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. Lisa

    He is the biggest Celebrity in the world, what is the point of this article and why is the McCain campaign wasting money telling people what they already know? Put a cork in it, they are just jealous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Jacob

    I guess Mr. McCain must have forgot that Ronald Reagan was a celebrity too... Hmm...

    July 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. Remy

    Americans preach EQUALITY, Justice and many other things to the world but at home?

    Many here make noise because Obama is half black/half white. What kind of JUSTICE and Equality these Americans, specially, republicans preach to the rest of the world?

    McCain talk nothing about the 462 billion deficit or the rising gas prices. Cheap propaganda against Obama shows Mccain too a cheap man for nothing!

    July 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. DJ, LA, CA

    Ahhhh...isn't McCain jealous of Obama's popularity, he has to resort to name calling.

    July 30, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. Stephen

    There are just so many things wrong with Susan's post, I don't even know where to begin

    July 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Senator Obama drops facts after facts, while Senator McCain drops fale ads left and right.
    I hope that in one of the debates, advertising and Fact Checks comes up as an important piece.
    I thought that I'd at least appreciate his candidacy, but geez (no pun on geezer), he's just taking everything way out of context.

    Good to know that Team McCain is willing to promote the fact that Obma is well regarded around the world.
    1) the US is certainly not seen that way right now and we're hoping under Obama that we can regain prominence
    2) McCain had a tour similar to Obama back in March and quite frankly, he was underwhelming.

    So, here's to Senator Obama. The world does want you because with all of your ideas to help the world, as opposed to surging more troops into an unjust war.

    July 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. McArsenic

    72% of the medias coverage of Obama is negative yet the McCain camp wants to call him a celebrity? hmmm... John McCain asks if Obama is ready to lead while Obama stands infront of 200,000 Germans with American flags...John McCain says Obama has no substance while McCain only attacks Obama, no solution no policy only ATTACKS.....John McCain cries because Obama gets more attention...well if the Media scrutinized Mccain as they do Obama, then perhaps America would know more about ALL of the lobbyist running McCain's campaign including Charlie Black who is still on his Lobby's pay roll....McCain now wants off shore drilling (which will NOT help) only after Big Oil gave him Millions of dollars...McCain is counting on American prejudice and stupidity....JUST LIKE BUSH

    July 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. AdamW

    Sorry McCain...offshore drilling will not help lower gas prices and anyone who think it will is not in their right mind.

    What will help lower gas prices? Not using it. Having enough vision and leadership to say no more. We need solar, electric and hydrogen.

    We need a leader that inspires not just talks tough and bad moths others. The president's job isn't to make all of the decisions himself. It's his job to make job judgement, surround himself with good people and inspire them and the country to progress.

    Republicans like to surround themselves with crooks and spoiled babies who out CIA agents if they don't get their way. They surround themselves with lobbyists and oil mongers, liars and cheats that take from the American People. Democrats aren't innocent either but Obama is a symbol for change and regardless of your party America needs that.

    July 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Brittany

    Yet Another Dumb Tactic By John McCain And His Campaign Group. Pay Ignorance No Mind. And This Stunt Will Get Just That.

    July 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  10. Gallup

    The latest Gallup poll shows McCain up by 4 percentage point for likely voters. That's right .... McCain is in the lead as of right now and will not look back until the elections in Nov when it is announced that he will be the next US President. Obama is a socialist who want to control Americans and raise taxes across the board. Not exactly what our struggling economy needs at the moment.

    McCain in 08!

    July 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. vb

    Allan..good to see they have computers in the backwoods of the south.

    July 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Dan, Maryland

    It's sad really, McCain seems to forget his positions often on the campaign trail waffeling on oil drilling, taxes, Iraq, etc. But to go back on a promise to run a clean campaign without going negative, that's just pathetic. I'm tired of the McCain campaign forgeting their candidates morals when clearly he's too old to remember what they are.

    July 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. Michelle

    BTW, what is wrong with a president being popular????? Can someone answer that question?

    July 30, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. non-white & non-black person

    THese lame ads from the McCain campaign already shows us how stupid he is and also how unorganized his campaign is. DOesn't this tell us how he is going to run the White House if he is elected?

    July 30, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. OverSeer

    It seems every time we let out the reigns a little on one of these house boys, they suddenly start feeling free. I never seen such arrogance. Does he honestly think people love him the way the media is portraying? He should really get back in his place. Really.

    July 30, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. Obama '08

    Karl Rove continues to run the Republican Party.

    July 30, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. cjsks

    Monty Burns, Father Time... John McCain? He is the grumpiest old man in the world... does he have the energy or soundness of mind to lead a nation??

    July 30, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Sue/PA

    McCain must REALLY be jealous. Reminds me of some of the "children" I teach in school...they don't like the child that has more than them, hence, make fun of them. PATHETIC...that is how McCain is acting now.

    Note to McCain: Obama has more leadership in his little finger than you and your entire lobbying staff have or will ever have.

    McCain is not an underdog..he is an underachiever...just like Bush

    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. Independent

    John McCain just had a town hall meeting yesterday in NV.

    It was absolutely pathetic. All this guy says is "my friends I know how to fix that" but then he gives not even the slightiest solutions to the problem he was asked about.

    Wake up America! Not again, not again!


    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Andrew Anderson

    Paris and Britney the two biggest celebrities in the world outside of Obama... Um... Paging John McCain's sense of reason... hello... are you there...?

    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. NOBAMA, PA Voter

    This ad is accurate – Obama is acting like a celebrity, trying to win this with an international popularity contest. He's won nothing, has done NOTHING for this country.

    (If the rest of the world likes him, it's because he will WEAKEN AMERICA!!!)

    Doesn't have a good reason why he doesn't want offshore drilling.

    Obama actually seems like a dummy with Ted Kennedy,John Kerry, and Dean pulling the puppet strings...

    Please, elect a leader who places America's interests first!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. Peggy - TX

    When I read the title of the article I was afraid that Brit and Paris were coming out for Obama. Thank goodness that they are aginst Obama as the advertisement, even with it’s negative message, will certainly help Obama.

    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  23. Susan

    So, how much did the McCain campaign pay Paris Hilton and Britney Spears to use their images in the ad? These girls sell their images, you know.

    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. NH for Obama

    JoHN McCain need to start focusing on himself rather than obama, maybe if he spent more time talking about what he WOULD do and Obama wouldnt do he would A: be higher in the polls and get a little more air time, being negative lost hillary the main spot, he should leran from history, he has seen enough of it.

    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |

    Ken and any other Clinton Supporters this statement is for you all.

    There will be NO Obama/Clinton ticket. So, please stop dreaming. It'll NEVER happen. Barack doesn't need Clinton to win this election; if anything she'd help Barack Lose this election (too much baggage/B. Clinton).

    So, if your intentions are to vote for McSame, then good for you. Should McSame win, you'd have no one to blame but yourself when you're homeless, jobless, defenseless, etc. (as Ohio and Florida are because they tipped the scale for Bush). You people never learn do you???

    Looking a gift-horse in the mouth.

    Barack is a leader!!!!

    Go Barack Go!!

    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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