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. Tammy - KCMO

    My doesn't McCain quit with the negative ads and say something positive for a change about his own campaign...oh I forget – the Republicans never have anything positive to say and don't have a solution for the mess they've created.

    July 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. Larry WI

    Let's see here, obama removes the American flag from his aircraft and replaces it with his own design, is that the kind of change we can expect? he goes to Bagraw Afghanistan, walks thru the waiting troops without speaking to any, Is this the sign of a good Commander in Chief, and is this part of the change? If you really care to see what kind of a leader he will be take a look at his Senate voting history, see which way he sways there, Humm always toward big business, not onece toward the average citizen, but maybe that's because he's only been in the Senate for 2 years. Waht! you mean he has no experience in confronting US and abroad issues. Well of course there would be change if he was to get elected, he would take us right into the sewer.

    July 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Unintended consequences

    Is this how McCain seeks to endear himself to the under 30 crowd? If this isn't a grampy-attempt to take a shot at those darn kids, I don't know what is. Maybe the folks at the senior center helped McSame think it up...

    July 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Shon

    John McLAME wishes with everything he has that he could be Barack Obama. He was just so sure that he would have the status that Obama has simply b/c he has ran for President UMPTEEN times and has YET to win.

    Obama...keep doing what you're doing b/c when people are talking about you, you must be doing something right.

    July 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Independent Fred

    I already have my own reasons to question the good senator from Chicago. Nor am I swayed by the media's love affair with Obana.
    However I'm not letting your constant blunders go unoticed either.

    So no.. the tired circa 2004 Rove tactics aren't working on thinking Americans. So instead of focusing on Obama perhaps you'll start making a case why we should vote for in November Senator McCain?

    Good grief can we get a Biden/ Hagel ticket..

    July 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. JohnInOhio

    Hmmm. Obama is a Holloywood celebrity?

    What was Ron Reagan?

    July 30, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Jocelyn

    Anyone ever noticed how photogenic Obama is? He always looks good even his bad days. Oh no, I think I have a crush on Obama.
    Go Obama, lol roflmao

    July 30, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Dave

    Neither are ready to lead as will be shown when Hillary snatches the nomination out from Obama arrogant nose in Denver.

    Chimpfest 2008!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Mc Cain did not get the biggest megacelebrities. He got the two biggest megacelebrities bimbos. je

    July 30, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  10. Ibukun, NC

    Have we been so traumatized by GWB and the republicans that we forget that the USA was once admired and respected around the world? These desperate, vile, attacks by McCain and his fellow republicans are obvious for what they are. They have nothing to offer on energy prices, the economy, healthcare, IRAQ, the housing crisis, etc, etc. I AM SICK AND TIRED OF NEGATIVE, USELESS, UNCONSTRUCTIVE ATTACKS!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Norom

    McSurge doesn't want to be President. He just wants the title of the first POW to become president. He cares nothing about the job or moving America in the right direction. If you think things are bad now…just wait till he gets into office. Can you say America has become a third world country if he gets into office?
    McSurge-vote for me because my opponent sucks

    July 30, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. TerryDo--PumaPac-40+

    International Newpaper Cartoonist all having
    Barack Obama walking on water.

    The American Media have Barack Obama walking on water.

    The DNC, the RBC, Pelosi, Dean, Reed et al, have Barack Obama walking on water.

    The World's largest celebrity must walk on water, even FoxNews speaks about the boy in the Chicago Temple!

    Is it true?, Can we get a video of Barack Obama, the Yes we can, walking on water?
    Now that would be change you can believe in!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. CB2

    American lives: don't ask questions that you already know the answer to. First of all, Barack Obama is well known because of the fact that there has never been an African American (which is still considered a human being) get this far. Therefore, people here and everywhere are responding to that point alone. That maybe, just maybe America is moving in a direction where equalitiy is possible.

    Also, please don't ask the question about why he isn't ahead more. Ok, so why doesn't Beyonce or Britney Spears sell albums to every american. Maybe because people are not going to like Britney and Beyonce for their own reasons. You can't expect everyone to be receptive toward Barack Obama. Geez!! Don't ask for that from Obama, when that hasn't been the case at all in history. When could go back to all the past presidents and ask the same thing, right?

    July 30, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  14. Kevin Collins

    Oh, my goodness. Talk about the ultimate put-down, dude - Obama's the "biggest celebrity in the world"! Sheesh, in that case Beezlebub will be coming for him soon! (rolls eyes) I think we can all agree that McCain & Co. are really getting desparate with these kind of quintessentially-dumb ads.

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Don

    Is just me?.........wouldn't a comment like this be divisive in the context of a global community? The rest of the world is already in a knee-jerk posture concerning America's perceived arrogance? If McCain represents a party that is more in tune "foreign affairs" and capable of running our country? Political expediency and marketing may be at the forefront vs. the best interests of America. In my opinion, this appears to be an ill thought add, very sad in many ways.

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Kate

    ... McCain smirks his way through one sarcastic comment after another, his face twisted in hatred and disbelief ...

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

    Yes, Obama is ready to lead. And lead he will. He has proven himself to be a good diplomat and the world is rallying around him. McCain, who's he?

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. SJ

    Ugh. This ad just proves how old McCain really is. Doesn't he know that Britney and Paris are no longer top celebrities... they're soooooo 2007!!

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. Moxie

    Yippee!!! How on earth can the 'bamabots see this as a negative? I think they must only wear "negative" eyewear. It is hilarious!! I would be curious to know how many of these nasty, negative bloggers on here are actually working for him? He sees himself as "the king of the world". He needs to be "taken down a peg or two" and made to realize that he is nothing until he is elected! Nothing!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  20. LET IT GO

    2004 Americans got scared and voted for Bush. Should I go on.

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  21. Mckee

    McDumb thinks Americans 're so dumb to believe all this trash...please think again..you will lose in landslide...

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. Peter

    You people make me not want to vote for Obama.

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. banderson

    Have anyone noticed how CNN has sugarcoated this ad? McCain is out with a new hard hitting ad. What happened to McCain is out with a new attack ad?

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. O boy

    I heard Obama Defeated Poverty with one of his speeches....

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. Nicholas

    Is Obama ready to lead? Yes. Is McCain totally desperate? Obviously.

    This is the most ridiculous political ad I've ever seen. It lacks intelligence, sophistication and any sort of decency. So much for McCain's promise to run a respectful campaign...

    July 30, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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