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. Repubican voting for Obama/Biden

    Finally, a Republican from McCain campaign told the truth. McCain/Palin aren't capable of running a company. They sure aren't capable of running the USA.

    Do you want McCain messing with your Social Security? Do you want McCain putting it in privale companies? Bush wanted to and so does McCain.

    Obama/Biden for real change.

    September 16, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. Craig

    I believe this is the first time a heard a Republican STRAIGHT TALK...You go girl...thanks for your true thoughts.....Go OBAMA/ BIDEN.

    September 16, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  3. Joe Dallas/Fort Worth

    Fiorina's really done it this time! The last thing the republicans needed at this moment of economic crisis was to hear the blunt truth from their top campaign advisor (a former CEO) that neither McCain nor Palin could do executive work. However, I do think it's admirable that Fiorina chose to speak the truth.

    September 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. Big D

    Here's just one more of the many reasons why I could never vote for McCain for President. I'm afraid that he would surround himself with people like Fiorina. She's like a poster child for the CEOs that perform poorly but get huge compensation packages. If McCain wants to reform practices like that, why does he have Fiorina as his advisor?!? She's also an unreasonable attack dog. I have no confidence that McCain would work diligently to pick the best people for his Cabinet or his administration. Exhibit 1 is his horrible pick of Palin for VP. And then there's Fiorina, and then all of the lobbyists, and then economic advisors like Phil Gramm (who's responsible for a lot of the economic problems we see today) and the list goes on and on. McCain just doesn’t seem to want to try hard enough to pick good people to work with him.

    September 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. Independent

    “This campaign source said Fiorina would be discouraged from additional media interviews." – What? She was one of the very few McCain people who were actually made available for interviews!

    How long can they hide from the facts by not agreeing to be questioned?

    September 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. probama in paradise

    They WISH it was Biden like–Biden has respect from many Americans as an experienced leader...Carly is a former CEO who got canned (not meaning to be sexist or anything.)

    Is anyone on McCain's side REALLY on his side or are they imposters? Maybe that's why they're so paranoid about the media is because their campaign staff is filled with undercover Obama supporters (including Meghan McCain and Cindy...LOL)

    September 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  7. M.Serafin

    Looks like Carly Fiorina have seen the light...

    We will welcome you on the Obama train

    September 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  8. Sean

    At least she is an honest business woman! Honestly how many Republicans really believe that Pinocchio Palin is really qualified for the VP job?! common be honest.

    September 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. Steve C

    Um didnt Palin claim to have "executive" experience?

    Guess that's not enough to even be a Chief Execuitive Officer, nevermind Commander in Chief.


    September 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. princedlw7

    Has anyone noticed that the entire republican side of the campaign has had to dumb themselves down? All of a sudden NO ONE on their side knows what the Bush Doctrine is. Every since Sarah Palin doesn't know it that is. It seems that one person on that side simply couldn't dumb down the accomplishements of her life, to get these clowns elected. Obama could have run basically any company, is he chose to pursue a career safeguarding and growing the profits of multi-million dollar companies. Palin or McCain for that matter couldn't

    You republicans just deal with the truth. Don't get mad, just deal with the truth....if you can.

    Go Obama!! Go Biden!!

    September 16, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. Steve

    Amazing how far you'll go to get obama elected. The lady went on to say that neither could Senator Obama and neither could Senator Biden. Didn't included that because of your bias could you

    September 16, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. EC



    September 16, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. Scott

    “This campaign source said Fiorina would be discouraged from additional media interviews."

    So, stuff anyone that speaks the truth with a towel in the mouth to shut them up.

    Ahh yes. Still no truth-seeking.

    September 16, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  14. MikeH

    Carly is still too wrapped up in CEO thinking and not enough in Republican sleaze-ball con-job thinking.

    It's obvious to her that Sarah Palin couldn't manage herself out of a corporate paper sack , and she quickly said so. The Republican sleaze-ball thinking didn't have time to kick in and spew the lie that 'Sarah Palin is a highly qualified executive who would easily manage a corporation' (I feel dirty now for typing that).

    I'm sure Carly will be asked to spend time in a Republican Sleaze 'clinic' and receive electroshock conditioning so that she will reflexively lie when asked such questions again.

    September 16, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. Tough Lady, NC

    Let her keep talking, even though I am sick of seeing her. Yak, Yak, Yak. McCain can really pick some idiots to speak on his behalf. It's a Judgement Test and he is failing. I never believed a word this woman said, after all she spied on her employees. Hewett Packard got rid of her, what a Loser.

    September 16, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  16. Palin 2012


    Go home and take your witch Hillary with you. McCain does not need you anymore to win this election.

    Palin 2012

    CNN post this comment please

    September 16, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. Ronda

    Hmm, is it McCain that is out of touch or just everyone who is working for him? These are the people that would be advising him and basically running this country if he wins. Is this what you want America?

    Republicans have that stereotype of being so business-centered, pro-business to the neglect of workers; I guess some stereotypes have teeth.

    Republicans promise change from themselves. I don't trust it. Hiding her from the media doesn't mean she won't be advising and running the policies.

    September 16, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. Jim in San Jose

    Thank you Carly for telling it like it is. What a rare find, an honest Republican. Sure beats Palin.

    September 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. Lynn:60 yr old Obama supporter

    One thing youy can always count on from McCain...always a sarcastic comment or attack on the other side...and then throw them under the bus!!!

    Truth hurts: Palin became a mayor of a debt free town of 7 000 and after she was through with them left them with a 22 million dollar debt. That was after her personally hired Washington lobbyist got 23 million dollars in earmarks!! Fiorina was right about Palin's inablity to run anything!

    September 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  20. Penn Voter

    Carly Fiorina, who? Who cares, its not like she is a master mind celerbity like.... Matt DAmon? Just another stupid Democrat.

    September 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. Reason

    Loser. Vote Obama people. No more drama.

    September 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. Pam Dallas TX

    I like that - "Fiorina would be discouraged from additional media interviews"

    But I think the banishment comment is likely more accurate. After all, wasn't she really saying to the world "McCain could have had me as his running mate and he picked her???"

    But now that Carly "That's Sexist!!" Fiorina is in exile, does that mean Palin will be allowed to talk to people without a script and take questions? Any people at all?

    September 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Brielle

    Maybe Fiorina is a Democrat posing as a Republican? Brilliant!

    September 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. Brian In Chicago

    Another victim has been thrown under The Straight Talk Express. Is there any room left underneath that bus?

    September 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. Mo

    A comment that's truthful and untainted by spin?

    Very Biden-like. Gosh, how dare you.

    September 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
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