Washington, Sept.18 : A key economic adviser of the John McCain campaign, Carly Fiorina, has disappeared from public view after she questioned whether McCain and his running-mate, Sarah Palin, were capable of leading a large US corporation.
Fiorina, who was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, made her remarks in a radio interview.
Yesterday, her planned television appearances were abruptly cancelled.
The gaffe was particularly embarrassing because they came from a businesswoman brought in to provide ballast to a candidate who admits that the economy is not his strong point.
McCain, according to The Independent, has been racing to keep up with the turmoil in the US economy.
The Republican candidate has been wrong-footed by the 85 billion dollar government bailout of AIG, the world's biggest insurance company. He was forced to declare his support for an action that only hours earlier he had opposed. Fiorina's problems began after a sympathetic radio host heaped flattery on her business record - she rose from a secretarial position to run Hewlett-Packard.
"Do you think she (Palin) has the experience to run a major company like Hewlett-Packard?" Fiorina replied: "No, I don't. That's not what she is running for."
Later, on television, Ms Fiorina was asked about her comment and said: "Well, I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation."
The former CEO has attracted frequent criticism on the campaign trail by offering positions on abortion and birth control at odds with the candidates'.
The Obama campaign charged that: "If John McCain's top economic adviser 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?"