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. CAL

    Thank goodness most reasonable people see the real truth that the Dems are the ones that always attack/smear. They've been doing it for seven years now. Attack, attack attack.

    You'll find that the people in the middle hate you Liberal bloggers with your constant name-calling: McSame, McBush, McGrandpa, John McBush , Mclame, mcMelanoma (and those are just from this blog). You are going to be the reason the middle votes McCain.

    You're all going to be crying in you beer, when McCain wins in a landslide (that's right, landslide) in November (the polls are already starting to change).

    What I really find interesting about these liberal bloggists is they are not talking up Obama, just talking down McCain. Talk about attack, attack attack! LOL.

    July 30, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Toronto watching

    Didn't we make "Stars" out of Kennedy, Reagan (he WAS a star), and Clinton (with all his antics in the White House?). Its not BO's fault – it just happens with clever, charismatic people....

    July 30, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. Chryssa, Boise, ID

    What a bunch of whiners.

    OBAMA '08!

    July 30, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. JDC // Ohio

    Obama cefrtainly displays enough arrogance , which seems to be a "qualification" for Washington!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. mike

    McFlipFlop for more of the same.

    July 30, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Phil From VA

    That is correct. he is a celebrity. McShame.. no one comes to see you.. no one cares. Stop being jealous.

    July 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Obama bring it on 08/12

    CNN isn't it your job to be printing the truth and what is news worthy ?
    By what we are seeing printed is quite the opposite its what ever it takes lies,slander,anything except the truth then you print it.

    Screwing up Obamas comments by adding and subtracting words then you have the gall to print these lies as NEWS ????????????
    Erasing peoples blogs /closing the blogs on McCain as you already know the comments will be ZONK .
    SCREWING AROUND with POLLS more untrue trash retire Schneider put the polls where the sun don't shine .

    July 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. MikeinPhilly

    Dragon Lady –"one that wants to see America the way that our forefathers envisioned it to be." And exactly how did they envision it?

    July 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. mike

    If Bush can be President so can a box of rocks.

    July 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. midwestforObama

    o.k. . . . so the confident, intelligent, go-getter, Obama is probably not going to win this election. Because ... most voters seem to prefer loser, liars and not very "with it" goof-offs. Let me get this straight – we go after over-confident language and rip him apart while looking the other way for the candidate (McCain) who has sold his soul to running a campaign of falsehoods and a constant stream of errors, gaffes and blunders. Here we go – the dumbing of America once again.

    Will the media please stand up and take responsibility? Think about this please- it is o.k. to show some bias to the candidate who is clearly more honest, intelligent and confident is his leadership abilities. Could we please get the more honest candidate elected this time? Our country simply can not afford less than integrity this time.

    July 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Nicole In NE

    wow – looks McCain and the RNC are doing a great job showing us they ARE not running a Bush/Rove campaign! what a joke.

    I tend to gravitate to positive people, not who can sling the most mud!

    Obama 08'

    July 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Sounds like McCain's just running scared! He has nothing of his own to run on, so his only alternative is to attack. I don't think those rather typical Republican campaign tactics are going to work this year.

    July 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Mike in Houston

    Some of you make me laugh with your comments. Obama wanting to be President of the world, CNN promoting white guilt for sympathy votes for Obama, Arrogant, don't the VOTERS know the difference between a celebrity and a real american etc. Wow a nerve has been touched obviously. What's wrong Repubs, can't stand it that the world respects a black man more than your candidate? Funny how McCain goes to Europe and the Middle East, people show up to burn the American flag, Obama goes to the same places, people show up waving the American flag. The time has come for change, real change, new ideas, new faces, equal playing field. All across America and the world, people are excited about a person that will forever change the face of America. Over 300 years of slavery, oppression, neglect and suppression and you still cannot stop reality, that the most powerful man in the world, at least percieved, will be Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, which will open the door for others, we will start with African American then to Hispanic American, Asian American, American Indian and so on and you cannot stop that train starting on Novemebr 4th 2008. Why not? Because there are more of us who love him than you who hate his skin.

    July 30, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Tired Old White Guy

    Good going Uncle Fluffy! Better a celeb than a non-entity. Jeez John, if this is the best you can do, we'd better start praying.

    July 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. Headed for Obama

    My husband and I have both been very active in the Republican Party for years, and were hoping the McCain would bring us new vision after eight years of disappointment with the current administration. After reading and studying the background of Senator McCain's vicious Attack Ads, after his promise not to do so, we have both turned away from the GOP, and will be voting for Mr. Obama in November,

    July 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Ilene

    I am absolutely disgusted that McCain's campaign would compare Senator Obama with the others mentioned.

    Please, people, vote in Obama and end this American misery called the Republicans.

    I just want to throw up!

    July 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. Illene hebert

    Anybody that thinks it is ok to have a bunch of "good lobbyists "on Mccain campaing is dreaming; imagine Mccain as president and his campain staff intrenched in his administration and his "good lobbyists" back at work telling "special interest "group about how they have a direct line to anyone in the White House in selling their "good services" just like Bush did, how did that turned out for this country after 7 1/2 years? to ask is answering come on people wake up do some research it is not that hard to find true facts common sence tells me here that if Mccain and is gang are in office god forbid there is no mistake about this it will happen

    July 30, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    Can you smell the hate, jealousy and desperation in the air from McBush and the GOP? These clowns have nothing on Obama and they know it! There days are numbered!


    July 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. C

    Oil Prices are at Record highs....

    Right solution: Offshore drilling
    Left says: No!
    Offshore drilling might only be a temp. solution, but any longterm solution will take years upon years to get off the ground. So why not do both. Ease the prices, and plan for long term easing off the oil? Liberals? Anyone?

    Right Solution: How about nuclear power? (Scientists are working on plenty of methods to make nuclear waste more disposable...get off this excuse)
    Left says: No!

    Left Solution: Blame the Oil Companies
    ...quite the solution...that solves alot...

    Also, get over the deficit people. People who think the deficit matters are morons.
    1) The deficit compared to the GDP is at a lower ratio than in other years.

    2) Balanced trade is a stupid idea. Milton Friedman, Nobel prize winner in economics, argues this (I imagine he knows alot more than you people)....Countries buy from other countries as needed. Just like one business buys from another business as needed. After one business purchases products/services from another, they dont demand the second party buy equal amounts of goods/services to balance the 'trade'. We buy from China because they manufacture goods at cheap prices. Now, if we were to force China to buy goods from us that they don't need and or cant afford (800 million of the population there are low income), the country would be destroying itself economically, and be hurting the rest of the world in the process.

    3) The deficit was an economic indicator created during the industrial revolution when America was still a manufacturing country. Are we still a major player in textiles? No. Is Ford and GM still big players in the auto. industry? No. What does America offer? Intellectual property, where the profit margins are higher. Manufcaturing has notoriously low profit margins.
    (Argument and example from author Andy Kessler)
    Imagine if you will. Intel (US) says a chip to Toshiba (Japan) for $300. Intels profit on that chip can be something like $200. Toshiba makes a laptop from it, and sells it to the US for $1000. The profit on that laptop is close to $50. The trade deficit for US: $1000 – $300 = $600. But the US has a profit of $200, and Japan has a profit of $50. Keep looking at the trade deficit morons...the higher profits are still here in the US. Who knows when we'll get past the out-dated trade deficit indicator, since economists are all about theory and indicators.

    July 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Denise Groves

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!! YES!!!!!

    THE MOST POPULAR CELEBRITY IN THE WORL!!! You eclipsed those non talented blondes!! Spears, Hilton. Thank, God!

    McGrumpy is GREEN with envy

    July 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Austin TX

    Obama doesn't want to be President. He just wants the title of the first african-american to become president. He cares nothing about the job or moving America in the right direction. If you think things are bad now...just wait till he gets into office. Can you say America has become a third world country if he gets into office?

    July 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Allan

    No obama .No osama. NO obama. No osama.

    July 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. McArsenic

    John Mccain has a crush on Obama....but he has to be careful cause Bush might get jealous

    July 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. lol

    LMAO, LOL ... This is what it boils down to? Comparing Obama to Britney and Paris Hilton? Go McCain, lol, lmao

    July 30, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Ronda

    I think we all should ask these questions.

    1. Why is it that a man with such honor, experience, and knowledge can't beat this inexperienced, young, African- American Senator?

    2. Why is it that a man that has fought in vietnam, a POW, with high credentials in the military, has problems with certain geographcal borders can't beat a civilian, inexperienced, unpatriotic Senator from IL.?

    3. Why is it, a man, the maverick, the straight talk express, the man of experience is not winning in the polls, against an inexperience, young, rock star, Senator Barack Obama?

    4. Why is it that you Sen. McCain can't get past 50% in the polls, get the media coverage, and crowds of screaming believers, and even enthusiasm for your campaign, if you are the better candidate for President?

    5. Why is it that you Sen. McCain, are using negative adds towards Senator Obama, if you are clearly look at your record, your judgment, your policies if you are the man for the job as the Commander and Chief?

    How come these questions are not being asked?
    Why is it that Obama is ahead? Why is it that people show up for these rally's? Why are the media, Republicans, conservtives, and other individuals making this out to be Obama and not the issues?

    I know that this entire process of having the first African American Presidential Nominee. Let's face it, the majority of Americans cannot relate to a bi-racial black man that was raised by a white mother and grandparents. Some people don't realize that African Americans and other people of color want the same thing as everyone else. A better life for our families. The American Dream. That's it. How is that different?

    I believe we can do it together, no matter what color or party, but we have to be true to ourselves, and be real about it.
    It can change America!!

    Go Obama!!

    July 30, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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