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. Goodness

    Did she blinked?

    September 16, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  2. Michael

    Obama may be at the head but the campaign manager is the one who runs the campaign. That is why he is called the campaign MANAGER he is the one who manages everything. If Obama was the one running it he wouldn't need a campaign manager. So he is either not running it or paying someone to do nothing. So he either wastes money paying someone to sit around and do nothing or he steals credit form them. Doesn't matter to me he will not get my vote simply because he changes his story too many times and says he will not listen to subject experts on topics like military actions which is part of the reason we are in this mess.

    Ohh and by the way Fox ran this story just as well

    September 16, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. Eric

    Thanks CNN for another biased headline and article – you used to be a respectable news organization but now watching CNN is like watching a 24 hour Obama infomerical. Be nice if you started reporting the whole story accurately, you know, objectively, like the media is supposed to be. But then you wouldn't get all that OBama ad money, right?

    September 16, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. tom

    starnge how every one talks nice about Carly Fiorina and her business strengths .. did anyone ever think to ask the rank and file HP employees what they thought of her and the way she ran HP

    September 16, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  5. JOhn

    This is ridiculous.

    Who honestly believes that Obama, Biden, Palin, or McCain can run a corporation?

    September 16, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  6. LaRay

    It might have been a stupid thing to say, but it was the first honest thing that came out of any mouthpiece from the McCain campaign in weeks.

    September 16, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  7. ER P

    Is this lady for real? It is easy to see why she was sacked by HP after almost leading this company to bankruptcy, but how did she ever get to the top? The same way as George W. Bush?
    It is this type of thinking, that it is more difficult to run a company than it is to lead the Government of the most powerful democracy in the world, that has gotten us all into this mess. Let's hope that the American people will have the good sense to give McCain, Palin, the Republicans and the last 8 Bush years the heave-ho, jus like HP did to Fiorina.

    September 16, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  8. NG in DC

    She ran Hewlett Packard into the ground ....now she's working on the McShame-Failing campaign. Nice job!!!

    September 16, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  9. mike

    By the way Jojosmith, before you go calling somebody a "Moron", I would suggest that you check your use of punctuation, capitalization and grammar. Office, church, country, depression, moron, and wacko do not require capitalization.

    "Any sense person.....?" Seriously, what ARE you trying to say?

    September 16, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. Garrett

    Ah.. the smell of MENDACITY... McCain is a LIAR. He's sold his soul for the presidency. I used to admore McCain as a man of honor. So sad.

    September 16, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  11. Ray Fisher

    I guess a fired CEO knows who can and can't be a CEO since she apparently isn't CEO material either!!! Give it a break Carly...

    September 16, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. syl

    People are reading what suit their own biases. In her judgement she is saying the presidential candidates Obama and McCain and the vice presidential candidates Palin and Biden are equally unqualified for a major corporation CEO. So what...that is not the job they are applying for.

    September 16, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. Annie

    cfc do you know the difference between hiring a lobbyist who is a lawyer for advice as opposed to having one lobby you to represent their wishes on the Senate floor? It's two opposite ends of the spectrum.

    September 16, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  14. TyWebb

    Good. She's as much annoying as Palin is a liar.

    September 16, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. KC

    Although I think Fironia is a loser, she was one of the worst CEO's around, I was still trying to give McCain a benefit of the doubt! Yet here again look who he chooses to adivse him. Sorry McCain has lost it.

    September 16, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  16. Stick Figure Thin

    The woman looks like she hasn't had a decent meal in months ... her faculties are bound to be comprised.

    McWar will set her out to pasture "to spend more time with family" by the end of this week.

    September 16, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. Garrett

    What does it say about the McCain campaign that they have this lady supposedly speaking on his behalf?

    September 16, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  18. Chase

    Frankly the comments on here that CNN is being misleading in their headlines are ridiculous. First: Fiorina spoke this comment initially about Palin, then McCain, and only after being called on it, in a later interview covered Obama and Biden.

    If you actually read the article, they clearly report this. But at the end of the day, McCain-Palin supporters tend to lean more towards headlines and soundbites, than reading and critical thinking.

    September 16, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  19. Sage

    how sad it is that instead of just saying she made a mistake, miss spoke or anything resembling the...dare i say truth, McCain tries to tie her stupidity to Biden...McCain camp is getting more desperate as the days go by. CNN why no report on how McCain had to ask Cindy Lou how many more days until the election? why CNN, no mention of the "enough is enough", the "yes i can" sign at the McCain rally, everything Obama comes up with McCain has to copy...is Johnny come lately running for President or as an Obama impersonator?

    at any rate with all of the McCain LIES no rational person believes a word from his lips anyway, that also goes for his outdoor Barbi,Palin

    September 16, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  20. Troy

    McCain said, and I quote, "I will keep your jobs safe". For crying out loud! This is the guy who supported big companies to take their jobs over seas. He supports off-shore jobs 100%.
    McCain is saying anything to attract a vote

    September 16, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  21. bennie texas

    to mcCain suppers why is it ok for maccain not to ware a flag pin, but why obama have to ware one is it because mccain is white , and obama black. why is that not double stander. i dont understand obama 08

    September 16, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  22. Go Obama!

    And HP's stock plunged 70% under her rule. Appears she's not capable of running a company either.

    September 16, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  23. MZ

    SHE ALSO SAID OBAMA AND BIDEN could NOT run a company either. Ms. Fiorina apparently can't run one right herself.
    Mccain will ( should ) certainly show her the door.
    Meantime CNN needs to present a headline that is unbiased and more accurately represents what is in this story.
    NOBAMA IS A FALSE PROPHET !!!
    MCCAIN/PALIN '08 !!!

    September 16, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  24. michael s

    this was no gaffe...its fiorinia ...she got herself into trouble at HP and SHE couldn't run the business either.

    She was run off because she's ignorant.

    September 16, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  25. Sheila, CT

    Dane, despite all the experiences that McCain and Palin "may" have, I still prefer Obama... you can't teach old dogs new tricks..period

    And do you also believe that McCain and Palin are running the campaign themselves? They're just puppets, the lobbyist are the ones running the campaign...

    September 16, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
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