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. Obama-Hill

    Obama-Spears '08!!!!!

    Obama-Spears '08!!!!!

    Obama-Spears '08!!!!!

    Obama-Spears '08!!!!!

    Obama-Spears '08!!!!!

    Obama-Spears '08!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Ron

    And I was just thinking that Senator McCain couldn't sink any lower or go any further back on his word for a fair campaign. What a snake.

    July 30, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    It is so obvious that John McCain is so jealous of Barack Obama until he is pathetic, which he is at any rate! Sour Grapes on McCain's part!

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

    STILL FOR HILL: Um, your done watching CNN yet you are here making comments? Get over it.

    July 30, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. dennis

    What do two airheads know about politics?

    July 30, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Albuquerque

    I don't think Obama is ready to lead. He is a good speaker and knows how to work a crowd. As far as leading our country? ah no.

    July 30, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Obama Supporters, Do not get complacent:

    A large portion of america are still biggoted racists. This will not be a landslide victory for Obama. If we take the election for granted, we shall lose.

    Obama's success will depend on the youth vote more then any other sector. People who HATE McCain will not vote for Obama simply due to race alone.

    Our youth is the most racially untainted sector of our population, and as such we depend on you to make america great again. Get to the booths and vote for Obama.

    Obama '08

    July 30, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Rick

    Why doesnt everyone understand that every time a democrate gets in office they RAISE TAXES and try to get everyone DEPENDENT ON THE GOVERNMENT. You DEM's grow up and look what your elected officials do........OBAMA – NO Oil Drilling, depend on foriegn oil and the government, I'm OBAMA, Let me control your life, thats the only CHANGE you will see. Our forefathers were self suffucient why cant we be.........?

    July 30, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Nora

    Obama has new smart ad – but CNN................loves McSame .

    July 30, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. Jim Schimmer

    GOP is frustrated.

    McFart ain't going anywhere.

    July 30, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Marcus E. Anderson all for Obama 08

    Well all a great man once said this about leadership:

    If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

    John Quincy Adams

    And I believe Sen. Obama has those qualities. Stop Hatin!!!

    Marcus Age 24 NJ

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

    In 2000 John McCain was all and a bag of chips today he is b-list and
    and brunt toast.

    July 30, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. Tim, Coronado, CA

    McCain and co. seem pretty desperate.

    July 30, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Frank Canada

    Hey McCain is doing it right. History proves the American public can be stampeded into making stupid decisions out of fear and greed.

    The fact is you have left Beavis and Butt Head lead you down the tubes for the past 8 years and the polls are showing you are still open to more of the same.

    Look at the oil issue. Canada has the largest oil reserves in the world but our gas prices are higher than yours. Why? Because the oil goes into a world wide pool and so would any oil the U.S. might happen to extract after raping your eco systems and destroying your children' future.

    The only thing that will reduce oil prices is the threat of diminished demand and the only way to make this threat is by investing in renewable energy.

    McCain may be old and senile but he is miles ahead of the average American.

    July 30, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. Sam

    Oh wow! Hilton, Spears and McCain! What a group! Now let's add Madona as well and the cabinate full of like minded people is almost complete! I propose Paris the Secretary of State and Brittany the chief of Food and DRUG administration!

    July 30, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Marie

    I think McShame and his campaign design staffers are going through their second childhood. This is so silly, but notice how CNN and MSM, will run with this story and play the ad over and over again. This is exactly what the RNC want. Spend minimum on an outrageous ad and distribute it to the media at minimun expense to them. Use the MSM, why not, they to have no stanards and will push anything that may get them ratings.

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

    McCain has framed himself as a tired, old, grumpety grump. He is a model GOP'r indeed. Good luck in retirement old man!

    July 30, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. Cynthia

    Senator McCain is a very desperate man, running a very desperate campaign. At this point there seems to be no limit of what he won't say or do. He should have learned from the way Senator Clinton ran her campaign in the beginning that all it does is sully his reputation and cause people to pause and examine him more. What happened to him being an honorable man and the rumored Straight Talk Express. There is no honor in lying and/or at best stretching the truth. If you will do that in a commerical – how far will you go with other things?

    July 30, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. MelissaMinneapolis

    So his biggest fault is that he's popular? God forbid Americans like their president again.

    July 30, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Inutah

    Regardless of who you are for, it is obvious this type of stuff is backfiring on MaCain. He needs someone new to do his campaign.

    July 30, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Yankee Air Pirate

    Go President McCain,attack this fraud.

    July 30, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. banderson

    Everyone should have known that this was coming, they can't attack him on the issues so they attack him on character. First they say he is inexperienced, then they say he is arrogant, now they say he is a celebrity. What will they say next, he is black.

    July 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. melissa

    yea like ill really listen to a presidential ad with britney spears and paris hilton on it. why not put miley cyrus on it too!! they are the trashiest people in hollywood. thats the worst ad ever.

    July 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    McCain the kitchen sink is broken. It shattered when Clinton threw it on Obama, missed him by a few yards and it hit the wall. A little bit of shrapnel from the sink hit the PUMA on their behinds. Leave the bathtub alone because I don’t you’ll be able to throw it that far, Obama is too far ahead of your old tired GOP tactics. Its funny since we all know you can’t use the 3:00 am one; I didn’t mention age did I?

    July 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Niccole

    We aren't fans...we are supporters.

    We support Obama's views, positions and integrity of a man we need as the next President of the United States. McCain need to stop this petty ads because it's just childish!!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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