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. Reason

    Come on, get it right, especially in the headline. You're acting as a mouthpiece for the Obama campaign. She said none of the four could run a corporation, but it takes a different skill set to run a business than to run the country. And then she said that Obama was least prepared of the four for either task. This is such blatant bias in reporting part of the news and hyping just the part that would help the Dem campaign. Another hatchet job on the truth.

    September 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. Jack

    Hmm, a top McCain official doesn't believe in her own candidate? That can only mean one thing...SHE MUST BE ANOTHER 'TAINTED' PROBE BY THE DEMOCRATS!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Open

    Maybe Fiorina is tired of having to blow the 'sexist' whistle whenever the whim hits the campaign and decided that she'd give McCain a reason to throw her under his bus!!!

    September 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. CM

    A McCain advisor who tanked HP and used her golden parachute to et out.

    Obama singled you guys out for your greed already. Pensions first.

    September 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. Comment

    Wow! their starting to turn on each other.

    September 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. MC

    How sexist of the McCain campaign to bench her.

    September 16, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  7. Sarah....and my last name isn't Palin

    She's just trying to make herself feel better about her running HP to the ground.

    September 16, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. Lorna, NY

    Carly is just as dumb. She is jealous that she did not get the VP spot. I am waiting for the cat fight!

    September 16, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. Don B.

    Perhaps a headline more reflective of the article's content and Ms. Fiorina's comments would have been, "Fiorina: No candidate ready to be CEO of HP".

    September 16, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  10. Vinton

    Be careful now, truth and politics don't necessarily mix!

    September 16, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. julie

    Wow, Not only is McCain running a dirty campaign against the Democrats which even Karl Rove agrees, but McCain has now started eating his own in a desperate attempt to be President. McCain where is the honor ?

    September 16, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Johanna not voting GOP

    I guess the McCain campaign will put her on a two day "time out" like he did with Phill Graham.

    September 16, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. Jon

    Was it not HP that let her go because she could not run the company and took a big cash payout. Look who is running McCains campain if that is not big bus. I don't know who is.

    September 16, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. Gelina

    FOOLS

    September 16, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. nate

    She'll be dining w/ Phil Gramm tonite and looking for work tomrw.

    September 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Tim, Cincinnati, OH

    Carly said NONE of the four of them (McCain, Obama, Biden, Palin) could run a major corporation and she's right. It requires a different skill set than governing. They couldn't perform brain surgery either. What's the controversy??????????

    September 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. S. Boatman

    She Is Right On This One! Mccain Or Palin Cant Run A Big Business. . . And The Cant Run The Country Either!

    September 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. steve

    I would hope she isn't suggesting that Obama has any qualifications since he has never worked for any corporation in any capacity and has no formal business education. Neither has Joe Biden, a career politician.

    September 16, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. Bill - Dallas, TX

    Carly proved that she can't run one either ,so she ought to know!

    September 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. SC voter

    Sounds like she's a lady who "tells it like it is."

    I'm sure the Dems have thought that all along.

    September 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Tom

    She should know. She can't run a company either.

    September 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. NEXT STOP ON THE CORPORATE LADDER?

    Head of the supply cabinet, handing out pens and pencils!

    PSSST, republicans, do not let her get near the glue, it could get ugly quick!

    September 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. brian

    Biden had nothing to do with this. Why try to bring a Democrat into the republicans mess? It was a McCain surrogate who spoke, Joe had nothing to do with this.

    September 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  24. Cristy

    You should really headline this story more appropriately. Fiorina said that no one on the ticket could run a major corporation, and that means McCain, Palin, Obama & Biden. Try to fairly report and headline the news, which is your job CNN!

    September 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. Copperfield

    I love this pathetic attempt to turn this around on the democrats...

    September 16, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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