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. chas alabama

    McCain will not say anything about jobs, health care, the economy, or anything else important unless Obama says it first.

    July 30, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. Bulldog

    The Republican Party under the rule of George Bush and Dick Cheney will say anything to get the American people to believe that opening enviromentally sensitive land will bring down gas prices.

    The real plan is to get as much land freed up for the big oil companies before George Bush and Dick Cheney leave office.

    So what the latest polls are saying is that we have a bunch of naive Americans willing to believe the lies coming from the Republcan party. Haven't they fooled us enough? How much more of beating can we take?

    July 30, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Caryn, WDC

    This ad is ridiculous. Is it so terrible that people are interested in politics? I think that the ad really speaks to the climate around the world. People are sick and tired of the same republican same old. And people are excited about a politician...I don't see anything wrong with that.

    July 30, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Chris, South Carolina

    Our finances is being used as a wedge and fear issue also because every election cycle the republicans uses the word "taxes" as a means to divide and instill fear in the American people. The reason why we're in such a mess is due to the politics of fear and divide and conquer. We're not going to let this happen this time. It also certainly seems as if the world have been waiting for this moment. Everyone I talk to seems to lack confidence in our government. So it seems to be a McCain is certainly out of touch with the American people. I am so tired of petty politics such as labeling him as arrogant and as an elitist and then have the audacity of saying that he's a reason why we have high gas prices. Thats certainly not true. Like Obama says, this is our time, this is our moment to turn the page.

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. PAT



    July 30, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. McArsenic

    CNN another one of my post censerd? great
    @Texas Trail Dog! July 30th, 2008 12:01 pm ET
    That's all he is is show and tell no substance!!!
    McCain is hoping that Americans are stupid, needless to say he has got your vote. can you tell me ONE thing of substance that has fallen out of McCains lips? no...i thought not.
    @STILL FOR HILL...sweetie take your meds. i would refer you to Walters...post, and then talk about anti-white.

    now people, yes Obama gets far no press...face it he is more interesting, has solutions, does not resort to attacking McCain( and God knows he could) and people around the world respect him. he IS blue collar, worked his we up to the top of the American Dream, stable marriage, a great father and is running a Brilliant campaign...he beat a Clinton...yet through all of Obama's press 72% of it negative...you want fair? how a bout the press report on the lobbyist running McCain's campaign or the USS Forrestal or the money he has taken from Big Oil or the McCain Bill of 91' or why he refuses to release his Military records?

    July 30, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. DFoster

    Republicans are simply pissin' in the wind with John McCain!!

    July 30, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. Bear Packnett

    Look i am going to make this short and sweet
    Obama has a lot of great ideas and i think he is the right man for the job however can we please stop acting like either one of these men will change the face of the earth bythemseleves it takes a nation to make change not just one person so lets all do our part in our own community and be held responsible as well and finally with McCain yeah he is attacking Obama and the reason he is doing so is not out of desperation but because he saw that it worked when Clinton did it so he is trying to get a lot of the independent voters this is a race unlike we have seen in quite sometime and i think it will be very interesting to watch how it unfolds. But to conclude Obama has all the experience he needs and he will have a great supporting cast US. and as a person who views myself as an independent I see why McCain is doing what he is doing dont agree wit it but understand it And as people can we stop attacking others and focus on the real issues which are how to make this nation a better place to live. Thanks

    July 30, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. PDM

    Sounds like somebody is jealous!

    July 30, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. go away mongers- Ventura ca

    Same old song- same old republican smear tactics- YAWN! NOT THIS TIME!

    July 30, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Debby

    I agree with McCain, Obama is bigger news than the Jolie twins he forgot about them. hahahaha

    July 30, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. pocono


    July 30, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Doris,Memphis,TN

    John McCain + Phil Gramm+ George Bush+Dick Cheney =

    "A Campaign of Whiners"

    July 30, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Donna

    Brooke..what ignorance you show!!!Kool-Aid...how original...

    Barack is a celebrity because YOU ALL made him one...it's truly not his fault that he is RIDING HIS POPULARITY all the way to the White House...that's what ANYONE would do right?

    But I guess since McCain can't seem to be 1/10 as popular as Barack, he choses to attack him...how creative!!! how childish!!!

    John there is NOTHING attractive about a 72 year old still whining "People like him better than me"...so much focus on Barack and so little on your own campaign...how telling!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Cheaters!!!!

    McCain is out with a hard-hitting new ad.

    **Dems should Run Ad with McLiar on Cheaters.....Regarding Him
    Leaving Carrol For Cindy .....Old FART ! **

    Fordy --These ads are being run in the media for free. Its a part of a strategy…create ads making ridiculous and sensational charges and the the media will run with it (for free)....are you SURE!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. ProudToBeDemocrat

    No thanks MCshame I rather have a leader who is liked by the whole world, that is the leader we can belive in, if you get elected for president all our alies will depart from us, you can not get along with people who wants to work with you and deal with your temper, organce, negative view of like, hear you old stories, hear your whinning day in day our. MCShame you are not a leader you would not of divorced your first wife because you met a younger woman. You will do to American and to the world the same thing you did to your EX wife, divorce every body who does not agree with you Just like your frient George W. Bush.

    July 30, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. MikeinPhilly

    Drew - good point!

    July 30, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Beto

    Obomba is certainly what the world is waiting for, especially the likes of bin laden and his gang of thugs. They want change also, because President Bush and the coalition forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan have not allowed that groundhog to peek out of his cave. Between Obomba and Pelosi and the other democrats in Washington doing nothing but collecting their paychecks, it won't take long for the people to see that they've voted wrong again. Sen. McCain will provide the leadership America needs and wants, because he's strong and sees further ahead than just next payday.

    July 30, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. D. Moore

    rg July 30th, 2008 12:03 pm ET

    No doubt, Obama can woo a crowd. So could Hitler……


    So could Bush, and you all bought the smoke and mirrors hook, line and sinker not only once but TWICE.

    Nice try though.

    July 30, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. PAT




    July 30, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. jeff

    He is becoming full of himself.
    and the media has created him on purpose.
    It is time the media tears him down

    July 30, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. Is PUMA contagious? I don't want to catch it!

    Anyone who supports Obama, but doesn't know where he stands on issues, is an idiot. Anyone who supported Clinton and is now voting McCain out of spite is an immature idiot. I went to Richardson's, Edwards', Clinton's and Obama's websites when this started and I supported Edwards, now I support Obama. If you are spouting stuff about him being a muslim, socialist, and an etilist... you're an idiot too. I would just like it if people would just discuss issues, you know the problems we are facing and how we can fix them. If you want to know why Obama is popular; he gives people faith and hope in this country. A lot of these first time voters were never enthusiastic about voting and/or issues and he is bringing them out in droves. Now, all I hope is that people are really getting involved past wearing his face on a shirt and are looking at local races and state races to see who we are sending to Congress. So what if he's popular, if it was McCain he'd be doing the same thing. Stop whining.

    July 30, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. CG

    How sad that even McCains's own people recognize that their candidate is so crusty, boring , and unoriginal that the best they can do is attempt to parody Obama's appeal and celebrity status instead of offering anything exciting about their own guy. Well, I suppose that would be asking a lot.

    July 30, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Clinton/McCain

    Nice ad, but McCain needs to hit him harder. Obama gets away with a lot. There is so much information out there about Obama that a lot people don't know about. For example, Obama said over and over again that he was unaware of Wright's racist sermons. However, Obama makes it clear in his memoir that he WAS aware of such sermons. This shows that he LIED. The Republicans better use this information in the fall.

    July 30, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  25. Bhimtu

    America is a country whose social, political, and moral progress has been stymied over the last 8 years by Republican so-called conservatism. They've engaged us in a Middle East war that has effectively reduced our ability to properly care for our OWN shores and borders. They've presided over the biggest budget deficits in our collective history. The list of malfeasance goes on and on, and instead of doing their jobs as our elected officials, all they've really succeeded in doing is bilking the American people and the next four generations out of money. Our country is broken. Our system of government is a corrupt sham. Our system of taxation is nothing more than redistribution of wealth to the already hideously wealthy. We are no longer a Democratic Republic. We're a bastardized version of some nightmarish socialist, totalitarian state. Shame, shame, shame!

    July 30, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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