September 16th, 2008
07:18 PM ET
5 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. Concerned Voter

    If you speak honestly, you're not allowed to speak to the media any more? That's sad. Really sad by the McCain campaign to whine about it.

    September 16, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  2. Don Stephenson

    Staements like this make me sick to death of the obvious media bias we're witnessing these days:

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

    That was pulled from the story above. It is, however, misleading and somewhat false. That statement makes it sound as if she said the other two couldn't run a company, as an "also" kind of statement... her actual statement was that NONE of the candidates in this race could run a company, and that it didn't mean they weren't qualified to run for office. Different qualifications and experiences needed for the job.

    PLEASE CNN/ABC/NBC/CBS stop taking things out of context! The american people aren't as gullible as you seem to think they are.

    September 16, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  3. David

    I guess I must have just awoken from of a coma or something... is the McCain really running on the idea that having a woman as a running mate the answer to any resistance to the lack of real reform proposed by "the reformers".
    I, for one (an I might be alone) don't understand how my fellow americans don't see how this obvious manipulation of sediment over logic could be anything less than aiding the expansion of them that have power and those that have not.. If this is Reform, I'd rather have the same old thing.

    September 16, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  4. Carl from MI

    I guess all the EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE that the Shrilla from Wasilla has really doesn't amount to a hill of beans!!! As if it ever did in the first place.... DUH!! She's been Governor for about 5 minutes!!


    September 16, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  5. Quinn - Houston, Texas

    Carly Fiorina is too honest to work for the McCain campaign.

    All she could do to fix it was to say that Obama and Biden couldn't run HP either.

    Funny thing is...Carly Fiorina couldn't run HP either. She was so horrible, HP paid her millions to take a hike.

    Did I mention that Sarah Palin left Wascilla 20 million in debt too.

    All of this is ironic.

    Vote Obama/Biden 08!

    September 16, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. shad

    Joe K, could not agree with you more. I honestly don't know how the American public gets fooled by such nonsense from the media. obama apparently dissing palin, but mccain did not hillary,

    and mccain actually trying to defend his lipstick remark (on the view an dbeing slammed by barbara for it) by saying i was referring to hillary's policies. and then going on to say like a little boy - oh but look obama is also slamming me on my policies. he's a liar, he's a flip-flopper and deviant.

    At the end of it all I am not sure if I feel more disgusted by how easily people get fooled (and are ignorant) or how the news media twists things around and the people buy it. Arrrggghhhhh!!

    September 16, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  7. Jim

    Carly made a mess of HP... leave her alone and she will do the same for McCain's campaign.

    September 16, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. Thor

    McCain can't be a CEO of a Fortune 500... except, of course, it's a blackberry making company.

    September 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. JU

    kInda gives you a warm fuzzy feeling, don't it?

    lord help us if these maroons get into office......

    September 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  10. john

    well none of them can lead our country. obama/biden 08

    September 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran form Coalition to Invade US

    Check out the Chris Rock Movie "Head of State"

    Republicans; They GET IT Barrack!

    They Just DONT CARE!

    September 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  12. Paul Stewart

    To the whiny Republicans camplaining about the headline taking Carly out of context. Well, *hit, at least the headlines are true eh? And guess what, she was speaking the truth – I mean, that was the biggest mistake. Come on, admit it. If the McCain campaign had to run on truth, it would be dead. And, even if you take all of what she said, it is a stupid comment. It is an incorrect comment. Obama responded correctly. And Americans need to think about McCains judgment again. He picked Carly, he picked Gramm, he picked Palin. Speaks volumes to me....

    And to say this was "Biden – like" is an insult to Joe Biden. McCainites owe Joe an apology. Truth is, this is McCainite.

    September 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. tbirdguy

    Go, Carly, Go!

    What makes Fiorina's comments about McCain and Palin more newsworthy than what she said about Obama and Biden is she is a McCain supporter. She's supposed to make negative comments about Obama. Duh! But to say some thing truthfully negative about McCain is priceless! A Freudian slip, perhaps???

    Talk, Carly, Talk!!!

    September 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  14. Andrew

    Haha, of all people to say that someone can't be a CEO.
    Carly, you can't be a CEO!

    September 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  15. Dude

    But what will happen to economy with all the liberalism Obama proposes? Where the money will come from to finance his lofty liberalism? Obama will snooze on Wall street cudling the fat Bears. AMerica needs somebody with experience at the moment not some body who gives speeches and then vaccation at Hawai while common people on the road is suffering. He is enjoying $28500. dinner with his elitist froends while everyday person is worried about his job. Do you think these people paying so much money will not ask for favours later, so stupid to think Obama is a man for change. He is a nasty politician making fool of average American.
    But still a lot of idiots just blindly follow his rhetoric. His wife was more concerned with their kids back to school week rather than people who were killed at ground zero.
    So long America.

    September 16, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  16. GOP for obama


    September 16, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  17. Yes We Can

    Since she is not there anymore "check the reason"isn't she a great one giv ing advise or is it on how to screw the public ,lie more Republican advice

    September 16, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  18. dennise

    Because she knows deeply that the republican ticket lacks substance.

    September 16, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  19. BV

    To Nightingale in Berkley Square .....Do you have an identity issue?? Obama man turn you on?? I think the cats out of the bag.
    Doesn't sound risky to me. Sounds like more votes.

    September 16, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  20. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    McCain can not use a computer something as simple as point and click. Knows nothing about economics. Took on a cheerleader for VP

    How are they going to put country first?

    So sad the largest melting pot in the world still does not practice tolerance. We have not developed socially over the past 40 years since MLK

    Americans today still vote by their prejudices even if it will hurt the nation.

    September 16, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  21. Joe citizen abroad

    I'm no McCain supporter, but Ms. Fiorina saying that McCain couldn't run a company is like the pot calling the kettle black. Look at the shape she left HP in! Headlines today: twenty-four-thousand jobs to be cut. 24 THOUSAND! The thing that makes me seriously question McCain is that he chooses to surround himself with hacks like Fiorina and Palin. I think there's a serious problem with his judgement.

    September 16, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. Jojosmith

    Whoever votes for Mccain-Palin is true Moron. Keep up the good working getting another Bush into Office. If they get in I will go to Church and pray this Country go into Depression. Let me ask you these questions to this Morons are you better off than 8 years ago? What kind of Wacko is Palin that she would say no abortion for women that got raped. Now think do you want to carry your rapist son or daughter? I think any sense person there answer would be NO. I rather go with Harvard educated person than someone that is not.

    September 16, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  23. Jim Holt

    Liberal loons can't get it right...spin spin spin

    September 16, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  24. jo

    Ms. sexiest out, One person who knows about economy in mcsame group.

    September 16, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  25. Kevin

    I just read the transcript and she doesn't think any of the candidates are qualified to run a public company. She actually thinks Obama is the least qualified. CNN should think about sending its executives to Toyota to learn why it is important to deliver customers a quality product.

    September 16, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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