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. Democrat for John McCain

    I wonder iof Barack and Biden are qualified to run a company.

    September 16, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  2. Carol

    How predictable that McCain et al would shoot the messenger. Fiorina is not fit to run a company, but at least she told the truth for the first time in this campaign, if not her entire life.

    September 16, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. Ron

    McCain and Pain would screw up a 1 car parade. if they can't run a major corpation, they sure in the hell can't run the country

    September 16, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. Cynthia - Arkansas

    These fools can't even keep their own talking points straight. And they want to run the country? I have been saying that I didn't know who would hire either one of them to run their company, much less the country. I never dreamed a Republican would say it first.

    September 16, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. Carol

    Oh, c'mon, now they are going to spin this that it's Biden's fault? This McCain camp is nuts! Unfortunately, a McCain spokesperson slipped up and accidentally told the truth for a once. I guess the McCain people are not familiar with the concept of 'truth'.

    I had to laugh at the Streisand comment by McCain too. He can't even get a cd of a thirty-year old song by Heart played for him, and he's criticizing Obama because Streisand raising money for him?

    Desperate, senile, old geezer will sell his soul for the presidency.

    September 16, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  6. BS

    I think people are attracted to a Palin ticket because they are suffering in the current economy and want her religion to stop their pain now.
    Those people are going to be really disappointed and disillusioned.

    In my view, her religious views are almost apocalyptic.

    Hopefully, McCain,72, will retire now.

    September 16, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Matt

    No mystery here folks. She's just taking the fall so they can distance themselves from the 25,000 lost jobs.

    September 16, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. Ohio for Obama/Biden 08

    Carly Fiorina should know if John McCain or Sarah palin are ready, because she is an insider in their inner circle, so if Carly Fiorina says they are not ready than they are not.

    September 16, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Peter (CA)

    And she was on the list to be VP. Guess the McCain camp will be "retiring" her for the time being.

    Yes, right wingers, we get it....she said none of the 4 could run a corporation. I think she is wrong because you would have to have a similar set of skills to run such a huge entity, including getting the right people behind you.

    But then again, what does Carly know? She proved she is not capable of running a company either.

    September 16, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. LYNETTE IN CA

    Open mouth, insert foot, bite down hard, then whine!

    OBAMA / BIDEN '08 and Beyond!

    September 16, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  11. Tracey

    Wow! Does John really know this woman! He better distance himself from her really darn quick!

    September 16, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Ahh...McCain throws another one under the bus.

    Is that sexist Fiorina? Or are you just stupid? And if stupid, then how is that for McCain's judgement?

    I think it's a blast watching how incompetent this whole team is, GOP is an endangered species, and based on the remnants of the species...it has a need to be exterminated and put out of its misery.

    No to McCain and all other Republicans...they are the demise of this once great nation!

    September 16, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. troy

    She really shouldn't talk aabout CEO qulifications. When she was finally forced to resign from HP, the company's stock price went up. It is really amusing, though, to see the quality of prople McCain is surrounding himself with. He is a poor judge of character.

    September 16, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  14. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Yeah McCain, way to own your campaign's remarks.

    Now how about McCain's inability to distinguish Shia from Sunni? How about his inability to distinguish the SPIC from the SIPC? How about the fact that he thinks his Commerce Committee does the work of the Banking Committee?

    I guess those are all "Biden-like" comments, too, eh?

    Maybe we have a new term for stupid remarks: McCainisms.

    September 16, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. BrooklineTom

    Ah, we see another example of McCain's deep commitment to women and women's issues. Sounds to me like Fiorina is a bit too smart and a lot too powerful for McCain - he apparently prefers his women to be more like Palin. This is just another example of what a McCain presidency will mean for women - especially smart and powerful women like Fiorina.

    September 16, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  16. Democrat for John McCain

    I wonder if Barack and Biden are qualified to run a company.

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  17. Natasha in tally

    THANK YOU CARLY
    OBAMA 08

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  18. 45 year old white lady for Obama

    the less I see of this woman the better.

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. Mike, FL

    Well, if their own Republican advisor thinks that they don't have what it takes to run a company, how can we trust them to run the country?

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. VA Teacher

    As usual, the media doesn't print the entire comment, rather, picks and chooses what they want to print.

    September 16, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. annie - former democrat

    Firorina beat biden to the first big gaffe

    September 16, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  22. kel

    This is wy to easy Let see if McCain can called this comment sexist.

    September 16, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  23. Paul

    Well, Biden didn't flame out after a few years and get a $21M golden parachute. Elitist, huh? I bet she has 7 houses, too.

    September 16, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. Rodger

    Neither was Carly. She put 19,000 on unemployment, today they have to cut 26,000 more to help fix the company. My HP stock has gone down 80% since she took over. A little bounce after she was fired. Watch the Palin bubble pop....give the American people another two weeks of learning about her and having her lies and illegal activities exposed, and she'll be gone like a bad dream, or should I say national nightmare!

    September 16, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  25. CW

    And Carly knows what she's talking about . . . If anyone can tell you what it takes to not be able to run a company, its Carly Fiorina. After almost ruining HP, I can't think of anyone more qualified to opine on who shouldn't be running companies. McCain had to get hid of her anyway – that $21 million parachute wasn't really consistent with McCain's new-found disdain for fat-cat CEOs.

    September 16, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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