Carly Fiorina's latest indignity: Even the Republican CEO of HP says she's not qualified to be president

"Experience in politics is probably an important criteria for the highest office in the land,” Meg Whitman says

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published November 2, 2015 6:55PM (EST)

  (AP/Mark J. Terrill)
(AP/Mark J. Terrill)

Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina have a couple of things in common. Both women are Republicans. But ran failed statewide campaigns for office in California back in 2010, and both were the top executive at Silicon Valley powerhouse Hewlett-Packard overseeing the firing off thousands of employees.

Despite their many similarities, the current HP head just doesn't think her predecessor is cut out for the job of commander-in-chief. Whitman, who has endorsed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, was recently asked by CNN’s Poppy Harlow why she was not backing the former HP executive instead.

“Because while I think business strengths are important, I also think having worked in government is an important part of the criteria,” Whitman replied. “I just think literally having some experience in politics is probably an important criteria for the highest office in the land.”

Whitman did concede that business experience in a candidate is usually a plus, saying,"if you could find someone who had business experience plus the political experience, that’s a great option.” But she said that Fiorina's record at HP is simply not enough of a record to run for president.

“I think it's very difficult for your first role in politics to be president of the United States. I think having experience in the Senate or as the governor of a state is really important. It’s just hard to be dropped down in Washington, D.C. never having experience in politics before.”

In the past, Whitman has defended Fiorina from charges that massive layoffs under her tenure are a black mark on her record. Fiorina oversaw the layoff of more than 30,000 HP employees, while Whitman has eliminated 55,000 jobs since taking over in 2011.

"I suspect she was trying to do what I'm trying to do, which is make this company more competitive," Whitman told CNN back in June.

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By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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2016 Republican Primary Aol_on Carly Fiorina Endorsements Gop Civil War Hewlett Packard Meg Whitman