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. Amanda, MA

    Hey Guys,

    I just donated to Barack in order to participate in the "Backstage With Barack" contest. Go to his website, click on "Backstage", then donation. You can donate as little as $5., but your donation has to be in by tomorrow. If you win, you will have a chance to meet Barack backstage at the Denver Convention. This works for me because I've been donating anyway.

    Good luck, and go Barack.

    July 30, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. common sense

    Compare a Harvard trained State and U.S. Senator to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton????

    How can anyone take the McCain campaign seriously?

    July 30, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. PT

    Spears, Hilton...Biggest in the world? What year was this ever a fact?

    Brad & Angelina maybe or a great deal of other more famous perhaps. This campagne is outdated and jealous and it shows BIG!

    July 30, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Los

    Attack attack attack. Is that all John McCain does now? Sheesh I used to have so much respect for this man.

    July 30, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Frank, Atlanta, GA

    I'm sorry, but did McBush say something????

    VOTE FOR BARACK OBAMA...IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  6. Millie Bea

    I know at the end of a campaign ad you get that ridiculous "I'm so-and-so, and I approved this ad", but I wonder if mcCain is actually listening to what his media people are doing- or maybe there is no one in the campaign who will pull him aside and tell him that his media people are psychotic if they think their campaign is inpressing anyone- indeed, it's all making Senator McCain look downright spooky. Obama made oil prices go up? Obama is a celebutante? Just wait, the next ne is that Obama is really DB Cooper.

    July 30, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Mel

    RON ......PLEASE DONT HATE ...BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT ACCOMPLISHED.

    STOP SPREADING BIG FAT LIES.....

    OBAMA...08

    July 30, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. mk

    and???????????
    Translation:
    whine, whine, whine, the press is ignoring Johnny cuz he is ..
    NOT MAKING ANY NEWS. His message is the same,
    The surge worked, more war, and I am GW Bush's clone.
    Whats new here????

    July 30, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. Dave

    No, Obama is not ready to lead. He has never lead a city or state. He has only been in Congress for a few months, and has been absent most of that time. A person's rock star status does not mean they will be an effective leader.

    July 30, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. al

    **************************************************

    JEALOUSY..........

    MCCAIN CAN'T DRAW A CROWD THAT BIG.
    MAKING IT LOOK LIKE HAVING A LOT OF FOLLOWERS IS BAD.

    REPUBLICAN MACHINE IS TRUELY FIERCE DURING ELECTION.
    THEY WOULD ATTACK ANYTHING YOU SAY, DO ,WEAR, ETC.
    WHILE DEMOCRATES SEEMS TO MOST OF THE TIME STICK TO THE ISSUES.
    I THINK DEMOCRATES SHOULD DO THE SAME DIRTY TACTICS BUT IT WOULDNT A DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE.

    HOPE GOD HELP US AND LET THE GOOD PREVEIL AGAINST EVIL REPUBLICAN TACTICS.

    STOP THE MADNESS. VOTE OBAMA.

    July 30, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. linda

    If the worst I could say about a competitor was he and his policies were MORE POPULAR than me and mine, I think I would say nothing.

    July 30, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Tim

    I think that not only the Obama girl has a crush on Obama, McLoser does also. LOL!!!!! The question is McForgetful ready to lead? But I'm okay with him spending all his time trying to attack Obama it means that he is desperate and has to throw anything hoping soemthing will stick. It won't work.

    Yes we can!!!!

    Obama 08/12!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. Campaign interview

    Mcsurge: My friends, I know how to win wars, I know how to catch Bin Laden, I know the area and I know all the players, I know Prime Minister Al-Maliki, I know Benazir Bhutto, I know General Petraeus and all our generals, I know Bin Laden, I know the surge – it is mobilizing additional troops for counter -insurgency and getting local Sunni tribes to denounce Al Qeada terrorists. I know all this my friends. We will win the war – I know how to win wars. I know how to turn the economy around. (But I don't really understand much about the economy but don’t worry about it my friends)

    Journalist: This guy has a lot of experience! He knows every one!!

    Voter: Journalist, can you please ask him to tell us, his friends, what he knows, and how he will use it to win the war, and how he knows Bin Laden, and how that will help him catch Bin Laden?? Please follow up, please!!

    Mcsurge: I know all this my friends, just trust me...

    Journalist: This guy is the real deal. He knows how to be CIC...!

    July 30, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. Sylvia

    It seems like McSame is idolizing Obama as well. Obama does not have to campaign really hard, McSame is doing it for him. Obama is ready to lead and leaving McSame in the dust.

    July 30, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Silvia in Boca Raton FL

    This is absolutely sick. McCain should be ashamed of himself. Is this the kind of "clean" campaign he wanted to run? No wonder one of his principals advisers (I do not remember his name right now) resigned because he did not want to run this kind of dirty campaign against Obama.

    Hope that American people are more smarter than this and look beyond the color of the skin too. Otherwise we are in trouble.

    July 30, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Scary is right !

    Repulicans are scared, scared to death that you ignorant sheep (aka Democrats) will vote in Obama to the highest level in our country without knowing even what your voting for. Like 98% of you have done any REAL research into this man because if you had you would realize just what a dangerous, underhanded, lying, self gloating person he really is and the previous statement comparing him to Hitler hits very close to accurate. You people need to do your homework and McCain may not be what we would choose if given more choices, but he is BY FAR, without ANY doubt, the best choice between the two. Obama is a wolf in sheeps clothing and hind site in this instance will be a horrible under statement.

    July 30, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. rw md

    Obama is just another Chicago slime ball.
    Alfonse Capone was more honest and probably made a better
    president.

    July 30, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. TRUTH

    SIMPLE: the polls are not showing his true lead because they are not polling cell phone users. Do you have a cell and landline? If you're under 35 years of age then the answer is most likely no.

    July 30, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. george

    McCain is a sad shell of what he once supposedly was.

    July 30, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. laurie SD

    So much for a running a respectful campaign, mr. mccain..... hope everything else you say is a little more honest than this promise....
    I won't get my hopes up..

    July 30, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    I think Obama enjoys international celebrity status because he is symbolic of the image the United States used to project–one of hope, prosperity, and justice.

    Likely, Obama supporters are not "kool-aid"-drinking robots (although I'm sure there are a few, to be fair), but rather people who believe that we can make this country GOOD again.

    July 30, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  22. Will, NJ

    Why do we need to drill offshore if that were the solution? oil companies have millions of acres of land to drill on already so why give them more, especially in place like the wildlife reserve? Our economy has lost hundreds of millions if not billions from the oil spill in the Mississippi and we want to create more problems like this?

    July 30, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  23. joe

    Mccain, Bill O'reilly, Hannity are bunch of racists and stupid stocked!

    They are brainless!

    July 30, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. nyc

    VOTE NADER '08!

    July 30, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Brennan - Seattle, WA

    McCain's campaign is sad, dishonest and not at all living up to values that John McCain claims to live for.

    A Patriot? Would our four fathers have thought that the McCain campaign was making the right moves? Our four fathers would be disgusted.

    July 30, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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