/lobbyist to run the show. He is pathetic!

    September 16, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. jross

    Perhaps Fiorina would have made a much better candidate for VP. She has a lot of experience in the business world and as a CEO. What a dynamic choice she would have been! The problem is that John McCain had to pander to the Right Wing and go ahead and insult the intelligence of the female voters who had backed Hillary Clinton. Sarah Palin certainly is not what I would want to be in charge of giving orders to seasoned military commanders, prominent business personnel and any future Cabinet members of the President, let alone holding the single deciding Senate vote in case of a tie vote in the Senate. What was McCain thinking? At least Barack Obama chose a running mate we all would feel secure having as a President in the event something happened to him. Obama has demonstrated he is a PATRIOT with the welfare of his country foremost, while McCain appears to have chosen this woman, with such a slight resume, in order to stir things up, pull the wool over the electorate's eyes and get his sorry butt elected. I am in total despair for my country if the Republicans win this time! God help us! Carly Fiorina or another woman with her gravitas would have made me look at McCain in much better light. He ruined his reputation as a sensible hard working Senator who loves his country. I don't know if Carly Fiorina would have accepted the VP nod, but I would have loved to see her in that spot and would feel confident and secure our nation was in good hands if McCain could not fulfil his duties. Now as it stands, our country is on the verge of a collective nervous breakdown if McCain/Palin ticket gets elected.

    September 16, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. Luke Brown

    If anyone knows what it takes to screw up a major corporation, it's Carly

    September 16, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. rawbobb

    Carly hasn't worked in three years (not that she has to). Oh, and she was "dismissed" and didn't step down, to the tune of $21 Million. Not bad for failing. Hopefully McCain will pay her nicely when he fails. It's a shame though, she's actually more qualified than Palin.

    September 16, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. tom

    Forced out of the McLame campaign, just like she was forced out of HP. Funny, the only thing necons seem to do is leave a trail of destruction.

    September 16, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  8. eugene


    September 16, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  9. Corey, Maryland

    HAHAHAHA nice job!!

    Obama Biden 2008

    September 16, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. Cheryl

    This woman is an expert on who is qualified to run a company. Wasn't she left go by Hewlett Packard? My gosh, when does all of this madness end?

    September 16, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. Amused visitor to America

    someone forwarded this email to me today …very very very sad… the world is truly losing its values…or is it just Americans???

    Donna Wilmot
    Subject: FW: I'm confused
    Date: Monday, September 15, 2008, 9:22 AM

    I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight…..

    * If you grow up in Hawaii , raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."

    * Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, a quintessential American story.

    * If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

    * Name your kids Willow , Trig and Track, and you're a maverick.

    * Graduate from Harvard law School and be President of the Law Review, and you are unstable.

    * Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

    * If you spend 3 years as a community organizer, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate e representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

    * If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

    * If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

    * If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

    * If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

    * If, while governor , you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

    * If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.

    * If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude," with at least one DUI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA , your family is extremely admirable.

    OK, much clearer now.

    September 16, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |

    Dear John, I must let you know tonight, that my love for you has died, just like Carly's did last night and tomorrow I'll vote for another, and it ain't you John.....

    Carly says your not smart enough to run a company like HP dear John. I know she speaks the truth because she has ran a large company (of course they fired her cause she did a lousy job) but you hired her to be your "advisor".. It seems to me running this great big country of our is certainly more of a job then running some company like HP so I guess YOU CAN'T DO THAT JOB EITHER......


    September 16, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. sue

    Fiorina doesn't know how to run a company either!
    I guess she is a little put off seeing that mccain didn't think that she was capable to be his VP-hurt feelings fiorina?
    Actually Carly, mccain prefers them young!

    September 16, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  14. No Country For Old Men

    Top McCain official Carly Fiorina was in line for his VP spot first.

    September 16, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  15. California Voter

    Fortunately, she is not running for anything.

    September 16, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. Steve Woodrow

    Fiorina said they none of the 4 candidates were qualified to be CEO but CEO only noted the 2 Republican candidates in the headline. Another typical case of liberal media bias. CNN must be some kind of abbreviation for Obama campaign media

    September 16, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. cfc

    so what is obama experience to run anything? what has he ever reformed? when has he fought for change? when has he fought for anything but this election?

    can one reporter answer that or at least ask it.... all the headlines are anti-mccain or palin or one of their surrogates..

    but i agree since friday, obama has owned the media wars aided by mccain and his people and of course the media itself...

    September 16, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  18. Ingo

    I don't think Fiorino did a very good job of running Hewlett Packard either or she would still be there. Why is it those who can't do, are always the ones to criticize.

    September 16, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  19. Philip morris

    You are so off base with this article. Why not include the full quote where Fiorina says all 4 are not qualified to run a large corporation but that running the country is much different. Your bias is showing once again.

    September 16, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  20. MinFL

    Waiting for her "need to step down" announcement in 3......2.....1.......

    September 16, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. T

    Wow! I can't believe people vote for McCain given the conditions we are in. But I've been wrong before.

    September 16, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  22. Wouldn't hire them

    I wouldn't hire either of them – McCain's sleezy conduct during this campaign is a sad betrayal of his past heroism. As would be expected from a fighter-pilot type, he is hotheaded, reckless and impulsive, the opposite of what a leader should be. Palin is a wingnut, plain and simple – if she was a man she would be hooted off the public stage.

    September 16, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. MM

    was it $21 million - I thought it was $42million.

    September 16, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  24. Jon

    None of them have a business background. How is this news?

    September 16, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  25. Perry Malos

    You know who else is not capable of running a large company? I'm looking at you Carly.

    September 16, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
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