September 16th, 2008
06:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Fiorina: McCain can't run a company either

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Fiorina is a top aide to McCain."](CNN) - Hours after top McCain aide Carly Fiorina said Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin isn't qualified to run a major corporation, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO said she doesn't think John McCain is either.

In comments that are strikingly off message as the Arizona senator attempts to position himself as the candidate best positioned to fix the country's economic woes, Fiorina said in an interview on MSNBC Tuesday running a Fortune 500 corporation is not the same as running the country.

“Well, I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation, I don't think Barack Obama could run a major corporation, I don't think Joe Biden could run a major corporation," Fiorina, a top McCain advisor, said.

"But, on the other hand, a major corporation is not the same as being the president or the vice president of the United States," she continued. "It is a fallacy to suggest that the country is like a company. So, of course, to run a business, you have to have a lifetime of experience in business, but that's not what Sarah Palin, John McCain, Joe Biden, or Barack Obama are doing."

Fiorina was president of Hewlett-Packard until her high-profile ousting in 2006 after the company's uneven performance. Her comments Tuesday were immediately circulated by the Obama campaign as part of its continued effort to paint McCain as a candidate who lacks understanding of economic issues.

“If John McCain’s top economic advisor doesn’t think he can run a corporation, how on Earth can he run the largest economy in the world in the midst of a financial crisis?" said Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor. "Apparently even the people who run his campaign agree that the economy is an issue John McCain doesn’t understand as well as he should."

Fiorina made similar comments earlier Thursday to a St. Louis radio station when she was asked if Palin was qualified to run a company like Hewlett-Packard.

“No, I don’t,” Fiorina answered. “But that’s not what she’s running for. Running a corporation is a different set of things."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Brandon, Pennsylvania

    It's funny how you spin it in such a liberal direction. At least Fox News gave the whole quote right at the beginning.

    September 16, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  2. Chris


    September 16, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. Anne E.

    This woman's sentences consist of a noun, a verb, and "sexist."
    She needs to clam up, sit down, and remain quiet for the duration.

    September 16, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  4. go away mongers-Ventura ca

    If the gop doesn't think mcsame & palin can run the economy-what are the rest of us supposed to think?

    September 16, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. Independent

    Fiorina also can't run a company according to the Board at HP.

    September 16, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Rich Los Angeles, Ca

    CNN you are dumb a biased!

    Quote completely cut off. She went on to add that Obama has the least ability to run a company, yes following Gov. Palin.

    Our #2 is better equipped then your #1

    You guys are a joke. CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC why don’t you just come out and indorse Obama? We’re “republicans” not dumb “only democraps”

    September 16, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. Pat Riot

    Answer: The president has neither the authority nor the ability to run the economy. The people and the markets run the economy.

    When you get the federal government too involved in the economy to the point that it controls production that is called socialism and we are not and can never by constitutional definition be a socialist country. We are a free people.

    September 16, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. Carol

    This woman would know whereof she speaks, since she could not run a company, either. Just goes to show the old adage, "It takes one to know one." Where was I when the US became a plutocracy?

    September 16, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. linda from prescott

    what an idiot

    September 16, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. change for texas

    But Palin can part the water while McCain uses HIS blackberry, or is that too technical for him?

    September 16, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. La Raza

    Ok, visiting time is over, it's time for Fiorina to return back to her cell.

    September 16, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. She's not qualified either....

    This is really funny......a FIRED corporate executive who completely FAILED in her role at HP now wants to tells us who is/isn't qualified to run the country. Why would McCain put her out as a spokesperson when she has a reputation for not knowing what she's talking about in business or in politics??

    September 16, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. shahid

    Erin Smith, Canana is a large country with lots of land and liberals. You'll fit right in.

    September 16, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. CindyN--PA

    She's absolutly right about McCain and wrong about Obama.
    Palin and McCain are crazy and just today McCain said the economy is strong. It's clear he couldnt run a company nor this country.
    What does he offer, lies? Senility?
    Just stopping earmarks alone would take 100years to rebound this economy. That isnt enough. He has no proposals that really work.

    Down with the liars McCain and Palin. They are unfit to run this government.

    September 16, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  15. L.

    Mccain please STOP claiming Blackberry. It is invented by a Canadian Company named Research In Motion. I am a Canadian and I don't want Mccain to claim this at all – HE HAS NO RIGHT TO DO SO. PLEASE.

    September 16, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. Drew in Wisconsin

    Recall when the big Republican mantra was that the US was really nothing but a big business and should be run like one? Wonder if that one's going to be dropped now.

    September 16, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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