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. Wendy Canada

    Her comment was true but also very arrogant. She obviously feels her job was more important then running the country. She's supposed to be very intelligent but she's definitely not very smart about politics! Isn't this the second major "gaff" she's made?

    September 16, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  2. Linda from AZ

    I don't care for the lady but she is right...because the government is NOT ran like any successful business is!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  3. Zack

    Her comments on McCain/Palin made the headline because she is a top official for the McCain/Palin campaign!

    If she would have made these comments about the opposition only it wouldn't have been news!

    brian – your comment is right on.

    The right wing base getting upset about unfair media bias and claiming that FOX news is "fair and balanced" is just bizarre. Ignorance is bliss...right guys?

    September 16, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. Mark

    You know, I am getting tired of hearing what Sarah can NOT do.
    Lets ask this question for all of those who feel she does not has the experiance or knowledge of big government to do the job.
    What have the people in Washington who are supposed to have the knowledge doing. Running this country into the ground. And it has just not been the last eight years. We have people who have been in congress and senate for WAY longer than eight years.
    We need to kick everyone out and start over. And I do not just mean Democrats or Republicans, I mean all of them. And we need to get past this party politics crap,,,
    Washington needs to remember,, we the people, for the people.
    Not my party wants me to vote this way or that way.

    None of the four could run a business, just like Bill Gates could not run the country.

    September 16, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  5. George

    Sick of the biased headlines, CNN.

    You're worse than the candidates! You misconstrue headline and quotes more than they do! And you're the "most trusted name in news"?

    That's laughable.

    September 16, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. Tyson

    They way you guys headlined this story is a bias as anything I've seen on here. You actually headlined it with two different biased headlines. I read and watch CNN regularly, but this was too much. When you read the article, you clearly know that this woman was talking about all 4 of them, and you have a very clear understanding of her comparison and contrast between government and corporate business. The headlines lead you to believe something different. This is not a Joe Biden moment, clearly, and the headlines are a little tabloidish...yellow.

    September 16, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  7. Mary

    Being President or VP is a bigger job than being the CEO. Yikes

    September 16, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  8. Marcello

    Biden has a sense of humor. Fiorina doesn't. There's nothing "Biden-like" about her.

    September 16, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  9. Suzanne

    For those of you saying CNN is biased because they didn't type in the rest of her quote:

    Click on Political Ticker at the top of the screen, scroll down a little, and you'll see the full story and quote.

    So, the media is bias for calling out McCain campaign BS, but it's ok to only attack Obama?

    Who is biased?

    September 16, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |

    If McCain and Palin are are not qualified neither is Barock or Bidden

    September 16, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  11. PA

    Thanks people for choosing McCain/Palin, the clueless ticket. Bush had no clue and Dick Cheney/Haliburton took over. Who's gonna take over when both on the ticket are spaced out?

    September 16, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  12. Adrienne

    McCain is a poodle. A kept man. McCain is now sucking off Palin like he sucks off his wife. McCain is the suckers choice. McCain sucks, the Iraq war sucks, and the economy sucks. The Iraq war cost 10 billion a month and that is money being sucked from your wallet and food being sucked from your childs mouth. If you want 4 more years of being a sucker then vote for McCain. McCain is The Suckers Choice.

    September 16, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. sneaky pete

    The reason CNN and other readers are talking about her saying those things about McCAin/Palin and not Obama/Biden is bc SHES ON MCCAINS STAFF!!! is it that hard to figure out?

    September 16, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  14. Frances

    The Republicans can't distance themselves fast enough from McCain/Palin. This ticket is done.

    September 16, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  15. goldieluck

    The media is running the show. Every time I turned the tv on, I get sick on my stomach. How could these people live like this. Most of the media are one sided and mostly are in favor of McCain and Palin. You cover their lies that makes you liar too. Some Media are Out of Touch because they were afraid to pay more taxes if Obama wins. If you really love this country, you should not mislead people especially the sway voters who don't have internet access to know the real truth. Forget your own agenda and protect our country from greed. Giving is good! Give our country a break! Obama is for Change! McCain stole his LOGO. We all know that, please stands from the truth. You Bless and in the position of making bad and good choices of good politics coverages. You ow this country so much. Do what is right! I am not a sway voter. I'll vote for Obama, the candidate I Trust, and so do you.

    September 16, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  16. aware

    Fiorina isn't the issue!

    Didn't anyone inform Obama that Senator McCain was so badly injured as a POW that he can't keyboard, text, comb his hair or tie his shoes before they put out another vicious attack lie? 😦

    The desperate democratic guy or the great pretender Obama has been eclipsed by the real thing – Governor Palin! She is in his head, and all he can do is deliver obfuscating, prevaricating and vicious attacks!

    McCain/Palin 08! 🙂

    September 16, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  17. cfc

    biden hires lobbyist – perhaps john king you might run a story on this –how absurd for the obama to publish ad on this against mccain

    will the msm publish this: Biden hires lobbyist to advise Senate run

    September 16, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  18. dane

    Brian Wrote – "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.'

    If that is all you got in regards to experience you dont see that as a problem? This is the dumbest logic i have ever heard, do you really believe he is running the campaign by himself? yikes

    September 16, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  19. Geoffrey Sperl

    She's one to talk. She was fired from HP for good reason – she couldn't run the company properly.

    Plus, if this were a job interview, I would trust someone who wants to try something new than his competitor who wants to continue eight years of failures.

    September 16, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  20. Zane

    Everybody sing!~~~~~~~~~~The Party's Over~~~~~literally!!!!

    September 16, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  21. Michele

    This is a false article CNN, you are stooping to the level of the rest. Carly apparently said that "none" of the candidates could be CEO of a company. Get the record straight please. I though you stood for fair respresentation.

    To be honest though, who cares!!! Let's concentrate on the topics that matter, that should be the headlines!! There is so much news to care about this crap.

    Please don't stoop to be like the rest of them!!

    September 16, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  22. KofTX

    Hey, she knows that McCain or Palin doesn't have what it takes to nurse our failing economy back to health....

    Ironically, this is coming from a person who was a miserable CEO and received one of the "golden parachutes" McCain has so half-heartedly railed against.

    Funny thing is, she's one of his economic advisers!

    September 16, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  23. Nevada dude



    September 16, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  24. Jack

    she "ALSO SAID"


    She said McCain or Palin or Obama or Biden and the headline is "Palin or McCain."

    Don't touch CNN, you might get their slime on your hand.

    September 16, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  25. Janice Il

    What was wrong with what she said? None of them could run it was the comment. I would bet on her being exacly right on the money.

    September 16, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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