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. Jane

    Not all republicans are dumb! I am voting for Obama/Biden, I am a republican who feels Palin is completely unqualified for this job! If McCain were younger maybe the situation would not be so dire, but the fact is the man is old, he is 72 which basically means he is in his "bonus" years! As my husband puts it "These are complicated times that do not require the simple minds of McCain & Palain"! Senator Obama shows great thought when he speaks, it is evident he doesn't make "knee jerk" decisions, and the man is highly intelligent. We don't need medicore minds running this country anymore, not after Bush/Cheney! I just believe many moderate republicans will cross over! Whenever I watch McCain I have no idea what he is talking about, and Palin is extremely annoying to listen too, she denfintely has a simple mind, it shows!

    September 16, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  2. JC

    McCain adviser Fiorina: Palin not ready to run a corporation.

    Great biased headline. She also said the same about Obama and Biden, but since the PAC at CNN knows people only read headlines they can shamlessly promote their own political agenda. If you remember Obama was christened the next president by the media because of a speech, not anything of substance.

    September 16, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  3. Independent Dave, Iowa

    Biden-Like is a compliment!

    September 16, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  4. Jean, Indiana

    Good to see Fiorina offer some independent judgment.

    After a weekend on script making the talk show rounds, having to say The View and print journalists were "disrespectful" for calling McCain on his ad campaign lies, good to see she has any judgment.

    September 16, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  5. Ken

    She is so right!

    Obama thinks that he is running a #30 Million/Month campaign, but everyone should know that it IS NOT Obama who is running the campaign, but others that do know what they are doing and it is not just one person but a team.


    Both McCain and Palin have way more experience in running things than Obama will ever hope to run!

    McCain/Palin 2008

    Hillary Clinton 2012

    September 16, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  6. McDrain/Failin

    You'd think with 45+ million, she'd not look like Howdy Doody in a national TV interview. or that she could buy some common sense.

    September 16, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  7. SamSunny

    Maybe it is just the Truth.......for once, coming from the McCain Campaign. Obiously all Sarah call do is repeat the same old speech over, over and over again. Palin is just like a parrot with her repetitious speech patterns. Does the woman have any free thinking ideas beyond her scripted Convention speech?

    September 16, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  8. rob

    hahahaha mccains camp is dumb and stupid out of touch with americans

    September 16, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  9. James Flaherty

    Many Washington insiders are now expressing their doubts about whether or not President McFudd is capable of running the country. When asked about the deteriorating situation on Wall Street, the President responded, "Pesky wabbit!"

    September 16, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  10. Ron Pab,San Francisco

    well obama is the riskiest candidate that can't run a company.
    a community organizer has no responsibilities.To sit in White house
    is like sirtting in the biggest company in the world.We need people with executive experience to run this powerful country.Not with
    obama who will depend on army of advisers.

    Wake up America.Lets give MCain/Sarah a shot.

    Then if they fail in 4 yrs.Hilliary Takes Over.

    McCain/Sarah 2008
    Hilliary 2012

    September 16, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  11. Hillary then McCain

    Everybody is a liar except Obama? I've heard the lies and liars words since Hillary was still in the race. They were saying Obama’s supporters are most of young educated. Well I only see the words lies and liars in their comments. Here's my question to you Jack Cafferty. Are they only educated the words Lies liars and the nasty comments from where they call their College. How are they going help their Country that they claim they love?

    September 16, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  12. MartaK

    I was the very first person to comment on this story at 8:01 pm and yet my post was censored and instead the first post comes from someone else a full 22 minutes after I posted mine. For weeks now, all my posts to the Political Ticker stories have been not allowed. WHY? I never say anything against your terms or policies.

    September 16, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  13. Tim

    Biden is known for occasionally saying stupid things, and then admitting he was wrong, reconsidering the issue, and then apologizing. The McCain campaign practices outright deception. Two different things.

    September 16, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  14. Valerie - North Carolina

    So, Carley is judging the ability of others to run a corporation. Interesting – since she drove HP into the ground and they finally showed her the door. And this total failure as CEO gives her insight to who can do the job? Wow!!! Barack Obama is highly educated, , intelligent, has drive and the sincere desire to help this country. Joe Biden is totally qualified to be VP and to step in, if needed. This team is what the country needs and not a 72 year old once-decent man and a cheerleader like Sarah Palin, lightly educated and with a swirl of controversy surrounding her. The more I hear of Ms. Palin, the more the thought of her as president scares me more than I can say. At one time I had great respect for McCane but no longer. How could he had made such a selection knowing his age and his cancer history. That makes me very sad. Obama/Biden in November....

    A Senior Southern Lady – Independent voter

    September 16, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  15. Tenderfoot

    Congratulations, you have just become a martyr for the McCain Campaign. It's actually pretty brilliant, killing two birds with one stone this way. They refute your comments AND make Biden look bad, it's a win-win.

    September 16, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  16. lovable liberal

    Carly thinks well of herself, but as many others have said, she turned out not to be qualified to run HP – or even to spy on her own board.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  17. Lousy_Republicans

    GOP have screwed the nation for past 8 years.High foreclosures, Bankruptcy, Unemployment,High gas price and list goes on and on..Did they say "Country First".They should be ashamed of themselves.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  18. biscuits

    I think it's great that Obama supporters are talking about experience when Obama can't even talk without a teleprompter, has achieved absolutely nothing with his career and yet again, as jake tapper from abc posted tonight, lied about his accomplishments.

    Please, talk more about the lack of experience McCain's VP has, please!

    September 16, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  19. Ty, Minnesota

    This is the same woman who spied on her employees and outsourced jobs to other countries. She probably supports the McCain/Bush policies because that's exactly what they do. Kiss your civil liberties and jobs goodbye if Republicans continue to run this country.

    September 16, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  20. Chris

    Hey Fiorina...weren't you FIRED from HP? I do believe HP's stocks jumped as high as 10.5% after news of your OUSTING was shared with the world. Looks like you're all dried up too.

    September 16, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  21. biscuits

    By the way, the good news is they can get rid of Carly without much fanfare, Obama can't get rid of plagiarizer Biden without completely throwing the election.

    September 16, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  22. Malcom Z.

    Terrible gaffe by Fiorina. She just kissed her political future good-bye with this lack of discipline. To be honest, I think that running for president is so much harder and more stressful than a CEO. Think about it. A CEO reports to a board, usually good friends. How hard is that? Obama has gone gray in a year. Any of these candidates could be a CEO. The only incompetent fool is Fiorina.

    September 16, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  23. Susan

    McCain/Palin or is it Palin/McCain as it seems since he's left with empty seats when her greatness is not there, have shown that they have NO clue.. Many people are out of jobs – including a lot of my friends but the economy is fundamentally strong! Congratulations..keep uttering the same lies but in my brain stubborn repetition doesn't convert lies and ignorance into truth! Thanks but no thanks for McCain/Palin!

    September 16, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  24. McCain is a joke

    If your own advisor, who ran a giant like H-P, thinks you're unqualified, that looks pretty bad for you... unless you're John McCain, who still thinks the world is flat...

    September 16, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  25. ber6964

    Sen. Obama has run a historical campaign with a lot of people and money for almost 2 years and managed it really good. I think that qualifies as executive experience. I wonder if both the Ms. Republican Mouth Pieces could have done as well.

    September 16, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
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