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. Trish

    And this is -The head of the party’s joint fundraising committee with the McCain campaign! Looks like his Campaign is going to take the same dive as Wall Street! It must be hard to find competent economists, accountants, advisers, and Fund Raisers within the Republican Fray! Talk about putting one's foot in their mouth!

    September 16, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  2. NoWay

    That woman is no Biden!!! She is so off the hook with comment after comment why do they even have her out there. Didn't she collaspe her big CEO title?

    September 16, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  3. Cora

    It's amazing me how Republicans will say and do anything to get into the spotlight. They have no shame.

    September 16, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  4. ME ex-pat

    It's already been said many times, but it bears repeating since the liberals who write most of the CNN posts apparently can't read an entire article. Fiornia said NONE of the candidates for President or Vice President could run a US corporation. Anyone who thinks her comments were an attack on McCain/Palin, or demonstrate that Obama/Biden would be more competent to run the country must have made conscious decision to ignore the truth.

    September 16, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  5. KAYLYNN

    The Reps. are turning on themselves....there is a God!

    September 16, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  6. Duke

    First, I am an Obama supporter. That said, McCain's handlers have to shut this woman down. This is not the first time she has said something that hurt the campaign. The funniest part is attempting to judge who could run a major company after she totally ran one into the ground herself. What is her opinion worth here? McCain's handlers should mothball her right away. If she stays on TV she is probably good for 2 or 3 more major gaffes before election day.

    September 16, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  7. bd

    Carly speaks the truth. All four of she spoke of are could not run a business nor have the leadership to move the US in the right direction in the next four years. Carly makes the "Pitbull and H Dawg" look like a joke. Thank you Carly!

    Mccain will marginalize you but you speak the truth.

    September 16, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  8. Lisa

    She was correct in saying that neither of them are trained to run a company, because that is a true statement. Her HP policies were effective, but she was put out of the company by the good ole boy system. Once the stockholders saw her vision to be true and effective, the good old boys were fired. I just wish that all of this foolishness stops and lets truely talk about the issues. Obama and McCain are wasting time with this type of foolishness and time is running out for both ot them. In my opinion, McCain will win this election because Obama has not proven that he knows what is going on and how to solve the problems of all Americans.

    September 16, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  9. Charlie

    Zane, I truly hope you're right that singing time is coming, when I consider the alternative, I can only see lots of despair and pain...When you consider those ready to vote McSame/Pain, it makes me wonder if they like the pain we're in...

    Its bad people, can't you see...Open Your Eyes, Open your minds, Accept the Truth...

    September 16, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  10. Yrag

    Sarah Palin capable of running a Fortune 500 business? The question itself is ludicrous. Have you read the latest about her early governor days? Well it seems that “…Governor Palin hired at least five schoolmates for official positions at salaries that far exceeded their private sector wages.
    One of these, a former real estate agent, was made director of the State Division of Agriculture after citing her childhood love of cows as a qualification for the job…”
    Can you imagine this flying at a large business? A small business? A trailer park? Of course it is similar to GW’s pick for head of FEMA (Katrina mess)…. wasn’t he a dog trainer or something?

    September 17, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  11. Andy in Charlotte, NC

    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.”

    -I don't think he wants you to discuss the economy, taxes, or anything else. He just wants you to shut up and vote for him so he can have power! That's what most politicians do. Maybe he'll make an exception for you if you want to talk about bombing countries or reform, reform, reform.

    McCain = "reform"
    Obama = "change"

    How about we reform/change both of these whackos and elect someone with a brain!?

    September 17, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  12. McCain is Clueless

    Well what will th Republicans find to call the idiot on their campaign staff who today claimed that McCain "invented the Blackberry". How hilarious since McCain himself has admitted he knows nothing about the Internet and does not even know how to use email. Talk about old and out-of-touch!!!! I guess the Republicans can't stand hearing the truth about their candidates since all they do is lie and make things up as they go along. The Republicans are scared and desperate and ready to eat their own to win.

    September 17, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  13. Eric in New Castle

    Obama wants to talk turkey, MCCain wants to talk lies. We have 48 days to decide. This is like STAR WARS, everybody likes the DARK SIDE but you know the JEDI have your best interest at heart. The DEATH STAR IS ALMOST OPERATIONAL THE ONLY WAY TO STOP IT IS TO VOTE. OBAMA/BIDEN

    September 17, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  14. CandiceL

    To the idiot who made the Obama=Socialism crack. What do you call the latest bank/AIG fiasco? Bailing out all these corporations? It looks like Socialism to me. Why don't you learn the definition of Sociaism before you type such stupid opinions.

    September 17, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  15. Brian

    She isnt qualified either. Anyone see what she did to HP? Took years to dig them out of the hole she put them in.

    September 17, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  16. Howard E. Morseburg

    Firona's comment is not that much in error. There are different aspects to rnning a coporation the size of HP to make a profit, and to running a nation. Obama is far less qualified than either of the other candidates for a job at HP, hell, he's not even qualified for a medium sized company because he has nothing in his background as an accomplishment, other than verbiage.

    Fiorina might never have made a good "commander" while yet having exemplary credentials for her position as CEO.

    There is truth in what she says; it just came at the wrong time and in the wrong place.

    September 17, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  17. Will

    Hey, but I bet Palin knows how many states there are.

    September 17, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  18. glenn

    I think this woman has either had a breakdown or just doesn't have anything else to do since she ran HP into the ground. Running a business is easy; all you need to worry about is a bottom-line profit. Government is a little more difficult than that. She does not understand government or how to run a business for that matter.

    September 17, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  19. brian

    Some people think that it is misleading for CNN not to post that she said this about Obama and Biden as well. That is not the point or the story. This woman is McCain's surrogate and she is saying these things about him and his VP. If you don't get that from the article, you might be a McCain vote. I'm sure the rest of us who could pick up on it are the Obama votes.

    September 17, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  20. Larry

    If you want the Democratic vote,all you need to do is tell them that you'll take money from someone else,and give it to them!!What a beautiful socialistic plan.Democrats always want something for nothing.

    September 17, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  21. David in Illinois

    Of course they're not ready to run a company! Where's the news here? And they're certainly not ready to handly a multi-trillion-dollar economy. Heaven help us if Palin should ever succeed to the presidency. We'd have bridges to nowhere EVERYWHERE. She's the Queen of pork.
    McCain? He should retire (he's well past that age as we all know) and Palin should take her lipstick and go back to Northen Exposure.

    September 17, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  22. Angela

    Earlier today, the main article about Fiorina's interview was followed by comments. Quite a number of insightful people pointed out that the headline didn't match the story.

    Now the main article, "McCain adviser: Palin not qualified to be CEO" shows up on the front of the politics section–comments gone. Fortunately, most folks who read the article should see through it.

    This election has been valuable in teaching America to take the news with a grain of salt.

    September 17, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  23. Paul

    Bad thing to say, but it only shows how inexperienced Barck Obama and Joe Biden has, and that McCain is stronger than all three.

    September 17, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  24. Mandy

    There are a few people out there standing by McCain/Palin. These are the voters who are easily fooled and even more easily led.

    September 17, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  25. Nija

    People do not understand that McCain just out sourced the VP job to somebody that he rarely knows. Just like he and Bush outsourced other job abroad. This guy cannot run Walmart with Sarah

    September 17, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
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