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. Silent John

    "Independent" for McCain:
    Sarah Palin can't even give an interview, let alone answer questions from people. She can't even give a varied speech.

    Sheesh... some people.

    Oh and moderator stop censoring me please!

    September 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  2. Audrey

    Who cares if she also said that Obama and Biden weren't qualified to run a corporation...people expect her to say as much, wouldn't you? The story here is that she said the people at the top of the ticket she's supporting, and the reason she's even getting an interview in the first place, were not qualified to run a corporation. She stated them first and the others were second thought....probably because she knew she had just messed up. That's the story and that's why the headlines read as it did.

    This entire McCain campaign is a total farce. Unfortunately we have people in this country that's more willing to drown themselves to keep other people rich. Just plain idiotic.

    September 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  3. Katrina L

    That's the pot calling the kettle black...I don't know of McCain or Palin ever being forced out as CEO of any company, let alone a multi-billion dollar company...

    September 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  4. Kyo

    WHOA! BS alert. Florina actually said NONE of the FOUR candidates are qualified to be CEOs. Search for the full soundbite. CNN didn't fact check this enough. Tisk tisk tisk.

    September 16, 2008 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  5. Anna

    Obama is lazy.

    A mediocre Senator will make a mediocre President.

    Period.

    September 16, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  6. dane

    funny how you mention how its easy attack fodder and thats exactly how you use it in the title of the article. hypocrites

    September 16, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  7. georgia independent

    NEWSFLASH!!! There is one honest person on McCain's team – quick – replace McCain with Carly Fiorina!

    September 16, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  8. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Wow, her interviews have been canceled? Does this mean she gets to join Sarah Palin in the cone of silence? Sequestered Sarah and Captive Carly are going to locked up in Dick Cheney's 'undisclosed' location?

    September 16, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  9. PEL

    Gee CNN, nice link (Ticker: Palin, McCain can't be a CEO, says aide) on your home page. You would'nt be biased now would you?? How about renaming it with the truth, like "Ticker: Palin, McCain, Obama, Biden can't be a CEO, says aide". You clearly can't just report all the facts, only those that you want to sway voters in your 'obvious' political direction. It's this king of reporting tactics that steer me away from your biased news channel to other news channels who are more credible. Do you think we are stupid?

    September 16, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  10. Sarah Plain and small

    Haha, its funny listening to these posters trying to defend what she said by saying she was talking about Obama too.. She clearly said that Palin and McCain are not capable of running a large company, which is, and i would hope, a whole heck of a lot easier than running, oh i don't know, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. !!!!!..... !!@*$@$*$!!!!! and she happens to be one of McCains ADVISORS... so her running her mouth like that about the guy she's supposed to be working for says a lot. and she did, as an after thought say that the guy shes helping McCain run against couldn't either.. But seeing how Obama out ran the freaking clintons, rakes in cash hand over fist, actually has feasible plans for this nation i think he would fare better than McCain who says that he doesnt know much about the economy, and i think anyone could do a better job than carly! but keep on bailing, at least I'm getting a good laugh!

    September 16, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  11. Chad

    Wow, how about CNN taking things out of context. This is blatant. I am an undecided voter. I listened to the interview and follow up with Fiorina. She also said that Biden and Obama would be unfit to run a large multinational corp........to be exact it was the portion of the clip that the obama youtube clip cut mid word.

    These people running for office have different opinions and viewpoints. They want different things, and believe this country needs to be fixed, in radically different ways. Can’t we have open honest reporting about what they REALLY are saying? Why is a "news" site reporting things blatantly out of context? It is really toeing the line of outright manufacturing news or an Obama commercial as a CNN headline.

    Please REPORT THE NEWS. Don’t editorialize it.

    September 16, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  12. bob in LA

    Facts are not gaffes. she could not run Hewlett Packard. Why is it because she may be able to run a small town or has made a few good moves as governor- the mistakes are being investigated- do we think she is invincible?
    A hockey mom is a hockey mom, not a corporate executive.
    A small town mayor is not a diplomate.
    A governor with a state population of under 600,000 and lots of ice, would be eaten alive if sitting accross from the presidents of Russia , China or Venezuela.

    September 16, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. Wendy

    The first thing this woman has said that was true. This is so amusing since I have said this from day one. I have been saying to everyone that John McCain/Sarah Palin could maybe run a Walmart store as managers (Alaska) but they could never run the Walmart Corp (US) in any position. The problem with these two is that they are not complex thinkers and the world know what happens when simple thinking individuals run the most complex business in the world (America).

    September 16, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  14. Christian

    Thanks for the honesty Carly. Guess what...neither is capable to running a government either, not even the state of Alaska.

    September 16, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  15. Marcy

    Congratulations on accurate and unbiased reporting! Fiorina said this same thing about ALL of the candidates.

    September 16, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. Linda

    Carly Fiorina? A loser from HP! And that's what SHE GOT FIRED.
    Can McCain find some sharp people in his campaign instead of these losers?

    September 16, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  17. David

    Finally, someone on the inside telling the truth about the Republican ticket. You would think that a surrogate would know better than to give the other side ammo to use. I think the MCSame camp will closely look at who will go out an talk about the Repub issues. I know they are really scared to let Palin field any questions or talk to anyone. Now is the time Palin should be out speaking to drive home McSame's platform, but they are scared to let her out the box. I know another response like I can see Russia from Alaska would definitely show her experience.

    September 16, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  18. Nagar

    Way to go Carly. I applaud you for telling the truth about Palin.

    If I remember correctly, Carly's original statement on St. Louis radio was about Palin only. She went on CNN and MSNBC later for further spinning and damage control where she included all candidates.

    Poor Carly ... I don't know how you could fit-in in McCain/Palin group when they are riling about CEO pay and corporate greed! You are a poster child for what's wrong with giant corporations, right?

    September 16, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  19. Trasa, Texas

    There's no question that she mentioned all candidates couldn't run a corporation, the point is, if she was smart which she wasn't, she should have only said Obama/Biden instead of looping her candidates in the mix. She says running a corporation is different than running a country, yeah she's right, cause a country is more complexed. With that in mind, if she feels they can't run a simple business, then how in hell are they going to run a country. I'm sick of listening to Carly anyways, I would have dismissed her too for even opening her mouth. I guess they will keep her hidden away along with Palin. I guess they can keep each other company

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  20. mitchell

    i believe ,with barack's intelligence,he could run any company in the world. fortunately, he has sacrficed greed, to serve our nation, in the interests of his children and ours. that's what i call patriotism. he could have been anything. instead he will take on the most difficult job in the world, and people will do anything to tear him down.

    September 16, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. Jorge

    Let's see, who is going to help McLame, who admits he doesn't know much about economics, solve our economic problems?

    1) Phil Gramm, the father of the deregulation that led to the current mess.
    2) Carly Fiorina, failed CEO of HP and recipient of $42,000,000 golden parachute, one of the "fat cats."
    3) Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the idiot who said McSame gave us the "miracle" of the Blackberry and who says the POTUS doesn't really have to get involved as long as he has advisors.

    September 16, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. NLA

    How convenient that everyone leaves out the part that she also said that Obama and Biden couldn't run a company either. So much for unbiased reporting.

    It is unbelieveable how liberal the media is... it is truly sickening how they treat the two different candidates. And don't get me started on Hollywood... The way "The View" treated the McCains was very sad.

    The McCain/Palin ticket is what we need to get this country back to its roots... a society which values honesty, morality, and freedom.

    September 16, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  23. Freedom Loving Patriot (God fearing too!)

    EVERYBODY at HP hated this woman. She was a power abusing nut. She got fired because of it.

    She's knows McCain and Palin but knows nothing about Barrackuda and Joe.

    September 16, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  24. D in Phoenix

    “This campaign source said Fiorina would be discouraged from additional media interviews."

    Get under the bus, Carly, you failed to properly lie for the Alaskan puppet!

    If the McLame supporters can't realize that even their candidate's surrogates think his pick is bizarre, they need to lay off the Kool-Aid.

    September 16, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  25. Vincent Spaulding

    Team McCain == total stupidity ....... Keep those winners coming our way Carly you may get fired from this gig and pull another huge severance.

    September 16, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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