July 30th, 2008
03:05 PM ET
6 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. HENRIE WARE

    MCBUSH NEEDSTO GET HIS BRAIN CHECKED HE IS SO SENILE HE REMINDS ME OOF MY FATER AND THEY ARE THE SAME AGE GO HOME MR SENILE YOU ARE TO SENILE TO RUN THIS USA

    July 30, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    HONESTLY CNN........... WHEN WILL YOU STOP PANDERING TO THE GOP????????????????????????????????????????????????

    July 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Eric

    And Sen McCain is his biggest Fan!

    July 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Dare Nigeria

    I wish we can all ignore party affiliation and ask ourselves, Has Mccains' campaign been honorable in these past days?

    The Campaign is going negative that it makes me feel so sad that a man in the twilight of his years can resort to Slander and libel to gain undue advantage.

    If Mccain's campaign decides to take the low road, then it is pathetic.

    I WONDER HOW LOW SENATOR MCCAIN AND HIS CAMPAIGN ARE WILLING TO GO?

    July 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. That's wack

    umm..people like him-what's wrong with that?

    July 30, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Sal

    all McCain does is bash him, i have yet to see one negative Obama ad. it's the same thing that Hillary started to do when she realized she was slipping and couldn't beat Obama. you're done McCain, it's over.

    Obama in '08

    July 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Gary, Parma Hts, Oh

    We need change which I don't think McCain can offer, but we also need a realistic thinker who can find real answers to our countries problems. This doesn't mean protecting the baron wasteland of Alaska, or refusing offshore oil drilling, which all should be done with the necessary safety, and environmental constraints. The idea of hybrids, or alternate fuel cars is great as long as it doesn't take 15 years to develop, or as some of the Hybrids, pay for themselves in 8-12 years, when it is past time for a new car any way.

    July 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. vic nashville,Tn

    Sen. Mc Cain , There is Love affection between Obama and Mani stream media Once the Honeymoon over Obama will through the media friends under the bus
    But voters are smart than Media pundits

    July 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Another proud American

    It is too bad these Obama backers do not realize the cost of freedom. 400,000 died for our freedom in WWII. We won! And retained our freedom. If we had fought to win in Korea and Vietnam we would not have a lot of the problems we have today, but we still have a great loss of soldiera in those conflicts. Let's fight for freedom. If we elect Obama we will have higher taxes, higher threats to our security and freedom. Do you want to become a muslin or die in resistance. Be sure that Obama was brainwashed for 20 years by his pastor in tha heretical church. VOTE FOR MCCAIN SO WE MAINTAIN OUR FREEDOM.

    July 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Charles Hussein, Memphis

    Yes, John. He really is ready to lead. Your attempts to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt are failures. It is clear now that you cannot run a proactive campaign that establishes you as the right choice. All you do is complain about the competition.

    July 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. chris

    CNN got this nail on the head. I have been observing the Obama campaign and it is very similiar to the Paris HIlton celebrity strategy. Pics, more pics, crowds, audacity of outrageouness, staged, cameras, bells, whistles and even more pictures!!!! Looks like Obama is using the Paris Hilton play book on how to be the "IT" of the moment.

    A few big miscaculations? Voters apparently are not as dumb as Obama pegged them to be and voters apparently recognized an orchestrated staged show when they see one. Silly Obama...we all know the campaign is just an overinflated publicized commercial!

    July 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  12. Glad to be an Independent

    Obama seems to be more ready to lead than McCain. By any measure, he has run a more effective campaign than McCain. According to quite a few Republicans, McCain has not run an effective presidential campaign. Since McCain can't even run a decent campaign, then why should we allow him to become president?

    July 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. john L.A.

    Obama is ready to lead, obviously this election is about where this
    country will change. McCain is fine where he is at present, serving
    the citizens of Arizona in the U.S. Senate. This country need to began
    putting its priorities back in place, to all of its citizens and service personnel overseas and abroad, our children shouldn't have to suffer
    because a parent (s) don't have a job to support them or afterschool programs so parent (s) can work, elderly unable to afford healthcare for their ailments, this is just starters. Negative campaigning isn't going to change the present or past 7 years status of this country. Vote November 4 and we the electorate will begin the changing our future. Come together United States. We The People.

    Obama '08

    July 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Attack, attack, attack. Twist the truth. Attack some more. Yes he is a celebrity. But not all celebrities are bad. Princess Diana was a celebrity. There are a lot of celebrities doing some great work around the world–Bono and Angelina Jolie just two examples. It's great that he attracts rock concert-size crowds around the world. He can spread hope not just across the country but around the globe and help us all be the best we can be.

    July 30, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Cricket

    The Republican slime machine is really wound up. I hope most voters have learned a valuable lesson in the last 7+ yrs. The American public will not listen to their garbage anymore. We have an intelligent and strong candidate that can bring about the change we so desperately need. We don't need someone who cannot remember from day to day what he has said or even how he voted. Rather than a leader he has proven himself to be a FOLLOWER-following in Obamas' steps almost daily. That's a tribute to Obama, but it certainly shows one of his real weaknesses.
    White grandmother strongly in support of Sen. Obama
    OBAMA/BIDEN

    BTW can someone explain why most of my comments "await moderation", sometimes never to be posted??

    I'd like to add that the HRC supporters who refuse to get on the band wagon are showing their true colors-selfish self before country, party, and even the candidate you so favored. Personally, I think the Obama campaign will fare better without you. He has gone this far without your help and I see no reason why he can't go all the way without you! His campaign does not need your hatred and negativity.

    July 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. geecee827

    McCain's campaign should change their strategy. Instead of attacking Obama at every turn, how about pointing out what McCain can do to help this country improve the situation that Bush/Cheney put us in?What can McCain do to help? All his campaign wants to do is bash Obama's every word or deed. That's just negative and shows how desperate the McCain campaign is. They must think most Americans are really stupid and we are going to fall for this crap – again! Not this time, buddy.

    July 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. ProudToBeDemocrat

    Why can't the republicans talk about their candidate? Answer they do not have anything to talk about it is like if you can not do it you try to pull down the person who can.

    Republican slagon is "No we can not "
    Democrats slagon " Yes We Can"

    July 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Henry n New York

    The McCain camp must thing all Americans are stupid. We all know he wish he could draw a crowd of more than 100 senior citizens and their kids or home attendants; but he can't. So now his envy is shinning bright.

    July 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Noakes

    CNN – stop running campaign ads, from either party, as if they were news. You're being played, used, by taking a small but controversial ad buy and making it a free national ad. It's not journalism, it's sensationalism and it's playing right into the hands of the campaigns.

    July 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. DMAC in ID

    I am so sick of all these Obama people and their thin skin. Anything anti about Obama even if it is true you cry baby about dirty ads. What did you Obama people back door do to the Clinton's?? You had a lot of help from the media. Grow up people and face facts. Politics is and always has been a dirty dog eat dog job. They all like it like that. Makes them feel important, be it the Dems or Rep or any other party that wants to get in the mix.

    July 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. A NATION OF WHINERS for OBAMA

    WE HAVE BEEN "EXPERIENCED" RIGHT DOWN THE TUBES,

    BY BUSH< MCBUSH & COTHIEVES.

    WE HAVE BEEN DIVIDED BY PARTY LINES, RACE, AND

    GOD KNOWS WHAT. ITS HOW THESE SLEAZE BALLS GET

    INTO OUR EMOTIONS & SHUT DOWN OUR BRAINS.

    MCBUSH WITH HIS "EXPERIENCE" LED US INTO A WAR

    THAT HAS PUT US 91/2 TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT, AND

    ADDED X10000, HIS, BUSH, CHANEY & LOBBYISTS FORTUNES.

    ALL THESE BANKS THAT ARE CLOSING, WE HAVE TO PAY FORE.

    July 30, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. LS

    McCain and the RNC are just jealous that Obama is getting all the attention and that they know a lot more people, that have common sense, are supporting Obama.

    Of course Obama is ready to lead.

    McCain and RNC, are you all going to be ready to lose?

    July 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. Eli Winter

    Obama team: you are letting then define Obama as – arrogant – shallow – foreign. It is working, it is sticking, you must respond.
    I would counter with an ad like this:
    Pictures of the war in Iraq – No WMS – high oil prices – home market collapse -
    Announcer – after eight year of disastrous governing – John McCain has the nerve to attack – he and the Republican Party owe the country an apology. Time for new leadership – Vote Obama
    ____
    YOU MUST STAY HUMBLE BARACK – THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU
    Small events, town halls, humility, humility, humility. Fight and work for every vote.

    July 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Irma in North Carolina

    Thats all the Mccain people do is attack, why dont they talk about the issues that conceren the American people. Thats all right vote for Mccain and get is four more years of bush. I hope the puma people and all the racits out there wake up and see the day light. I suppose they think Cindy will put gas in their cars, make their house payments and put food on the table, they dont have too worry about their drugs cindy knows how to get them. You must think her billion that she says will supply you with all your needs.

    July 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. Former Republican

    enough of the attacks please, I just went shopping today and spent $20 more buying the same things I use to 5years ago. Propose real answers, not just criticizing and attacking the other campaign.

    July 30, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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