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. The Real Story

    "Fiorina: Obama Camp ‘Deceitful’ in Clipping My Quote"
    CNN no better than Nobama's spin dogs!

    September 16, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. TRUTH HURTS @ McSHAME CAMPAIGN - JOHN McSAME LIES WILL BE WORST THAN GEORGE BUSH!!!!

    this campaign is TOAST and so is bush twin brother -mcsame

    September 16, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. Juge

    Hey Carly – I think your remarks show what a sore loser you are. AND I remember when HP was a GREAT company. Emphasis on WAS – you took it down from the penthouse to the basement. So what are your corporate credentials REALLY???!!!

    September 16, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. wake up

    to bonnie brooks:

    have you ever defend Obama or Bidden when their words were "missunderstood"?? Ask youself, why the double standard?? Ask McCain stop lying about Obama's tax relief plan!!

    September 16, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. Jessica

    If she can't run Hewlitt-Packard, how can she run the country?

    This women is a sick plow to by Republican strategists to manipulate the minds of female voters. Ladies...please do your homework.

    Alaska is one of the few states that is in good shape because of big oil. She is out of touch with the rest of America. A thinktank telling her what to say, and when to say it is not enough. Can she even think for herself?

    MI democrat, mother and sociologist

    September 16, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. Leslie

    Thanks Carly! First the Viagra/Birth Control blunder and now this! I LOVE IT!!! I know you think you are special, but you couldn't run HP either. And now it seems that you can't run a campaign. Unfortunately, the United States Government is a tiny bit BIGGER AND MORE IMPORTANT than HP.

    I expect you to insult and lie about Obama, but SWIFTBOATING your own candidates is "PRICELESS"!

    THANKS FOR YOUR HONEST OPINION!

    MCCAIN/PALIN=UNQUALIFIED

    ONE MORE REASON TO VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    September 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. ex-hp

    Fiorina can't run a company either – the reason she was fired at HP.

    September 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. SA in OO

    The spin meisters will of course have a lot of fun with this. But, what she is saying is obvious. Running a company like Hewlett-Packard is a very different job than the government jobs that any of the candidates have had.

    For one thing, in govenrnment you can tell lies that get a lot of people killed and defraud you constituents of millions and millions of dollars and not go to jail.

    The President of the US doesn't get paid as much as the President of HP, but you don't have to even be competent at the job to get elected and even re-elected.

    September 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. Roger

    Fact is, Carly Fiorina couldn't run a corporation. It takes one to know one.

    September 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. BKoi

    Doe's any one else but me see what the hell is going on here, with the republican CODE OF SILENCE ??? Every time some one asks to question , investigate, or makes a statement about their Republican party that is the least bit " off the party line", they are not taking questions, they seek to block the investigation by non-cooperation, and after making statements the person is told to no longer talk to the public or reporters??? SOUNDS LIKE FASCISM TO ME !!!!!! I am absolutely shocked that we are allowing this to go on ! HITLER GAINED POWER BY SUCH TACTICS, WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP !!! Has Sarah Palin's so called Beauty made everyone out there deaf blind and dumb!! I'm serious ! HOW CAN ANYONE with an ounce of intellect Possibly even consider a vote for these people ?? HELLO out there , these are the people responsible for the bloody fiasco and blunders responding to Katrina , for killing thousands of Americans and countless Innocent people in Iraq ! Have the American people been so brainwashed by this terrible bunch , that they still worship at the throne of the most corrupt, inept and downright dangerous government in the history of the United States? Is that what it's come down to? I am so angry, and so saddened to see this happening AGAIN . I have watched this election with such hope for the future, such pride in Americans. I have such faith in you , as a great Nation, of such strength , and ability to overcome great obstacles, that I am stunned by watching now! For God sake, THROW McCain out where he belongs, with George Bush and all the other PUPPET MASTERS that laugh at YOU for accepting , no wanting , the same PEOPLE to RAPE AND PILLAGE the GREAT NATION YOU LOVE, and USE YOUR OWN DOUBTS AND FEARS TO DO IT !!!!! GOD HELP US ALL if you elect JOHN McCAIN !! For no one else can.

    September 16, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  11. sjp

    one day shes lieing screaming sexism and every repub is with her, next day she speaks the truth and they want her out. face it voters, 4 more years of lieing and half truths or a new start with americans coming first. obama tax plan, less taxes for those under 250,000. thats what im talking about.

    September 16, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. EJ

    Please.......why is this even newsworthy??...... an overpaid CEO that failed miserably – do you think I care what she thinks? Just another attempt by the liberal media to sway those you can't think for themselves – remember .... country first.

    September 16, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. ruffian

    cutting corners, sweeping it under the rug, it's the American way remeber. or maybe it's funnier when a comedian says it.
    building up the business going Corporate was the answer remeber. or maybe it seemed good during the depression.
    either way, the borg collective is always looking for new drones, i mean members.

    September 16, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  14. PalinQuayleTicket

    Don't be hard on Carly for saying Palin couldn't run "a company like HP".
    Carly tried to run HP and couldn't. That's why they fired her!

    September 16, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  15. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    First, Fiorina is likely right. Running a country and running and running a company a very different things.

    Second, given her history at HP, it's not at all clear that Fiorina knows how to run a company. I'm in the computer business and her tenure at HP was, shall we say, "interesting."

    September 16, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  16. Matt in VA

    Everyone only hears what they want to hear, or in this case report. Her full statement said none of the candidates could run a major corporation. The liberally biased media only chsoe to highlight what would slam the Repubs. So, while we are at it. I saw an interview of Michelle Obama by two journalists. One of the journalists concluded the Michelle wears the pants in the family which comes as no surprise. You can put lipstick on Michelle Obama but Barry is the woman of the family.

    September 16, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. Rocky

    If any corporation ran the way our government does they would go under so I think she hit nail on the head here.

    September 16, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. j.williams, san diego

    We have COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS in San Diego-we call them UNION GOONS..

    September 16, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. diana, Los Angeles

    Well, not a good thing to say about any candidate running for President; however, she did say that neither the Dems or Republicans had the exp. to run a co. (which is true), since all of them have only had political careers. True, running a business is not the same as running a corporation. But it prob. should be! Then perhaps there will be more accountabilty.

    September 16, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. Mike

    The way every link CNN has presented on this is misleading, as is obvious by actually reading what she said. CNN is no more accurate or trustworthy than the brand of toilet paper called the New York Times.

    September 16, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. dave, san jose, ca

    The point isn't that she doesn't think the same about Obama/Biden. We know she's opposed to them. The point is that she doesn't even think her own team can do it.

    September 16, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. diana, Los Angeles

    correction: running the country's government is not the same as running a corp. – perhaps, this should be reformed too~

    September 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  23. JOJO

    What will happen to Sara Palyyn if mcane loss election ??
    She will be a disgraced Governer of Alaska and will be banished forever from politics.May be she will be a pastor in achurch.

    September 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. Thoren

    Of all the possible choices, McCain chose a running mate whose views and values are the same as Bush.
    PALIN IS BUSH!
    I want change!
    McCain/Palin: The Bridge to Nowhere.

    September 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. john

    Nice job on equal reporting for all candidates. Fiorina said ALL of them couldn't run a corporation – yet your headline tells a much different story.

    September 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
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