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. laa

    CNN should be ashamed at how biased this story is. Fiornia’s comments included all of the candidates for President and VP. But the headline CNN ran with and the majority of this story only mentions the slant that CNN wants to put on the story. Fiornia’s actually said, “I don’t think John McCain could run a major corporation. I don’t think Barack Obama could run a major corporation. I don’t think Joe Biden could run a major corporation. But on the other hand a major corporation is not the same as being the president or vice president of the United States…”

    This is the truth without any bias or slant. Once again Fox News covered this story with no bias. I’m sticking with Fox for my news.

    September 16, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. POP

    Go Florina Go...expose the fraud ticket!

    September 16, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. Derek Benson

    Come on now CNN, you need to post the whole quote, not just the snippets that support your liberal agenda.
    She also said that Obama and Biden weren't capable either.
    I guess I will do CNN's reporting and post the true quote.
    I'll expect the check made out to my name. Thanks.

    "I don’t think John McCain could run a major corporation. I don’t think Barack Obama could run a major corporation. I don’t think Joe Biden could run a major corporation. But on the other hand a major corporation is not the same as being the president or vice president of the United States,” Fiorina said.

    “It is a fallacy to suggest that the country is like a company. So of course to run a business you have to have a lifetime of experience in business, but that’s not what Sarah Palin, John McCain, Joe Biden or Barack Obama are doing,” she said.

    September 16, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. Charles in Cincinnati

    It shows you that Carly has more ego than brains. How in the world could she have thought this would help McCain? Or was she just being honest? And that, as we all know, is strictly verboten in the McCain-Palin campaign.

    September 16, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. Anita

    Yes Fiorina got fired! and she is NOT on either ticket.

    At least we haven't heard of her firing a competent employee to hire one of her loyal friends, nor of her husband sitting in on board meetings and being copied on all communications, we also have not heard of her cutting down on her duties and hiring someone to run the HP for her while she got all the glory!

    You want equality then give equality. Compare her accomplishments with Palin's from how many colleges she attended to her years at the helm of companies!

    And you bet if for example Fiorina got a ring worth millions and then decided she did not want to marry the man but kept the ring you would cry foul. and you would definitely not call her a reformer.

    So why not ask Palin to return all the millions she got for the bridge to nowhere? She did take the money gladly, then changed her mind but kept the money. If she wants to show her reform status then RETURN all the money!!

    September 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  6. scooter

    this is the same CEO that destroyed HP, she should not be commenting on what a good CEO should be

    September 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  7. Conservative who backs Fiorinas comment

    "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.

    see the REAL Issues out there folks .. stop worry what he said she said and look at whats HAPPENING / HAPPENED / and PLANNED TO HAPPEN ... think dont react

    September 16, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  8. John

    Nice job CNN. You did a nice job of editing the quote and presenting a TERRIBLY misleading one liner on your main page. Par for the course. What is journalism these days anyways? Not sure anymore. I am sure this wont get posted, but I have to say it anyways.

    September 16, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  9. Jason Bourne

    Stop twisting the truth CNN..........it is disgusting. Now for the true comment made

    “I don’t think John McCain could run a major corporation. I don’t think Barack Obama could run a major corporation. I don’t think Joe Biden could run a major corporation. But on the other hand a major corporation is not the same as being the president or vice president of the United States,” Fiorina said.

    “It is a fallacy to suggest that the country is like a company. So of course to run a business you have to have a lifetime of experience in business, but that’s not what Sarah Palin, John McCain, Joe Biden or Barack Obama are doing,” she said.

    “I think this is a pattern of the Obama campaign. What they did was deceitful. They literally cut words off,” Fiorina told FOX News.

    “Secondly, they are sort of flooding the zone with nonsense. Look, different experiences prepare you for different jobs. Sarah Palin and John McCain are uniquely experienced to be the president and vice president of the United States. Barack Obama is the least qualified candidate running today in terms of his executive experience, in terms of his time in public office. So I think the Obama campaign would do very well to stop hurling the experience argument, because their candidate for president has less than any one else for office right now on these two tickets,” she said.

    September 16, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  10. mitchell

    mccain/palin? arent they the ones tellin' stories about bridges ,earmarks,trips to iraq and ireland,obama's tax plan,false ads,iraq/pakistan borders,shiite al-qaeda members,"i will veto beer",moose /caribou/polar bear/wolf- killer, "we are all georgians", bush doctrine ["in what regards,charlie?"],'the economy is strong","you're all just whiners","i can see russia from here"? are they still here?

    September 16, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  11. Brigitte

    All else put aside, I think she gave the McCain-Palin camp a little stub by pointing out that women who's contraceptives aren't covered by insurance while Viagra is, want a choice: just what McCain is so against! And he calls that reforming Washington. In which direction? Not forwards, but really rather backwards? How can any woman become a CEO without reproductive choice? It says sth. about the motives why McCain chose a VP from the small town, who brags a lot and knows little. Surely, McCain doesn't want women to succeed, unless they agree to play "bubbly" little girl.

    September 16, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  12. Dem

    Of course she said the same of Obama/Biden...that's not newsworthy. It would be newsworthy if a McCain aide said Obama COULD run a corporation and McCain couldn't.

    Carly couldn't run water. What's the difference between HP of today and HP pre-Carly? Lipstick...and loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

    And because of Sarbanes-Oxley, CEOs have to tell the truth or go to jail, so that excludes the McCain/Palin campaign.

    Thanks but no thanks.

    September 16, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  13. bill from michigan

    Screwed up HP and now the campaign. I love it. She and McCain is a joke.

    September 16, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  14. BlahBlahBlah

    I hope that they keep Carly Fiorina in the spotlight. The clown is really quite amusing.

    September 16, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  15. John McPain

    She is one of the worst CEOs. This is why she is no longer a CEO. She is one of the people Mcain is talking about when he says CEO get paid to fail because HP paid her over 40 million to ruin HP.

    Look it up people. When she was in office everyone in the office was tapping each others phones and bugging their offices. Now HP is laying off again. They paid her over 40 million to get lost.

    September 16, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  16. Susan 4 Obama

    WHY is it that this woman can't shut up?!? Mind-boggling, really...

    September 16, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  17. j233guru

    McCain/Palin – Four More Years!!!

    September 16, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. Fred

    HOW SEXIST!

    Karl Rove says McCain's ads aren't 100% truthful, and there's no response from the campaign...Rick Davis says the election isn't about issues and it's not held against him...but Carly Fiorina slips up and BAMMM! she's gone.

    You go GIRL! I got your Women for Obama t-shirt already ordered!

    September 16, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  19. mike

    Let's be honest here, in the same breath – in the very SAME sentence – she said the SAME thing about ALL the candidates. Obama, Biden, McCain, and Palin.

    But what do we get from a left-leaning media outlet? A stand-alone title which reads, "Palin, McCain can't be a CEO, says aide." It isn't until six paragraphs (of a nine paragraph article) in does the reader discover that she made the same remarks about all the candidates.

    On a side note, I happen to agree with her and I believe that my company's CEO would not make a good president.

    September 16, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  20. KenB, MI

    The McCain camp has lost all control of this campaign...I give her credit for being honest.

    September 16, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  21. DNice

    Nice headline CNN...Maybe it should have mentioned that she said "No canidate was qualified to be CEO"...your unfailing bias continues!

    September 16, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. Sue in MI

    Hey everybody-her comments on McCain Palin made the headline because she's a very visible, very vocal spokesperson for the REPUBLICANS! She's supposed to be on their side. With friends like these, and all that?
    That said, I haven't liked her comments thus far, and since she ran a company into the ground, does she even know what she's talking about?

    September 16, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  23. Chris in CA

    Has anyone taken notice to the fact that ALL these Tickers, no matter the topic, are HEAVILY against the Republican ticket from all parts of the country?

    September 16, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  24. Rodney

    This is one of mccains major fiancial advisers.. Does anyone realize Mccains major advisor shipped a ton of jobs overseas and she left her company is such great shape that they just had to announce they are going to have to lay off over 25,000 people.. Wow if she can do that to a company imagine how many jobs she can get america to lay off!!! And she doesn't even have confidence in Mccain or Palin..

    September 16, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  25. karlc

    Carly is very capable and smart CEO. She very successfully merged Compaq and HP, and HP the number one PC maker in the world. One of the most successful merges in IT industry. She is telling the truth. Mccain is brain-dead, clueless and beyond repair. America will be very hopeless for next several years if ignorant people elect him.

    September 16, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
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