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. Nevada Independant

    So, let me get this straight...
    McCain is now comparing Barack Obama to nitwits like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton?
    The previous article to this one talks about how arrogant Republicans think Obama is. I think it is pretty arrogant to somehow infer that Obama's intellect is inferior to McCain's; so inferior that Obama is just another dumb celebrity. The McCain camp really wants to pretend that thay believe Obama is incapable.
    They are scared out of their minds that the Republican party is going to take a well-deserved break from power. So, they are saying any garbage they can think of to try and scare folks.

    July 30, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Jeremy

    Looks like the Obama Supporters are facing a harsh reality. Its time that they get over it.

    July 30, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Colin

    John McCain has taken $485,526 from the big oil companies and over a million dollars from the oil and gas industry. Despite his cheap ads and his rhetoric, he is heavily invested in the status quo and has proven over the last seven months that he cannot be trusted to do what he says.

    July 30, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Good thing McCain isn't milking, or allowing the milking of, his time at the Hanoi Hilton as proof of his ability to command!

    I've got an idea, Senator McCain. Outline your plans for reducing the deficit, drawing down the troops and re-gaining the respect we used to enjoy with the world.

    McCain – 2008 = Dole – 1996; his party is "letting" him run.

    And by the way, when does Cindy McCain release her tax statements?! You know, like everybody else has!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. CitizenS

    You know, Hillary tried the same nasty tactics as McCain. Gov. Rendell also did those nasty campaign tactics. One worked and one did not. It's really up to the American people if they want an ignorant person to represent them as being ignorant, third world people. If they saw our young boys being killed in Iraq why would they have the logic to put Bush back into office but they did. So, I guess we are just whiners because if we put McCain in office it will be asking for more of the Bush same.

    July 30, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. bill pike

    help me please. mcbush says we will win??? win what in Iraq??? even their PM has enough sense to tell us to get out???? and mcbush wants us there for 100 years??? didn't we learn from king richard that we will never convert the muslins to "our way of thinking"???? It does not say THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. it says KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. will someone please educate mcbush on the history of Iraq, the middle east, the religious wars that will be with us always????? hello. win the war in iraq?????

    ps: i am a white,small town, vet, businessman, and ex republican after 8 years of stupid. can't wait to see the movie. how exciting. do i go to batman or bushman???? interesting.

    July 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Mike Patton

    An Obama-Nation would be an abomination!! McCain is almost as bad. Too bad Ron Paul had to drop out. I plan on voting for the true conservative Chuck Baldwin of the CONSTITUTION PARTY if he is on the ballot. Bob Barr is good too since I believe he is very pro-life.

    July 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Richard

    John McCain is getting desperate.

    ps.. Im a republican voting Obama in the fall. time for a change

    July 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. McBride, SLC, UT

    What a Shameful person John McCain has turned out to be!

    July 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. Mel



    July 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. sh

    Whats new about Republicans. This is the way Maverick portray other candidate maybe he needs an afternoon nap to realy think about his future because it is not going to work this time, voters are smarter than these people who are now running MCBUSH campaign. Voters do not be fooled this time.

    Very clear that MCBUSH campaign is becoming desperate every day.

    July 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Ron

    Is he ready to lead? I don't think anyone is really ready for a job as US president. I think Obama will do an excellent job.

    July 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Matt, Canoga Park

    Typical CNN will leave a McCain post up forever so Obama's fanaticals can say messed up things about someones age that they would not have the courage to say to their grandparents face. But a post on Obama's unbelievable arrogance gets shut off quickly so they don't let people express their frustration at such a egotistical arrogant fool.

    I guess we know what Obama bought when he got ad space on a news site.

    July 30, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  14. Rich in Seattle

    Can McCain talk about what he would do instead of just attacking Obama. It's to the point that McCain is all talk and it's all about Obama. Maybe if he focused on what he would do I know who HE was, which I don't as he has changed position on almost everything he ever believed in that made him the Maverick.

    July 30, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Stacy

    People take Obama as a celebrity because you are a boring politician.
    That can’t even cheer up a crowd.
    At least take some lesson from Obama on how to be a politician celebrity.
    Stop being BORING.

    July 30, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Mike in MN

    McCain is 100% right.
    Obama is nothing more than a big gas bag celebrity.
    Democrates are too dumb to understand the issues, so they need a lights and glitter Rock star to get them excited.
    If you talk about the issues to them their eyes just glaze over and they loose interest. If you actually engage one for a brief period on an issue and corner them for an intelegent response, the come up with something really smart, like Bush is an idiot. Nothing to do with the issue.
    No wonder the Democratic led Congress hasn't accomlished a thing.

    Go McCain in 08!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. G, FL

    I think old Mcshame and the GOP( goofy old pathetic) have nothing to say about BO

    BO 08

    July 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. I Wonder

    wow CNN – As I read though some of this racist comments, what is all of this talk about Obama drinking Kool aid, I wonder how it is that discussions of the facts about most whites being racists hypocrites never get posted. Why is Obama's lead not larger? Because most white racists Americans, Democrat or not, will not allow themselves to be governed by a black man. It's as simple and as factual as that – and the comments you allow on the boards prove it.

    July 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. mack

    Mccain constantly talks about Obama in a negative way. Every broadcast comment he makes is not about the economy or any important issue running the country, but making slurs about Obama. I see that he truely does not have the morale to lead this country. If Obama is truely a celeb politician maybe he is saying what people want to hear. Maybe McCain you need to get your PR team to learn some lessons from Obamas camp. "Focus on what is important to the american people and stop wining like a little baby"

    July 30, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. "Old" white lady for Obama

    He is more than ready to lead, his intelligence and sincerity to do what is right and best for this country are so refreshing. Would a white candidate with his confidence be described as arrogant. I doubt it.

    July 30, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Why is this even news? McCain is pathetic and desperate, tenaciously clinging to the thought that he even has the ability to lead this country, let alone the confidence of the people in his lackluster, feeble-minded demeanor. Such an ad does not surprise me as a last-ditch effort, but it once again smacks of McCain's mantra of not telling the American people what HE is, but rather commentating on what Senator Obama is...what he IS, Mr. McCain is the next POTUS!
    OBAMA '08 & '12–YES WE CAN!!

    July 30, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. NoMcSame

    A letter to Obama,
    Don't you dare smile NEGRO. Don't you dare seem to be happy NEGRO. Don't you dare to stand up to to hate and what white folks feel is right even if it is wrong NEGRO. Don't you dare to go to school and get a Harvard Law School degree and think that you are smarter than any white man. Don't you dare love your wife and take care of your kids and live the American dream NEGRO because the dream is not for you.
    A white c student that is a drunkin daddy's boy is better to have at president than you NEGRO. A white man that leaves his sick wife for a rich one is better than you NEGRO. A white man that can FLIP FLOP on any issue and is not called on it is better than you NEGRO. A white man that IS said to be the worst president in the world is better than you. Who do you think you are going to another country thinking that you are representing our U.S.A. NEGRO? Do you know your place? You must not. No matter how good you think that you are the white people of America will come together to show you where your place is NEGRO and it ain't in the White House.

    July 30, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Trish Hussein - PA

    Yeah, mccain, and that's the way it's supposed to be. Our president should be LIKED by the world, not laughed at, as George W. has been.

    July 30, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. John

    I guess if worse comes to worse and Obama loses, we can all move to Venezuela.

    July 30, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. Randy

    Oh no! Obama is popular! What will we do?! He's just too inspiring! It's lame when you have to talk negatively about how loved someone else is.

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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