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. NORTH DAKOTA FOR OBAMA

    Is Barack Obama ready to lead? OF COURSE! Is John McBush desperate? OBVIOUSLY!

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Shasta

    Cry me a river, McCain. Heaven forbid an American leader be popular. What ever will we do?!

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Lorna, NY

    This is beyond pathetic. When will he show a commercial of what he is going to do to fix this ecomomy? He spends so much time bashing Obama that he is focused on nothing.

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Fordy

    What buy details. 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). I can't tell you how many times I've seen these McCain ads run during strategy session discussions. I'm no fan of the McCain campaign but i have to admit its a smart strategy and this is proof that its working. LOL!

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. common sense

    McGrandpa-Jealous shut up!

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. t

    This is a stupid ad from McGrumpa and only fortifies Obama's position. McSenile's campaign isn't just at par with Obama. Huckabee could have done much, much better even with very meager resources.

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Joanna

    This ad just shows how pitiful the McCain people are. This ad shows absolutely no creativity, let alone anything critical about politics and important issues in our country.

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Jerry

    MCSAME is awful,,,,,,MCSAME is running scare because I am American I dont care what MCSAME saying he going to do what have you done MCSAME to help struggling American who losen jobs to oversea's country. WE DO NOT NEED ANOTHER BUSH

    July 30, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. Texas trail puppy!

    WOW!! I can understand "ENVY", "JEALOUSY"..etc But this fixation that McSame has for Obama is quickly developing into some kind of "FATAL ATTRACTION"....

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Whats left in your wallet?

    I wonder how much fuel we are using each day in Iraq?Jet fuel,diesel for tanks, trucks,Halliburtan etc that we are paying for.

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    That's it??????? That's the WORST attack McCain can come up with??Honestly, IS THIS NEWS? I just do not understand why CNN covers this?!

    How about the economy? How about INFORMING the people about the national debt, and the state of our national finances?

    How about reporting on how each candidate would solve the MOST important issue to the American people......... the ECONOMY?

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Tom

    Hit the NAIL ON THE HEAD!!! – McCain hate below this:

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. FactCheck

    So that's your game, eh CNN? McCain puts out ads with blatant lies (including the last one that was called out by the Washington Post) and you prop them up like the Gospel. I guess journalism no longer means anything to you hacks. If Edward Murrow were alive, he'd spit on the lost of you.

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. ohio independent

    well he sure has made a celebrity of himself and i am sure
    Michelle has never been more proud. I am just not sure I am
    ready to vote for him. I'll stay tuned and see what i think but for
    now I am still listening and leaning toward McCain.

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Jamaal kansas

    ha ha ha the Republicans are very desperate they keep attacking Obama they are mad because he is more Popular then MCbush this is getting out of hand the Republicans are VERY VERY DESPERATE AND IT SHOWS Just for the Negative ads I am sending barack 40 dollars to Counter these Negative Smears

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Herman in LA

    Republications on steroids....

    Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack
    Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack
    Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack
    Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack
    Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack
    Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack
    Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack
    Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack
    Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack Attack

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Obama 08: mature, white woman

    Has CNN fact checked this ad like a news organization should do?

    Again, giving free press to a McCain ad that is misleading and inaccurate. Why would they bother releasing the buy details when the media will play this ad over and over again for free.

    Where is your retraction of the false claims in the ad about Obama's decision on forgoing his trip to the military hospital in Germany? Where are the questions about McCain politicizing the troops in the ad??

    July 30, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Louis

    Does the McCain camp gets any more cheap?

    What is this we are seeing. High Shool elections??

    Ohh he is more popular than me.. He is so famous..

    Grow up mcCain.

    July 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. Megan from San Diego

    John McCain,

    You should be ashamed of yourself! Aren't you the one that used to stand up for "clean campaigns"? You've sold out to the right wing and you will leave a very sad legacy after you lose in November. I am way past disliking you at this point, now I just see you as sad, desparate and pathetic. I used to have a lot of respect for you, but no longer.

    Stop the lying and the negative ads. You are only making Obama look better.

    It is no wonder that people call you McBush and McSame. Actions speak louder than words. Sad, sad, sad...

    July 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Blue from Los Angeles

    Wow...is this really what it's come down to? no mentioning of mccain's own politics...just comparing obama to paris and britney? this is a laughable ad!

    July 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Ken

    The only way that Obama is going to be elected in November is to add Hillary Clinton onto the ticket.

    If not, McCain will win in November.

    Keep up the good work McCain, Obama may be a celebrity, but I have yet heard anything concrete on his positions. Talk is cheap, but actions speak louder than words.

    Obama/Clinton 2008

    July 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. Anonymous

    mccain is an idiot, i can't wait until he loses.

    July 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. STILL FOR HILL

    The media has built the "Rock Star" to his current status. I can predict that they will lead to his fall.

    I've totally stopped watching CNN. All the anti-white sentiment has turned me off.

    Guess what CNN: I'm white, but never been racist, rich, or owned a slave.....

    White guilt will not force me to vote for Barrack Obama. I have nothing to feel guilty about.

    I will vote McCain in November for the simple fact that we already had an Affirmative Action president and his name was George Bush. My next vote will be for experience and a proven record of working across the isle to get things done.

    California: Time to send Pelosi home, for good.

    If not Hillary, then McCain

    July 30, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. scott brookdale ca

    My question whenever I see MCSame is, "Is he ready to croak?"
    He sure looks like it could happen any time. We need someone young and fresh and brilliant to solve our problems not someone who is already exhibiting the early signs of dementia.

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. Eric

    Very nice! The GOP gets it right this time. Obama is Hollywood embodied. His popularity is entirely comparable to the the tabloid celebrities'. Thank for finally saying it someone!

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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