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. Jim Peaco

    Quite a comment from the worst CEO in American history. She obviously doesn't know anything about running a company. Fire her again!

    September 16, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. maureen

    I know most of you have Obama stars in your eyes so you didn't notice that she said the same thing about your candidate.

    Of course CNN made sure you thought it was only about the Republicans.

    September 16, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  3. Please Release Us GOP

    This woman has a lot of nerve. If I remember correctly, Ms. Fiorina drove her own company into the ground. And as usual, she received a nice payout when she was shoved out the door. I wish I could mess up a job and get enough money to live on the rest of my life. Carly, sweetie, shut up before you completely wreck McCain's campaign. No, wait. Keep on talking!

    September 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  4. Klippa

    jross has a point. Can you imagine what will happen on the financial markets if McCain and Palin are elected in November? If the country isn't in recession by then, that would have to push it over. I can't remember how many millions Bush is spending in Iraq every day. But if McCain comes in and spends that amount for *100* years the market's going to collapse. If McCain had picked Fiorini perhaps the markets might believe she could talk some sense into him. Or at least make things better if she has to succeed him.
    But with Palin... She's spent big amounts of public money on the wrong things. (Sports stadiums are all very well, but in financial times like this they can wait. And shouldn't privated companies be building them anyway?)

    September 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  5. Virginia Voter

    Of course telling the truth is looked down upon by the GOP.

    September 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  6. Jim in Atlanta

    She has a bad case of "foot in mouth" disease. Of course the media will spin the story and not mention that she said neigher Obama nor Biden are capable of being a CEO either. Nonetheless, send her to Siberia!

    September 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  7. Dustin

    She said that Obama and Biden could not run a corporation either. She went on to say that Obama was the LEAST qualified on either of the tickets for the office he is running for. Of course, CNN wont headline any of that.

    September 16, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. Robert

    American politics is rather funny. Do no Americans dispair at your system or what?

    September 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. Silent John

    What do republicans do with critics? they SILENCE THEM!!!!

    Oh and Renee and Berkley Square, you guys are ridiculous.
    Renee: Its amazing that she said it about her own candidate, thats the issue.

    Berkley: Do you have any idea what he did as a community organizer and when he did it? He was just out of college. When Palin was just out of college she was doing beuty contests.

    September 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Jerry

    Please go away, Carly. Nobody is interested in your opinion...you screwed up HP and walked away with a huge sack of cash. You of all people shouldn't be criticizing anybody else's ability to run a company. And all of your stupid comments about the SNL skit being sexist? Take some of that money you stole from HP and buy a sense of humor.

    September 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. Keith

    Typical, Flahute uses the exact same practice as the Liberal/Obama media. Only post part of what Carly said. Well, at least you are consistent with your brethren on the left. Post the entire comment moron, and let your lemmings decide. She said that NONE of the 4 candidates were qualified.

    September 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. Matt D

    I would certainly consider her an expert on how NOT to run a company. I'll trust her word (for the first time, like, ever).

    September 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. mlh84

    This woman failed as CEO so she thinks anyone else will fail. It is a sad commentary for her to refer to either McCain or Obama.

    September 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. tedious898

    Ok.....all of you defending this woman....just wait until she get's back to the McCain war room. She get's to walk the plank! Also Stand Before the Firing Squad. HA HA

    What great judgment McCan't is showing in his selection of women.

    September 16, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. Killbucket

    She was on to bolster McCain.
    Her opinion of Obama is immaterial, in light of the fact she damaged McCain.

    September 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. Rachhpal Kukreja M.D

    I have a simple suggestion for McCain. Continue with lies till lie becomes a truth, Then you will win election. I think republicans will win because there are enough uneducated people in America

    September 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. LT

    Am I missing something? She was asked a question and answered it. Why is this being made into some sort of controversial remark?
    Palin and McCain are liars who wouldn't be able to run a company.....yes I said it.

    September 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. rob

    who cares if she said obama cant run a company she is not one of his top advisers but for her to say both candidates that she works for cant do it come on the repubs had a fieldday when biden said obama was not qulified to be president the truth hurts mccain/palin you are going down

    September 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  19. Silent John

    Stacey you are so wrong. Fox doesn't even have anything about this in the headline. If a surrogate of Obamas said something like this about him, it would be the TOP HEADLINE on their website.

    September 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  20. JOEMABA 08!

    Coming from someone who doesnt even know how to run her own corporation, how will Sarah Palin run the country?

    quite obvious that she'd turn us all into moose hunters and our only source of income would be...wait. she has nothing to offer!

    September 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  21. John Smith

    The RICH folks are really afraid of Obama– He will raise their taxes.

    Here, we see the poor fighting to keep the Rich in power (to get richer) by voting for McCain and Bush!!! How great it is to be educated, as well as have "common sense."

    To be a Republican, you only need to be Dumb!!

    September 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. Joe K

    I love out-of-context headlines and articles. Carly said she didn't think any of the candidates had enough corporate experience to run a corporation. But what gets the headlines? How did the Obama campaign parse the comment for its commercial? You guessed it, the same way CNN did. Surprise, surprise.

    She noted that corporations and governement entities are 2 separate animals. Many business leaders-turned candidates in the past have been ridiculed by the Left for thinking they can run government like they ran their businesses. But, put the shoe on the other foot...that's another story.

    September 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  23. RB

    In all honesty, she said none of the four (McCain, Palin, Obama or Biden) could be a CEO. So why does the headline only say McCain and Palin? Does CNN have a Democratic bias? I think so, the liberal media is now working overtime to discredit the Republican ticket. Shameful!

    September 16, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  24. CAROLYN

    ever so closer, in response to you that comment was made to andrea mitchel after see started back peddling, im sure mc cain with his temper had called and cursed her out. he is mean, and honery. on the rado station sge only said palin.

    September 16, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  25. jake, Carlifornia

    Oh Johnny, why will you let her go just for telling a little truth!

    I think Sarah Lipsticks should go instead for lying every time she parts her lipsticks...don't you think so Johnny?

    September 16, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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