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. Jim

    So why does your headline not include that she said Obama couldn't be a CEO either? I guess you figure your readership is stupid, or so shallow as to only read headlines. Keep it up though. You're helping McCain win, and tarnishing your reputation, such as it is.

    September 16, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  2. Rhiannon

    It's obvious that neither is capable of running anything other than their mouths.

    September 16, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. Bob

    If you were unbiased and had done your homework, she said the same thing for Obama and Biden. CNN is so lame.

    September 16, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  4. Florida for Obama

    That's the truth and the simple truth. McCain/Palin can embelish their credentials all they want. The simple truth remains – How can McCain/Palin run a country if they cannot be seen as capable to run a Company?

    The reality is settling in, folks!

    September 16, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. Frank, San Diego

    I think she sells McCain short.

    After all, this is the man who invented the Blackberry.

    September 16, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. WHAT

    No way don't discourage her from any further interviews!!!!
    It would be, just, I mean that would be SEXISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Correct Carly!!!???
    What a LOSER!!!! Keep her out there, it's only good news for Obama!

    September 16, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  7. Venus

    Ha,a,ha,ha! The gift that keeps on giving!

    So now.... we won't see Fiorina on all the shows? GREAT!!!

    September 16, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  8. Are you better off now then you were 8 years ago?

    well it's nice of her to say what everybody knows

    what she didn't say is that she ran HP into the ground

    and had to lay off thousands of employees because her controversial merger with Compaq was and is a disaster.

    These so called late 90's rock star CEO's should just shut up

    this isn't the first time her mouth has gotten her into trouble

    oh is that sexist

    Question McCain – I was a POW

    Question Palin- your sexist

    although Phil Graham calls us a nation of Whiners and he is still around

    and now Carly is going to dissappear

    i think that's yes say it with me "SEXIST"

    September 16, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. No Country For Old Men

    This is one of McCain's Economy Adviser!
    Go figure, she will be food for the fishes tonight.

    Your own person says you are not fit to be President.

    Bye McCain.

    September 16, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. jack

    No wonder the HP board concluded she is not fit to be a CEO!

    September 16, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. Ron

    I am the CEO of a company I started in 2002. Can I be president... please?

    September 16, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. Scott

    Carly, you should have just followed the script, done exactly as you were told.

    Just look at Sarah. She's willing to supress her pro-life stance to be on a pro-stem cell ticket. She's willing to be anti-earmarks even though she was very fond of them. She's willing to scorn a Bridge to Nowhere even though she supported it.

    You're not being a team player, Carly, so now we have to tighten the leash and keep you tucked away back at campaign HP, I mean HQ. (Sorry, I didn't mean to mention that whole HP debacle).

    September 16, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  13. tom jackson

    Fiorina said neither McCain or Palin are qualified to run a company.
    WHY DID YOU PUT THIS PHRASE UNDER THE PICTURE??? .. I SAW IT LIVE ...SHE SAID ALL CANDIDATES??? WHY??? dID OYU ONLY USE TWO NAMES.. whY????
    YOU WILL NEVER POST THSIS CASUE YOU KNOW WHY OYU DID IT WHY OYU SLANTED THE WORDING

    September 16, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. Not4MoreYears

    How can this race even be close? Are there that many racists in this country that McCain still looks like a better alternative to Obama?

    Wow.

    September 16, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Andy Nichols

    Maybe she was comforted thinking that they couldn't run a company? We all know how well she did with HP, so its not like she has much room to criticize.

    September 16, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. ken

    carly forgets that the 7-12 lobbiest working to get mc cain elected will be running the show, it's a lobbiest who will be in charge of the transition team for mc cain, and this from the man who almost swears t o force the lobbiest out of washington. yes an i have a bridge to nowhere to sell you.

    September 16, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. Mike

    Why don't you state the hole comment she said McCain, Palin, Biden, and Obama. Next you wll say CNN is not biased.

    September 16, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  18. Irony

    McCain Palin, the Humpty Dumpty ticket.

    Falling apart before our very eyes, and no amount of lies will put it back together again.

    September 16, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  19. Ms. Fiorina you are right.

    You can only lie for so long. It is time to start telling the truth
    Good for you.

    September 16, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  20. Jim, IN

    "Senator McCain was furious" "Carly will now disappear". Oh the McCain camp, always good for a headache or a chuckle.

    They're almost self sabotaging themselves over there, and i'm sort of wondering if the house of cards is going to fall since they've been doubling down on a lot of significant lies.

    September 16, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  21. Citizen Watch

    She also said that Obama and Biden could not run a corporation either. CNN is only reporting part of what she said.

    September 16, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  22. OBAMA GET'S IT!

    McSHAME'S SENDING HIS FEMALE SUPPORTERS OUT TO PUSH AND PROMOTE PALIN, WELL THIS ONE DID GREAT SHE TOLD THE TRUTH ABOUT HER, WAY TO GO, THERE'S HOPE FOR YOU AFTER ALL.

    September 16, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  23. Freedom Lovin Patriot

    She can't be a CEO either...that's why she got the boot....abuse of power

    September 16, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  24. CB2

    She wasn't lying. However, she values what she did at HP more than the highest office in the land. What an idiot!!!!!!

    And wait just a minute...the democratic nominee's have more than an bachelors degree in journalism. Give me a break!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  25. Charla in TX

    Carly Fiorina went on to say to Shep Smith on FNC, who interviewed her to clarify her comments from earlier in the day, that (paraphrased) none of them were quailifed to run a corporation, BUT, McCain and Palin were "very fast learners" and she basically thought that they could do well if in that situation.

    Now if that don't smack of some racism, I don't know what does....

    September 16, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
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