September 16th, 2008
07:18 PM ET
1 year 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. Mike

    Well there you have it..Right from the horses mouth. If that doesn't scare Americans into not voting for them, then I don't know what will. If people are stupid of enough to put McClueless and Pa"LIAR"in then we deserve what we get. Two Crooks replacing Two Crooks.

    September 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. Steve Worsham

    This is a prime example of reporter bias. I viewed the full clip from MSNBC. She stated that none of the 4 candidates was qualified to run a corporation. You are implying that it was just McCain and Palin she was speaking of.

    This is why a majority of America no longer trusts the press. You tend to misrepresent things to push a personal opinion.

    Shame on you! You should stop calling yourself a reporter. You sully the name!

    September 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. bruce mckinsey

    Ms. Fiorina is regarded by HP as their worst CEO. Her tenure at HP was full of photo ops to meet any dignitary visiting Silicon Valley. As part of a consulting team in the build up to the Compaq acquistion I learned of her disdain for what Hewlett and Packard stood for. She never met with less than executives which really irked HP lifers, had not one but two hairstylists and only used a corporate jet for her travels. Look at her performance at HP, board member spying not withstanding, crappy results rewarded with a $20 million severance. So it was a bad hair day today for Carly!

    September 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  4. Reese from NC

    And everyone was worried about what was going to come out of Biden's mouth. This is just too funny. Fiorina open mouth and insert FOOT.

    September 16, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. Lori

    What business experience did Bill Clinton have before taking office?

    How about any of the other presidents? Has any of them ever been in charge of a big business before taking office?

    I can't stand McCain or Palin but that doesn't seem fair to me.

    September 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. Dennis

    There's a misunderstanding that part of the President's job is to "run the economy". The job of the President is to act as Commander in Chief, keep the country secure and get government out of the way so that the free enterprise system can work. The private sector should run the economy. Government meddling in our economy got us into the current financial mess and increased government regulation will make matters worse. The chummy relationships the Clinton Administration and Senators and Congressmen, mostly Democrats, have had with Fannie Mae and Freedie Mac, have palyed a major role in the credit "crisis". Running a company and being President really have nothing in common.

    September 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. kaydeedee, nashville

    This woman is a disaster. Letting her speak for the McCain campaign shows McCain's pitiful judgement. Again.

    September 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. Sam Benegal

    I think she has problem with alcohol or drugs. Too erratic Behavior..

    September 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  9. Max

    It's a cute attempt at making Biden look bad for something he didn't say. But they interestingly didn't refute Fiorina's comments. Unless they mean "Biden-like" in the sense that Biden has a tendency to tell the truth.

    Then yeah. Very Biden-like.

    September 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  10. tom jackson

    your head line is false :: she said all candidates .. but that is just oyu typical left wing lying slant
    Hardball stories…. Yea right
    Where is the story .. I want to hear about Charlie Rangel and his $75,000.00… hey I thought so
    Where is the story ?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel?? Charlie rangel??

    September 16, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  11. Thed Weller

    Uh...the ironic part is that she can't either! She's the former CEO of HP...they voted her out because of "poor performance"

    September 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. steve

    Obama and Palin are not qualified for the jobs they are seeking. Fiorina is not even qualified to talk about the jobs they are seeking.

    September 16, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. Rich

    Hmmm... Can't even take a little criticism from their own people.

    September 16, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. paul oregon

    dont you just love the repubs. the right hand doesnt know what the left hand is doing. and they say they are the only ones that can run the country.

    September 16, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  15. The Republican Conscience

    And if anybody knows how to not run a business, it's Carly Fiorina. Just look what she did to HP!!

    By the way, McCain keeps talking about how he's going to stop big payouts for CEO's who drive companies into the ground and take big pensions while the workers lose their jobs. Didn't the people who run his campaign tell him that Fiorina got fired and took a 21 million dollar payout?

    September 16, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  16. Jim - Arkansas

    She actually said none of the candidates could probably run a corporation but you chose simply to headline that she said Palin and McCain could not. How grossly unfair of you. You are as bad as MSNBC. The media - including CNN - has given up all pretense of fairness, objectivity, and professionalism this election.

    September 16, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  17. Jim

    I have been bothered for some time by reports of Sen. McCain's fierce temper. Now I read the statement: "Carly will now disappear ... Senator McCain was furious." This worries me.

    McCain himself boasts of how he has "gut" and "grit" and makes decisions instinctively (like picking Palin as his VP mate). I much prefer the decision processes and even temper of Sen. Obama as our President.

    September 16, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  18. cbennett

    Looks like someone is now on punishment. Why not let the woman continue to talk and sink the Mccain Palin ship!!

    September 16, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. Walter, Long Beach

    BOY, that McCain fella sure know how to pick 'em!

    But nobody seems to be drawing the broader conclusion about what this (and Palin and Phil Graham) says about McCain's judgment.

    September 16, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. Clark in Austin

    While I'm glad to hear her come out and make these statements about Palin and McCain, the sad truth is Carly isn't CEO material either!

    September 16, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. mcnunzio

    Actually, Fiorina also "said" of the four candidates that Obama and Biden were least capable to run a company.

    September 16, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  22. Roaches...

    ...bolting when the lights are flicked on. LOL

    September 16, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. teachearth

    HAHAHAHA!

    Wow, these comments surely aren't coming from a person who ran a multi-million dollar corporation into the ground and then was ousted by their own board of directors....

    Oh wait, yeah they are. Looks like Carly can't run a corporation either...

    Open mouth, insert foot...Nuff said..

    September 16, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. paulc

    We should have more unscripted interviews. The voters will get a better picture of who they are voting for.

    September 16, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. Brian

    It's almost like Fiorina is *trying* to get herself bumped off the McCain campaign. First she calls the SNL skit sexist (which it clearly was not, even if it wasn't particularly fair to Palin), and now this.

    She shouldn't really have a place in the campaign. Not if McCain wants to win.

    September 16, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
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