July 30th, 2008
03:05 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain ad calls Obama 'biggest celebrity in the world'

McCain is out with a hard-hitting new ad.

McCain is out with a hard-hitting new ad.

(CNN) - Britney Spears, Paris Hilton…Barack Obama?

A new campaign ad from John McCain - which flashes shots of the two aforementioned megacelebrities - calls Barack Obama "the biggest celebrity in the world," but asks, "Is he ready to lead."

"He's the biggest celebrity in the world. But, is he ready to lead? With gas prices soaring, Barack Obama says no to offshore drilling. And, says he'll raise taxes on electricity. Higher taxes, more foreign oil, that's the real Obama," the ad's narrator says while crowds screaming, "Obama!" are shown.

Responding to the ad, Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said, "On a day when major news organizations across the country are taking Senator McCain to task for a steady stream of false, negative attacks, his campaign has launched yet another. Or, as some might say, ‘Oops! He did it again.’"

The ad is the latest in a string of hard-hitting television commercials from the McCain campaign. Earlier spots suggest Obama is playing politics with the Iraq war, is against funding American troops, and bears some responsibility for high gas prices.

In a conference call with reporters announcing the ad, McCain adviser Rick Davis said of Obama's campaign coverage, "The focus on media, on events and activities, is much more something you'd expect from someone releasing a new movie."

Listen: McCain advisers explain the new ad in a conference call with reporters

"What we decided to do was find the top three international celebrities in the world," he said. "And I would say that from our estimation Britney and Paris came in second and third. So from our perspective, we have the biggest three celebrities in the world."

Davis also brushed aside suggestions the ad will be viewed by the American public as going negative.

"Will people think of this as negative advertising? Look, it’s the most entertaining thing I've seen on TV in a while. I wouldn't anticipate anything about this being negative," he said.

Steve Schmidt, another top McCain adviser also said it was accurate to compare Obama to the two celebrities who, as one reporter said on the call, are often portrayed as "frivolous and irresponsible."

"I don’t poll Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, but I know they're international celebrities, so apples to apples," he said.

A McCain advisor also told CNN's Dana Bash the ad targets Obama's "outrageous, narcissistic statements."

“It has not gone unnoticed by this campaign that Obama makes outrageous, narcissistic statements suggesting that his candidacy is what the world has been waiting for. Excuse me?” the adviser said. “What’s going to happen when he parts the sea? What about all the fish in the middle?” this adviser said with biting sarcasm.

The ad will run in 11 key battleground states - Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

soundoff (977 Responses)
  1. americalives

    Why isnt Barack Obama not opening up a huge lead on John McCain?

    All the factors point to a very large Obama win but its not materializing.

    I would really like you to come to


    and post why you think this lead isn’t coming to past. Can anyone explain this ? Give it a shot

    July 30, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Abby

    I am so sick of the attacks. These tactics will backfire. Just you wait!

    The positive always outlasts the negative

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. Lisa

    They treat this guy like the biggest celebrity in the world, but really he's just the average Joe Blow from Chicago.

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. Susan

    One question Sen mcCain. How do you propose to get us out of a 452 dollar defecit that was created by Bush and encouraged by you? You offer us absolutely nothing, except to grow the defecit and insult hthe American peoples intelligence! Respectuful / You don't know the meaning of the word!! OBAMA 08!!

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. CP -TEXAS

    What does he offer. Seems they only try to drag him down, not pull themselves up. Pathetic, that's what it is....

    Obama 08!

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. Renee, AZ

    Yes, the answer is yes. Not only is Barack ready to lead, but the country is ready for him to lead.

    McCain has the same old tired ideas that got us in this mess. He kissed GW, and he was a "D" student. This man is ready for the retirement home, not the White House.

    We are tired of the same old tricks that the GOP trots out every election cycle to trick us. They are big on abortion, gay rights, etc. Why haven't we heard about these issues until now. It won't work this time, we are going full speed ahead to vote for the Democrat of our choice, Barack Obama.

    Barack is ready to lead, McCain is not.

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. Connie

    Would someone please ask McCain to quit the whining? If his campaign was saying something interesting, then he would be in the limelight.

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. CP -TEXAS

    Oh and YES he is!

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    So stupid......................Yes, I'm talking about McCain. Next

    July 30, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. Dave

    He's much more ready than McCain.

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Chris

    You have to be kidding me!! What a freaking joke. These ads are pure trash, I don't know who the heck believes this garbage. McCain already pulled a Bush 41 and said no new taxes, but only after he said nothing was off the table. This guy is a joke...it's time to stop treating him with kid gloves as he has shown no problems completely trashing Obama. McCain is not fit to be president, period.

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Dennis in MN

    I don't get it. Ask an open ended question that somebody can answer yes as well as no. I'm no marketing expert, but I wouldn't do that. I write for small business and this is no way to sell a product (not that politics should be that way, but it's the way it's shaping up to be...blech)

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. Mike, Texas

    Yes he is ready to lead!


    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. nannie bouroughs, Kenosha, WI

    I guess the McCain campaign has Senator Obama down to the "T."

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. Elly

    the republicans are running scared... they will say or do anything to rid themselves of the label *Bad dog food to be taken off the shelf*
    (their opinion of themselves not mine) MCsame is just jealous !
    John MCSame has the personality of a mud turtle Slowwww and boring
    Wait till the young people go back to college etc
    Obamas numbers will go skyward.Remember its summer people are holidaying.I was cottaging with 12 americans in Canada on the weekend and not one of them were voting for MCCain
    5 were rupublicans, 2 independants and the rest dems
    gooooo Obama

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. Brooke

    Obama certainly thinks he is the biggest celebrity in the world. In his mind he's already picking out the drapes for the Oval Office. But, he still hasn't won anything, he's not even the official nominee yet. He's nothing more than a demagouge. I wonder if they serve Kool-Aid at Obama rallies?

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. Michael

    McCain is, of course, right. This guy is a meglomanical empty suit, cursed with those two traits that make him dangerous:. Ignorance and arrogance.

    July 30, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. Change

    Yes he is ready to lead, that is why he is a world celeb, and the world is ready to follow him.

    July 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Ms. RDS

    Apparently he is ready to lead b/c McCain and Bush are doing a good job of playing FOLLOW THE LEADER on every issue Obama brings up...I personally am getting sick of the DNC/Obama camp not responding strongly enough to these adds. There's a way to do it without compromising the intergrity of his campaign. I just wish they would hurry up and find it!!!

    July 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. jane in CA

    Both Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama are ready to lead. However, at this time, Sen. Obama and his supporters are the one ready to lead America out of the holes that we are in right now.

    July 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  21. dan

    just to make us feel like we have a choice. as long as one or the other gets in the white house the strangulation of american scociety will continue.

    July 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Abby

    Lol,..Yes, try to use this popularity and the fact that people love him against him. Desperation is so sad.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures.


    July 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. judy, Wisconsin

    The Rovian Repubs continue with their jealousy and whining. The Dems need to run ads with McCain standing in front of the grocery cheese section making one of his usual gaffs. They could run a new one every day.

    July 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. HF from PA

    Same play book every 4 years Repubs....no plans, no vision just attack...attack...attack...and whatever you do don't mention that your guy can't even partially fill a stadium in his own state AZ. You have to hope that Americans will see through it this time...you have to hope.

    July 30, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Britney Spears, Paris Hilton…Barack Obama?

    LMAO!!!!!!!!!! That is some funny stuff.

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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