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. Bill

    As long as Obama doesn't give us a flash while going commando, I'm not bothered by the comparison.

    July 30, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. si

    ATTACK & WHINE ATTACK & WHINE! This is what we really need from a Commander and Chief! McCain & Co – you are pathetic!

    July 30, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Pepou

    Britney and Paris Hilton ! Two pathetic white trash ... Just right for an old, grumpy, confused, bitter old man ...

    July 30, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. In California

    Barack a bigger celebrity then Britany and Paris.... Thank God, finally people in other countries can attach a smart man's face to the American society.

    Also does that mean we are not suppose to vote for someone who is liked by more people then anyone else......weird

    July 30, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Jeff Daniels

    Shame on you McCain. You promised you were going to have a decent campaign. Do you call these senseless ads decent?

    How can we trust you when you are indeed engaged in something different from what you promised? Is this an act of desperation?
    You are doing yourself more harm than good because American aren't fools.

    St. Paul, Minnesota

    July 30, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Obama 08: mature, white woman

    Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are two of the biggest INTERNATIONAL stars....how out of touch are McCain and the Republicans.

    I would imagine that an Obama ad will be put on this blog to balance the free publicity that McCain is getting for his, but I won't hold my breath!!

    July 30, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. MiddleofRoadIndependentVoterinIowa

    CAL, what makes you think most of the posters are liberal apologists rather than middle-of-the-road, accurate observers who simply see right through the McCain facade?

    July 30, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  8. Georgia, USA

    McBush hasnt had one idea or said anything policy wise in past 3 weeks. He is reacting to obama and that is no way to win.

    The same ole karl rove politics will be exposed. Repubs and McWar cannot win on any single policy front so they attack the character of Obama- 2006 was just the beginning. If anyone thinks that the american public will vote for more of the same after the disasters of the bush admin- YOU ARE DREAMING!!!

    mcsame is definately trying to secure the racist wv/kentucky/tn votes. those fools were not gonna vote for a black man anyways- no need to waste money.

    July 30, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  9. rw md

    That's his problem, he think's he's a Super Star.
    He thinks he's a better president than FDR, and John Kennedy.
    Oh, sorry, we havn't voted yet.

    July 30, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. tony

    Is he's Mr. Wonderful-THan why is the lead so tight-
    Most of the people commenting here are the ones that won't vote-
    I can tell you the people -50 PLus–Obama has no shot at and those people will all vote-
    That's why this is so tight-
    He is not just mobilizing the youth - He is mobilizing all-
    Good for him-
    This may be an in vogue thing " Obama " but like the celebrities who always come out for the DEMs–they never help–
    He will still lose !!
    Paris, Brittney,Obama–Nice ring-LMAO

    July 30, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. True

    Again, The Republican Party and John Sidney McCain have NO ANSWERS or SOLUTIONS to America's ailing economy. All he does is attack and bully. We need mature leadership with an intellect.

    McCain = Bush forever.

    July 30, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Dennis Lee Hoffman, citizen of the world

    Attack Obama instead of showing what you would actually do... great jorb, Hamstray.

    July 30, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Proud to be American

    McCain and team is not doing America justice by attacking Obama team all the time... can he at least think of something to debate about ... see with great debate comes change ... these attack ads does not a thing for you or I and doesn't shed light on McCain's stance .... seriously though... from an elder I expect some positive campaigning from his camp ... I thought with age comes wisdom – throw that out the window. I will take the young, innovative, intelligent ,love by the world Democrat any day versus the same old same old mud sling Repugs ... Please get over it McSame

    July 30, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Bill Morton

    John McCain need to focus on what he can do to restore the good image of this country around the world, and stop looking for something to attack Obama on. If he continues this negative course, he will not make it past October.

    July 30, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Mark

    Great ad. Shows Obama for the pop-tart that he is.
    McCain08; Hillary 2012!!

    July 30, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. David

    Gotta love the name-calling. Whether Obama wins in November or not, I am so completely happy that he hasn't stooped to such ridiculous and laughable campaign ads.

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. Cathy

    How is it Obama's fault that Americans and citizens worldwide like Obama.

    I can't stand McCain and see him as just jealous!!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Isaac

    McCain, this is what you Washington Guru need to stop now, this is the kind of politics that makes people sick, get on with Policy issues not Obama.

    July 30, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. AJP Richardson, TX

    Sounds lik Jon is a little jealous.

    This is typical Republican hot air. and John is full of it.

    He needs to take a Dale Carneigh course.

    July 30, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  20. Saad from NJ

    This is sick. I gave money to Senator McCain and I will always respect him for what he has 'DONE' but I think he is getting 'DONE'.

    July 30, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Georgia, USA

    wait til obama starts attacking mcsame's policies/gaffe's/flip flops in sept. No need to waste time now- 70% of the american people r not payiong attention til after labor day or after first debate.

    July 30, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. LaShanda

    Now McSame looks pretty pathetic. Once again, he has no message and all he does is attack. He has yet to explain his position on any issues other than offshore drilling and Iraq. This will backfire!

    July 30, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Beymar Rozo

    Senator McCain seems better and better as we get closer to November 4th..

    There is no doubt in my mind that Senator McCain will win.

    McCain 08 !

    July 30, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. The Truth

    Isn't Briney a W Bush supporter???


    July 30, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. E!

    What a desperation move! Who would listen to Britney an Paris!

    July 30, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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