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September 16th, 2008
07:38 PM ET

Carly in the dog house

Fiorina said neither McCain or Palin are qualified to run a company.

Fiorina said neither McCain or Palin are qualified to run a company.

John King | Bio
CNN Chief National Correspondent

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."

Keep reading...


Filed under: Joe Biden • John McCain • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. rom

    Is anyone going to accuse McCain of sexism for ;putting Carly in the dog house? I am just curious.

    September 16, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  2. Beth

    I like to know what is Sarah Palin hiding? Why doesn't she and the Republicans want this probe to continue? Also, why isn't the media covering the store about the father of the daughter's child possibly being African-American? Why won't Palin open herself up fully to the media? What is she afraid of? Maybe that we will find out that she is not prepared or ready to assume the role of VP. According to John McCain in one of his addresses to a group – the VP's only job is to break a tie in the Senate or help him stay on time....Maybe he is looking to a little woman and Palin fits the bill.

    September 16, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  3. Doug Quance

    Big yawn.

    She stated the obvious. NONE of the candidates are qualified to run a major corporation. It's no slam against any of them. They simply don't have a background in business.

    By the same token, no CEO of a major corporation is qualified to be President, either... because they don't have a background in government.

    Catch a clue.

    September 16, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  4. ann

    Must be a strange experience to be Ms. Carly. Ms Big Wig HP EXECUTIVE who stood before the Republican Convention and sang McCain's praises. So now she admits that she doesn't think Sarah Palin has what it takes to run a corporation? What does Carly think Palin was selected to do? Be McCain's "Girl Friday" who gets the coffee and runs the copier? And then she goes one step further and admits that McCain couldn't run HP either??? What doCarly and the American people think the EXECUTIVE BRANCH of government is all about, anyway. Yikes, folks, we are in REAL trouble and it has nothing to do with the crashing markets on Wall Street.

    September 16, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  5. Annie Kate

    Carly made a valid point – they can't run a corporation. It takes a completely different set of skills and a different pool of knowledge to run a corporation than it does to run a country. This is much ado about nothing – as usual.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 16, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  6. Pete Cole

    This is another example of the McCain campaign trying to control all messages and not allow free speech and free discussion of ideas. This is not what we want in government. They are trying to hide all thoughtful discussion of the issues

    September 16, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  7. Soccer mom

    Just like the press and Obama to only focus on the part that works for them! She also said that Obama could not run HP! Also Palin is the only one who has run her own company and a STATE! Budget-payroll- HR- maybe not HP but close- my vote is for Sarah!

    September 16, 2008 at 9:46 pm |
  8. Keith

    What economic experience did JFK have? He's the one that obama is trying to model himself after.

    September 16, 2008 at 9:43 pm |
  9. Larry

    Wow! Canadian election ads are ripping off obama campaign ads. Can't they do anything by themselves?

    September 16, 2008 at 9:38 pm |
  10. Lisa

    I forgot one the don't talk express.

    Lisa
    St Paul, MN

    September 16, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  11. Kathy Carter

    The truth is that McCain isn't qualified to run the country or a company. He can't even get his acronyms correct with regard to the economy. Oh, by the way, if you have a Blackberry...be sure to thank John McCain for inventing it!!! Makes me feel warm all over to know he has so many talents!

    September 16, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  12. tom cassidy-florida

    First republican I've heard tell the truth in weeks!

    September 16, 2008 at 9:24 pm |
  13. MB

    Give Carly the boot, she is pathetic. Biden should also keep his mouth shut.

    September 16, 2008 at 9:21 pm |
  14. Lisa

    I think Miss Carly didn't get the memo. It said:
    To All Concerned McCain/Palin Campaigners,
    We are no longer on the "Straight Talk Express." We are going to piss off the Obama/Biden campaign and get on the "Change Express."
    John McCain

    Someone sure forgot to tell her since Palin boarded the express, they just can't use straight talk any more. Maybe the double talk express or the spin express.
    Lisa
    St Paul, MN

    September 16, 2008 at 9:18 pm |
  15. maripil

    Fiorina is telling the truth that McCain and Palin have no executive experience and there not fit to lead!!

    September 16, 2008 at 9:12 pm |
  16. Ankur

    I feel bad for her Mrs. Fiorina . I'm sure that Sarah Palin is grossly incompetent by herself, and does not need someone to say so. There is no need to crucify a capable former CEO of a Fortune 500 . There just needs to be more transparency in how the records stack up in my opinion on the main people we are electing to run the free world. Obama cuts taxes mainly for the middle class. McCain is mainly for people making over 227,000, which a lot of people I know. McCain favors privatizing Social Security in this financial environment and Obama does not. McCain is for offering you a health care coupon to pay for rising health care costs and Obama is in favor of a more universal health care system paid for by the government, much like many European countries. McCain is for a more aggressive form of diplomacy. Obama is for a form of diplomacy that favors discussions and sanctions. Sarah Palin, and the shenanigans (pregnant teen daughter, philandering drug using son, strong arming tactics in running a state, cheating on her husband, believing that global warming is a farce), should be of no importance when making a presidential selection. It should be based on what McCain stands for, (flip-flopping on abortion, flip-flopping on influence from special interest, flip-flopping on how tough the war was going to be, flip-flopping on Bush tax cuts), that should be the deciding factor in this upcoming election. Not to say Obama is squeaky clean either, but his fault are not definitely not as egregious. The Rev was a person who did not speak for the campaign, Rezko was a guy that made all the mistakes in his life on his own. The rest of it is false accusations (Muslim, not loving your country...really? he is running for president which is about the most patriotic thing you can do, mean wife). So lets let is all go and focus on issues.

    September 16, 2008 at 9:05 pm |
  17. Mary H

    It is sad that a failed CEO would make such comments. Obama and Biden are less qualified to be in the White House. Obama could not even run his Illinois senate district successfully. They lost jobs while he was making plans to run for higher office.

    September 16, 2008 at 9:03 pm |
  18. Etienne

    These people don't get it. Someone needs to talk to McCain about the power of words. The economy is very large.. It is true that we have issues, but the housing market represents less than 15% of the overall economy. We still have to admit that saying it is suicidal.. Now this woman who is supposed to help is killing him… god save John McCain.

    September 16, 2008 at 9:01 pm |
  19. Barb

    I find it hilarious to read some of the spin on this."...she did not say anything negative about mccain and plain, but dems and liberal media are twisting her words to make it look bad. One also was wondering why it wasn't mentioned that she also said it about Obama/Biden. HELLO! THE STATEMENT WAS MADE BY A REPUBLICAN AIDE TO JOHN MCCAIN! GOT THAT? NO TWISTING BY DEMOCRATS.

    September 16, 2008 at 9:01 pm |
  20. Daniel va

    Obama is the leader of the greatest campaign nobody have ever seen before. Just a leader can do it. Means he can lead any big corporation. Plus don't forget there is 1.8 mi lions federal employees. So no way no how no McCain no Palin.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:46 pm |
  21. Carrie in CO

    Problem is this Palin thing was a BIG risk that meant no major screw ups after they did it. That was a tall order – surrogates all make mistakes with stuff they say, but McCain's are under a ton of scrutiny because he chose a complete unknown, no national level experience running mate.

    On top of it the surrogates and Palin are doing most of the campaigning because nobody is really very excited about McCain – even more chances something stupid gets said. McCain's gaffe about the strength of the economy wasn't realy bright either. Maybe he should just disappear too...

    September 16, 2008 at 8:45 pm |
  22. FR

    Palin is the only one with th eso called executive experience. When a senior advisor from your own camp comes and says you cannot run a company like HP shows that your advisor does not even consider your executive experience to be enough. So basically this throws the whole argument about Palin's executive experience out of the window. I guess being a small town Mayor is not like running HP in Carly's point of view. Hmmm.... So remind me again why McCain picked her? Oh yeah because she is a WOMAN not because she has executive experience.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:39 pm |
  23. kim-chicago

    She ran HP into the ground and now she is running McCain's campaign into the ground...I'll keep my fingers crossed

    September 16, 2008 at 8:38 pm |
  24. zulfi

    she did not say anything negative about mccain and plain, but dems and liberal media are twisting her words to make it look bad. she only meant candidate is running for different job.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:35 pm |
  25. Paula Henry in Michigan

    Joe Biden may have 'gaffs' but they are always the truth. Carly just told the truth, PRAISE THE LORD. It's about time that something not a lie comes out of the McCain Palin team. BRAVO CARLY, I now love you. OBAMA/BIDEN Supporter

    September 16, 2008 at 8:28 pm |
  26. Angela

    Maybe she's right... I'd like to see Jamie Dimon vice president.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:25 pm |
  27. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Biden like??? Biden like??? What about McCain like!!!!!!
    * a $30 dollar gas tax break will save the day!
    * he 'doesn't know much about economics'
    * will get an aide to check how many houses he owns
    * Cindy SHOULD be a Miss Buffalo Chip contestant
    * a Washington Commitee will save the day
    * shiites are sunnis
    * and so on.......

    September 16, 2008 at 8:23 pm |
  28. RJ

    Poor Carly. Republicans are now feeding on their young.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:23 pm |
  29. mark hoffman, Phoenix AZ.

    I guess Carly gets to disappear and go stand in the corner next to Phil "Americans are just a bunch of whiners" Gramm. Pathetic.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  30. jennifer jarvis

    Oh my gosh I am listening to Campbell Brown right now and this man is saying how AIG affects everybody. Hello I am from Port Huron Michigan where everything depends on the auto industry. Our area made headliners, mirrors, ect. So what makes anybody any different we are hurting here. Who was that man a CEO.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  31. Cindy

    UMM...does it really matter what she thinks? As I recall she ran HP into the ground then bailed and took a pretty hefty package with her as the company crumbled. Obviously she doesn't know what it takes to run a company.

    Cindy...Ga.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:08 pm |
  32. RJ

    The truth hurts!

    September 16, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  33. Sandy, Arkansas

    Maybe Carly thinks she should have been picked as the VP candidate! Running a major corporation has little to do with taking care of the interests and welfare of mothers, fathers, children, soldiers, homeowners, factory workers, tradesmen, waitresses, hairdressers, law enforcement officials, etc. Our President and Vice President should be people with common sense and linkage to other Americans and not just the Americans of stature and wealth with salaries like corporate executives get. The Vice President's job doesn't pay the salary of the CEO of HP either (nor does the Presidency). Does that mean that none of our presidents have been as capable as Carly? In any event, what ever she said it is her opinion and a rather narrow-minded and elitist one at that.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  34. Heather,Ca,US

    Yeah,what she said didn't exactly help. I was surprised that she said that. Biden is known for being really really honest and often doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. I know that Palin is not a CEO,but Carly has never been a politician. A business is not a country. Carly is a fundraiser not a political operative. She should have just kept the focus to supporting McCain . Isn't this her first time in a campaign. I think she might end up out of the house all together.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  35. c,ca

    Oops! A McCain campaign spokesperson got caught telling the truth – a first for the McCain camp.

    I like the way they are trying to blame Biden for this. McCain is beyond pathetic.

    September 16, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  36. Louise

    Ha Ha Ha . they are getting what they deserve now

    September 16, 2008 at 7:55 pm |
  37. Cecil McManus

    When I was a graduate student at the University of Virginia. A student asked the professor, "Where did the money come from to pay for the Mint in Philadelphia"? The professor said, "Where? The government has an unlimited checkbook." In other words, they do not have to have any money in their checking account (the US Treasury). They can write checks indefinately, if they want. That lesson really rings true today. There is no offset for all of our spending. We can spend until the proverbial cows come home.

    September 16, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  38. Audrey

    People are only focusing on her comment toward Palin. Didn't she also say Obama also couldn't run HP? Then again, I woudn't be surprised if the Obama campaign only use her comment about Palin in commercials.

    September 16, 2008 at 7:49 pm |
  39. Bukola Amolegbe

    Hi guys
    It has come to my attention either by omission or deliberate ignore; We have not seen any Joe Biden campaigns show. what is going on?; this I will call unfairness; I hope CNN is not joining the ranks of others; If you can spend so much time on the other VP candidate, so It should be for Joe Biden too.
    Thank you so much for reading my comments

    September 16, 2008 at 7:48 pm |
  40. Lisa

    It is pretty bad when Fiorina herself makes the case for us as to how incapable McCain and Palin really are. Maybe a Freudian slip, since many had touted her as a possible running mate for McCain. If it was the Freud thing, it must be really eating at her, for her to have made the comment not just once, but TWICE!

    September 16, 2008 at 7:47 pm |
  41. Trish A

    AWWWW GEEE WHIZ I was so hoping I could change the channel when I saw her face again. Shoot!

    I just hope whilst she's in the Dog House the Pit Bull doesn't get the key! A Pit Bull carrying a rifle could be a very scary sight! HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAA!

    What a team effort in trying to make an example of educated adults! Too bad it they have failed so drastically!

    September 16, 2008 at 7:44 pm |