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 (975 Responses)
  1. Ray O'Vac

    The main reason Obama hasn't opened a lead is he's black. If he were white running against this old senile fool with the exact same credentials the polls would be through the roof. Once people get used to a black man as the nominee it will be over.

    July 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Whats left in your wallet?

    I love listening and watching the desperation of the dittoheads and OxyRush as the tide sweeps them into the deep.

    July 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Mel

    WITH THIS AD MCCAIN IS APPEALING TO THE DUMB CROWD. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. NO EDUCATION ETC, ETC, ETC.

    OBAMA.08

    July 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. LC

    It made me wonder, is a man who spent 12 years teaching constitutional law at the U of Chicago more really more inexperienced than a man who spent 7 years confined in the Hanoi Hilton?

    If being a prisoner of war is so important to character building and wisdom–then why don't we lock everybody up for 7 years as part of their post graduate education and torture them along the way. We would end up with a nation full of heros. Maybe we could make them work in the rice paddies. Oh wait, the Chinese already tried that during the cultural 'revolution'. And the Khmer Rouge...

    July 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. jeff from Geneva

    And John McCain is proposing what?? His ideas are what? More republican ideas that have sent this country into a tail spin? Who knows since all he can do is make up false attack ads.

    His campaign doesn't watch much TV..I'd say Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are the biggest celeb stars in the world as of the year 2008. Try to stay current McCain campaign.

    July 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. William Spivey

    Thank you McSame for giving us a title for our SUPERSTAR. With your dimwiitted mind, this is all you are capable of. If you were not so stupid, you might have a chance. Do you have enough of your mind left to understand LANDSLIDE?

    July 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Oregon here

    I thought that this was going to be a positive campaign??! As I posted yesterday, there are people being paid to tell others NOT to vote for Obama, why isn't this being reported? Pay people to tell falsehoods, gotta love the ethics here.

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Tarla

    Are you jealous McBush?

    Your time is up. You won't win.

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. jj

    Barrack Hussein lead???? You've got to be kidding, right?

    July 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. Tay in Texas

    McCain = McBitter, McSame, McLousy, McBush, McLoser

    The above statement is quite obvioiusly childish. I have now sunk to their level.

    Since when was being popular and well-liked a crime?

    July 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Melody

    Yes, he is a celebrity because he is the next president of the United States. Unlike McCain, the media hates Obama and is always monitoring his every move. I guess CNN is now in the same business as FOX.

    July 30, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Ronaldo

    Lets Just elect another "Old white Guy" so the world can just shrug their shoulders and say"What did you expect?? its Amerikkka"

    July 30, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. INDEPENDENT NOW

    ITS NOT ABOUT JEALOUSY ITS ABOUT COMPETENCE. NO TRACK RECORD. PEOPLE ARE WOWED BY HIS YOUTH PLEASANT SMILE AND GOOD SPEECHES ABOUT HOPE. THATS FINE, BUT ITS MORE OF A SERMON AND NO SUBSTANCE. GW WAS GOOD WITH COWBOY WORDS, GOT EVERYONE WARM AND FUZZY TOO. THAT WORKED OUT GREAT DIDNT IT? SORRY HILARY GETS MY VOTE. I URGE YOU TO DO THE SAME

    July 30, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. jeff

    Is he Obana Jesus as he supporters and now Obama now think they are.
    I hear he said the WORLD has been waiting for him. He is a SYMBOL.
    Isn't that for other people to say
    How ccan he describe himself that way.
    He is FULL OF HIMSELF or something else

    July 30, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Bilverado

    McLame is a doddering old fool who wants to bill himself as a world leader yet doesn't know that Czechoslovakia no longer exists (3 times) and that Iran is "the border between Iraq and Pakistan".He's leveraged the fact that he was caught by an enemy and held into a politcal career, but what has he really ever accomplished as a senator besides the McCain Feingold bill, which he has been trying to weasel around since he decided to run for President?

    July 30, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. BigBear

    Whenever the Obama supporters castigate McCain, they show that they are equally incapable of doing anything. If you are one of them and want to show something solid for your support, just tell the rest of us what Obama has done in his lifetime.

    July 30, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  17. David E

    McCryptKeeper is a joke. "Wow the deficit is TERRIBLE"

    ...Well you want to keep the economic policies in place that GOT US THERE!

    July 30, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. Richard, FL

    "People who think the deficit matters are morons"

    Tell the people who are losing their homes that deficits don't matter and they'll tell you who the morons are.

    July 30, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Baltimore_Fan, MD

    Thank you Mike in Houston could not have said it better

    July 30, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. U.S. Common Sense

    Silly or not, the point is true. Obama does plan to raise taxes on our energy companies and limits our potential for increasing domestic energy supply. And when there are a good number of "clear-headed" Democrats in the current Congress that favor lifting some of the drilling restrictions, Obama and Pelosi are doing all they can to avoid debate on the issue. McCain is in full right to run the ad in this case.

    July 30, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  21. Ready for a new day

    To americalives. You'll see the real lead when the actual votes are in.

    July 30, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Daniel

    Pathetic, petty, and sad...America deserves better than JM

    July 30, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Mommyof2

    Whatever, McCain.

    I'm still not voting for you.

    Jealous much?

    July 30, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. canadian

    does mcain really think that your country is that stupid? come on people, do NOT LET THIS MAN WIN. honestly, it's baffling.

    July 30, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. A Brick

    Are the republicans trying to lose this election? McCain is beyond pathetic. I'd be more inclined to compare McCains trainwreck of a campaign to that of Britney Spears' life

    July 30, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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