September 16th, 2008
07:18 PM ET
2 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. Jasmine

    It doesn't matter what she said. McCain will still win in Nov.

    September 16, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  2. jack

    Great job!!!!!!!!! Carly Fiorina was simply speaking the truth. Mccain/Pailin is a joke, America. Obama/Biden is the dream ticket that will get us out of the mess we currently find ourself.

    God will get us out of this mess through Obama.

    Obama '08.

    September 16, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  3. True Blue Grandma

    Of course she said Obama and Biden weren't qualified. That's what she's supposed to say, she's on the McCain campaign. It's not news to trash the opposition. It IS news when you trash your own candidates. So, does she think she herself is more qualified than ANYBODY to run a business ... or to be president?

    September 16, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  4. DEPORTER

    Once again CNN only presents the liberal side of the story. I haven't seen anything yet on the Obama camp going from "change we can believe in" to "change we need". Obviously if we couldn't "believe in it" we don't "need" it either.

    September 16, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  5. Cc

    jross, agree with you. I would trust any CEO of Fortune 500 to be P/VP as compared to Gov. Palin. Hell, I would never accept a position under a person like Palin, irrespective of the pay. It is demeaning.

    September 16, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. Connie

    Geesh, ANOTHER person in the McCain campaign that they're going discourage from talking to the media. Even cancelled scheduled interviews.

    Pretty soon, there ain't gonna be none of 'em talking!

    September 16, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  7. Republican voting for Obama/Biden

    McCain's campaign with his leadership is devouring itself.

    Obama/Biden

    September 16, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  8. greggery peccary

    Who cares what she thinks. But at least she condemns McStain/Palin, so she is on the right track at least

    September 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  9. Terry

    CNN - why not bother to tell the whole story? She said neither could Obama or Biden. She's not my idea of a good CEO, but your slanted coverage is no better and demeans journalism.

    Grow a male appendage and present the facts for a change!

    September 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  10. AJ

    Bye-bye, Carly. – McCain/Palin

    September 16, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  11. GOD Help Us

    Actually, Renee & Stacey, the reason CNN isn't discussing Carly making the same comments about Obama/Biden is that she WORKS FOR THE MCCAIN/PALIN CAMPAIGN. Uh, if it were me, I would prefer someone who speaks for my campaign to actually offer poor feedback on...the other guys.

    Is this the best you can do to show "liberal media bias"? You guys really do only hear and see what you want, don't you?

    September 16, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  12. Mad Puppy

    Jesus, what is wrong with you people at the Clinton News Network...your own story says she included Obama and Biden in that comment and your headline is all about McCain and Palin; can't you clowns at least pretend to be unbiased? If not come out and have the guts to say "yes, we're Democrats and we want them to win"
    Grow some...

    September 16, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  13. TyKansas

    For all of you who are 'outraged' that the article didn't mention her take on Obama, please read it again: "She also said she did not believe Democrats Barack Obama or Joe Biden had the right business background either." The reason the majority of the press is mentioning Palin is because A: This is coming from someone in the McCain/Palin camp (not the LIBERAL MEDIA!!!!!), and B: she spoke these words about Palin first, and later mentioned the other three to help clean up her mess (kind of like McCain cleaning up his strong economy statement).
    All that said, I don't care if any of the candidates could run a major corporation. Just get us out of this hole Bush has us in.

    September 16, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. Susan

    Uh, Carly, you are now in the back of the bus!

    September 16, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  15. Kyla

    Can you PLEASE report the entire story instead of bits and pieces. She said that neither McCain nor Palin are equipped to run a company because they do not have corporate experience, but that is entirely different from running a country. She did state that Obama was least qualified of all of the VP and Presidential candidates. Once again, CNN has skewed the entire statement to indicate that McCain's own staff doesn't think he is capabable of running a country. You guys need to "keep it honest", like you preach you do.

    September 16, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  16. Tayo, NY

    What a shame.

    McCain and Palin not qualified to head a cooperation. That is interesting.

    How can they lead the whole of American economic, and indeed thre whole world?

    September 16, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  17. Peter Hulst

    Fair enough. The logic that if you have governed the small state of Alaska for less than 2 years, you'd be qualified and experienced enough to lead the US as president if need be, is just as twisted as saying that if you're qualified to be US president you're then also automatically qualified to be CEO of any type of large corporation.

    When we look for a president we look for someone with a unique set of skills, a strong vision and good judgment. Someone who understands foreign policy, economic issues, poverty, healthcare, education, etc.
    When we hire CEOs we look for someone who really understands one particular business. CEO jobs and those of political leaders are not swappable.

    September 16, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  18. Penn Voter

    Sit down already.

    September 16, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  19. rose

    Maybe she can claim sexism made her say such statements. It seems to be her favorite word.

    September 16, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  20. James

    Her remarks were specific but odd. Maybe she was jealous that she wasn't picked for VP by McCain. She didn't have the experience to be VP like Sarah has. It sounds like a self appreciatiating remark.

    September 16, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  21. Jim Ax

    Why don't you tell the whole story instead of your usual twisted half-truths? Truth is that she said none of the candidates nor their running mates could run a company. This is why you have minimal credibility. Wake up.

    September 16, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  22. Susan

    Forgot to add this. Mis Fiorina backtraced on her original statement on a radio interview, where she palin wasn't qualified to run a corp. like HP. The addition of McCain came hours after when she tried to correct her flub by adding the rest of the candidates. don't try to change the story of the truth. that is all Republicans like to do is kie and slander. Gorw up guys. We have had Enough of the Republican Facist rule of America!

    September 16, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. Tim

    I'm all for McCain and Palin, and pray that they do win, but asking Carly to help on a republican campaign is like asking Gilligan to pilot the love boat.

    September 16, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  24. brian

    Lame headline. This is about McCain's economic adviser telling the public that McCain isn't qualified to be the chief executive of the nation's economy. No thei White House as a whole isn't like a profit-driven corporation, but the areas of economic importance are far more important to everyone in the country than any one company is.

    P.s. Obama is running a $30 million/month campaign and he's doing a rather good job at it. I'd trust him with our economy over McCain, Palin or Ms. CEO Fiorina.

    September 16, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  25. Mike

    More creative editing from CNN(what a shocker)!

    But hey, at least they're not as bad as those idiots at MSNBC.

    September 16, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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