McCain Defends Fiorina's Golden Parachute

This weekend, John McCain defended unhelpful surrogate Carly Fiorina's generous severance package from Hewlett Packard:

"I think she did a good job as CEO in many respects," McCain told "The Today Show's" Meredith Vieira when she pressed him on the matter in light of McCain's recent accusations of greed on Wall Street.

"I know that she was a very successful businesswoman. Started out as a part-time secretary and made her way to the top of the corporate ladder as one of the biggest CEOs in the United States of America," McCain said after noting that he was unaware of the specifics of her compensation package.

Fiorina received $21 million in severance pay when she was fired as CEO of Hewlett Packard in 2005. She received an additional $21 million when Hewlett Packard's board bought out her company stock options and pension benefits. Her compensation package sparked a lawsuit from shareholders.

McCain admitted, however, that he was not familiar with the details of Fiorina's payout:

McCAIN: I don't think so. ... Because I think she did a good job as CEO in many respects. I don't know the details of her compensation package. But she's one of many advisers that I have.

Q: But she did get a $45 million dollar golden parachute after being fired while 20,000 of her employees were laid off.

McCAIN: I have many of the people, but I do not know the details of what happened.

McCain has vowed to end "multimillion dollar payouts to CEO's who have broken the public trust."