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. Henry

    Carly was already in trouble this morning when McCain railed against stupid CEOs that screwup and get enormous "golden parachutes" of millions of dollars just to go away. Carly got $21 million to just go away after she screwed up HP as CEO.

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

    Frank Smith...

    I totally agree with you, and I'll take that comment even further. I think it's amazing that the rural voters are McCain's base.. especially considering that it's the farmers are people in rural communities that are the most benefited today by government subsidies so that they can keep their farms. And at the same time, they're screaming "yee haw" for McCain and calling Obama a socialist.

    I say take away all the farmer's subsidies and let them live completely socialism free.

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

    Of course the aide will be silenced by the GOP...she spoke the truth! Sarah Palin can't properly run Alaska or her family. What a joke to think this so called "hockey mom" is one step away from the Presidency. Has everyone forgotten John All Lies McCain's age and melanoma history? Seriously she could become president early in his term. If their aides don't believe she nor McCain can run a business, how do they expect them to dig us out of the current financial disaster?

    September 16, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  4. Joseph Claghorn

    So saying something that is not on a teleprompter is very "Biden-like"? I'll take Biden over a scripted candidate any day.

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

    Wow, very misleading headline. You might want to show her entire quote which also states that Obama and Biden couldn't run a corporation. And they say the media doesn't have a liberal bias....hah! Your lack of "journalism" is amusing.

    September 16, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  6. Carl from MI

    Hey Nightingale... you keep saying Obama is risky. As if McCain isn't even riskier!! You're starting to sound like a broken record... everybody knows that McCain is the riskier candidate, if only by going by his 'Maverick' self-labeled title.

    What do you think a 'Maverick' is, by definition? Remember Tom Cruise in the movie 'Top Gun"?? Called himself MAVERICK??? Why, you ask?? Because he thought he took too many RISKS and was DANGEROUS?? Just like your candidate, McCain?? DUH??

    Really... you're just another Republican Hack, regurgitating the Party Line or the daily talking points. You're the Rush Limbaugh of the Ticker...


    September 16, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. karen

    Hmmmm, so they're discouraging her from additional media interviews. I wonder if she'll call that sexist.

    September 16, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. Independent for McCain-Palin

    Obama would do a great job, as long as he has his teleprompter in front of him telling him everything to do. I cant wait for the debates. We all know Hillary killed him in the debates and thats why he wont have more with McCain


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

    When McCain talks about economy and taking steps to correct it, he sounds like that guy in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) ad where he is extolling students and one of the student gets up and says "The End", since he can't take it any more. The ad says "Less talk, More Action". I feel the same way when McCain talks about his economic policies. Obama will take action.

    September 16, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  10. Sally from Cali

    they can't keep the lies going...too much to remember

    September 16, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  11. Jerry - Houston Evacuee

    Why is this a headline? If anyone saw the entire statement and not the Obama campaign's out of context editing, you know this story is a crock.

    September 16, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  12. sallie

    Carly is the perfect example of a "maverick"-arrogant, self-important, uncooperative, vain, stubborn, self-absorbed, and shalllow.

    Most "mavericks" fail because they cannot unify people or ideas. So they start wars, and then they congratulate themselves and brag about their macho persona.

    And the world laughs at them.

    September 16, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  13. Mike

    I worked for Hewlett-Packard (H/P) for 30 years and just retired. I can tell you that I worked in H/P Corporate in Palo Alto, California and just moved to the state of Montana for retirement and fly-fishing. I know Carly Fiorina personally and I will tell you that she almost "ruined" Hewlett-Packard during her CEO days. I remember when the H/P Board of Directors asked or told Carly to leave, asap. Carly should "not" be the one to say that someone else 'cannot' run a major company. Carly Fiorina proved that she 'cannot' run a major company. I remember when H/P stood for "Have Pride".., when Carly left.., H/P meant "Half Price". What does that tell you ? Mike O'Brien.., now living in Big Sky Country.., Montana. P.S.: Carly.., "what goes around.., comes around".

    September 16, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  14. joyinthedetails@GMAIL.COM

    Non-story... it's the economy stupid.

    September 16, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. Hopeful

    Call it what it is...Biden-like = honest

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

    Great job CNN....I guess you forgot to report in the headline that she said the same thing about Biden and Obama. Media bias at its best.

    September 16, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. Alice in Florida

    Obama is a mess, and everyone knows it

    September 16, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  18. Lipstick on a Palin

    If Mark Hurd said it, it would be credible. But Carly was a PRB1 CEO that destroyed a once great company. I'm glad the whole world can now see how incompetent she is. She had every excuse in the book about why she was fired ... this kind of idiocy gets to the heart of the matter,,,, she is incompetent. Go home Carly, the world doesn't need you. You won't get a cush job if McCain is elected, you blew it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    September 16, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  19. Shawna V

    The story DID in fact mention that she said the same of Obama and Biden. The reason that was not the focus? She was recruited to promote McCain/Palin; that's her job – say good things about them. I agree that C.F. is not a business expert by any means, having run HP into the ground, but now she's showing she's not a great surrogate either. I'm a dem but, speaking as a feminist, a competent woman in ANY repub position would be nice at some point...

    September 16, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. America think for you

    Think twice Palin want to attack Russia and Pakistan and give Georgia UN memberships. That was third world war just start by the republicans.
    I am a Democrat and I am voting for McCain. Oh no! Why are you betraying Barack? You know why! Because John McCain had invented the Black Barry. I love my blackberry. McCain know Washington for 30 years, Barack is new to Washington. McCain is smart and does not understand the economy and I am thrill to vote for McCain. McCain is rich and Barack is not. McCain has many houses and Barack does not. If I Americans get evicted from their homes they can get a room each from McCain. McCain is the real deal that will shake up Washington and himself because he is an insider. Sarah Palin is a foreign policy expert because she can see Russia from Alaska Joe Biden cannot see Russia from Delaware. This is why I am not voting for McCain.

    September 16, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  21. Cc

    Like Fiorina, we need to make McCain off the campaign. His comment on economy is no better either.

    September 16, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  22. Rocky A

    I agree as stated above that McCain is too old to run. If there is an age limit to how young (35) a person can be to run for President, then there should also be an age limit to how old they could be. McCain is a man with a questionable health record, he could literally drop dead on January 22nd leaving this Palin person as our President.....a person no one ever heard of before just 4 weeks ago. Please, I fear that America will fail us once again and vote for the party that continues to do the most harm to working people. As a registered Independent who is voting for Obama, i plead you my fellow Americans, Don't fall for the same crap again and again. Throw those RepubliCant's OUT of the White House.

    September 16, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  23. Republican voting for Obama/Biden

    Finally, someone in the McCain/Palin speaks truth about McCain/Palin. Neither one is qualified to run the country.

    Obama/Biden for real change that American's will benefit from. They are for the people.

    September 16, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  24. RS

    So the McCain camp is now saying "if you are a mayor you have executive experience, and if you have executive experience you are fit to be president, but that executive experience is not sufficient to run a company."

    Carly Fiorina was removed from her executive job, time for the McCain camp to let her loose from this one.

    September 16, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  25. greymase

    Joe K, I will spare you the joke about tranposition of the letters in your call sign...but, oh, I can't resist: ARE YOU JOE K-ING??? Carly is part of the RNC. Yes, she said it about the Republican AND Democratic tickets, but it is news when someone shoots at their own side. That's why David Brooks also got so much attention today for writing about Palin's total lack of appropriate experience (he moderated the view somewhat in later commentary, but maintained his 'not a Palin fan' stance). It would not really be news if Terry McAulliffe said he thinks Palin is not experienced enough to serve in the post she seeks – it would be headline worthy if ol' Terry blurted out that Obama is not seasoned enough.
    There is no vast left wing conspiracy here. Just news. Although, I think these guys tend to miss much more important news all the time.

    September 16, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
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