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. Frank N. Sense

    Does John MCCain really think Paris Hilton and Bitney Spears are the world's biggest celebrites?

    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    The GOP nailed this one. He is the biggest celebrity in the world.

    But does that make him right for the presidency?

    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. g.

    McCain is a flaming idiot. This is just more proof.

    July 30, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. ReaganDem84

    Looove the ad!

    Thank God people are starting to wake up!

    Thank you Barack, Michelle and MSM, but I already have a savior in Jesus Christ!


    July 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. GERRY

    YYES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. smile!!!!!!

    The repugnants with the white hoods on are out in force today because the rnc paid them all today and ordered them to blog, but they forgot to take them hoods off WOW

    July 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. timber

    Very good point. Many people are brainwashed by celebrity and cannot see past all the hype. Underneath all the fluff and hype, he is someone who really has not accomplished anything and is more inexperienced than even GW Bush was when he became president. Now, do we really want all that again?

    July 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. SJ

    Yea Austin.. America is gonna become a thirld world country because of Obama... what stupid rock did you come out from? OH wait, you're from Texas! Enjoy the rest of your life with ur neighbour Bush...

    July 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Rachel

    So, I don't understand... mccain is trying to get us to not like obama by picking the dumbest celebrities he could find? How does that work?

    July 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Bill from ALabama

    Obama is as bad as everyone says he is. Telling the truth,is not being negative.....its being informative,people. Tell me something that isn't true about Obama,that is positive,besides his ability to blow sunshine up everyone's posterior. He is the most liberal Senator in the Senate,according to all to the Senate. He has no experience! He is still in his first term as Senator and already has a reputation! Thats a fact! Everyone can't be wrong! Obama and his racists 20 year friendships,with the Rev Wright,Father Pfleger,and Bill Ayers,has a lot to do with Obama's situation of not being able to garner voters. Obama's past has simply done him in,before he ever got started. You may willing to excuse him of his bad judgement,but most do not!

    July 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. george

    Read somewhere on the internet that John McCain might be suffering from PTSD If this is true; why why is he still contesting?.

    July 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. Mr. Jones

    Let see John McCain wants to get young people to vote for him, so he enlists a debutante who is famous for being a slacker and starring in her infamous "One Night In Paris" video and BrittneySpears, who knows a little something about going "commando", being "institutionalized" driving without an license and being an unfit mother!

    Gotta love these young republican future leaders.

    July 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  13. Tired of W, OH

    Well, since they already closed the comments on the Offshore Oil Drilling blog, I'll post here...

    To everyone that wants to start drilling for oil off our coast, let me ask a question. What makes you think the oil companies are just going to start drilling? Are we going to put a gun to their heads and demand that they start? They've got a pretty sweet deal going right now. As long as they keep supplies low, they can keep charging whatever they want. And what happens decades from now when our children's or grandchildren's generation finally does run out of oil and there is no where left to drill? We need to solve this energy problem now. Not leave it for future generations to figure out.

    July 30, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Des,Toronto

    CNN would you be more objective with your reporting. The best political news is now received at Huffingtonpost.com. You let McCain's campaign get away with all this nonsense,please hold him accountable for this BS.

    35 Million Canadians for Obama

    July 30, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Heather in Boston

    I kinda wish McCain would use his limited resources to build a campaign of his own. His economic policy and his commitment to the war are totally inconsistent. He has admitted that he might have to raise taxes. The only "solution" he ever offers is to "wasteful" spending.

    As any freshman econ major realizes, raising taxes, cutting domestic spending and continuing to run a deficit to fund the war will grind the economy to a screaching halt and would amount to a DEPRESSION, not a recession.

    Obama is the only choice we have. McCain doesn't even understand the consequences of the promises he makes.

    July 30, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Richard OIF 06/07

    There is nothing false or misleading about the ad from what the article states. Obama failed in his visit to General Petraeus and the troops in OIF/OEF. Obama gave lip service to some other national leaders ... and they gave lip service back. Obama is out of his league; no wonder his poll numbers are shaky and Senator McCain's support is firm. McCain can only move up. Notable too is the spit and vinegar coming from angry Obama supporters; they are more finite than they thought and some have actually come to that realization. With a secure Iraq and Afghanistan within sight, those of us who were a part of those successes certainly deserve better than fifth columnists like Obama and an all star cast of like minded people in his proposed administration who spent the last few years undermining our efforts. Likewise, we all deserve better than highly taxed foreign oil, with no efforts to increase domestic production of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and alternative energy as proposed by Senator McCain. Perhaps Americans have heard enough of Obama and his bewildering prophesies of an Obama heaven on Earth.

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

    Excellent coverage of the issues, Senator McCain.
    It's ads like this that will push swing voters to Obama. He desperately needs a new marketing team.

    July 30, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Silence Dogood

    don't worry about the real issues – repeat after me:
    Brittany, Paris, Oprah, American Idol, Obama.......

    Folks it is NOT a TV show – there are real problems out there!

    And all we have to choose between is more Bush policies and an Empty Suit. Look what happened last time a movie star (Reagan) got into office.

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

    This is McCain's political strategy? Just attack the other candidate and his views and goals, instead of telling us what you're going to do for this country? McCain, we all know that you want to win. But you're not giving us any reason to think you'll do a better job than your predecessor has. Keep trashing your opponent. Obama's strength, tact, love of this country, desire for change and his ability to fight the fair fight will win him the Presidency.


    July 30, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. WB, PSL

    The Republicans will not scare us this year. We'll not blink, our minds are made up and it's time the REPUBLICANS PACK UP AND START LEAVING. This is the year for Democrats. NO MORE BUSH, NO MORE JOHN MCCAIN, NO TO THE REPUBLICANS AND THEIR SCARE TACTICS!!!



    WB, age 23

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

    When did Britney and Paris become so popular? Maybe 5 years ago.

    They are so yesterday. I guess McCain is also.

    July 30, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  22. Joseph L

    Vote for Obama only if you need welfare and free handouts from the govt.Also if you like the idea of speaking spanish Obama says all americans should learn spanish.Also if you like not having guns.He is going to make concealed permits gone.But of course we dont need our guns Obama the mesiah will take care of us.Wy dont you read about marxism.Obama will be a faliure and will sign more new laws than any president ever.He is the best car salesman that ever lived.I WOULD RATHER HAVE A LIFETIME OF BUSH THAN ONE TERM OF THE SOCIALIST OBAMA.I hope the 54,000,000 real Americans show up like they did in 04.

    July 30, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  23. Barack the Vote in RI

    Let's face it people....

    McCain can't fill a room to save his life, he puts you to sleep with his rhetorical bullcrap, he obviously got F's in Geography (if he went to college at all.) his negative/untruthful attacks on Obama reek of desperation.

    Since he's decided not to "rise above" the fray...let's now talk about how he left his dying wife for Cindy, how he was suicidal and let's also not forget his anger management issues....

    why would anyone support this man?

    July 30, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. Joseph, Los Angeles California

    What a sad candidate. I expected a little more dignity from John McCain... I guess I'll never see it.

    July 30, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  25. Tasha S.

    John McCain is a disgrace to the Republican party! He sounds like an old, mad, jealous do anything to win man. Can someone from CNN please tell him to focus on the issues for Americans instead of attack, attack, attack all the time. That seems like all he is good for. I don't know any of his plans to get Americans out of what his friend Pres. Bush put is in!

    July 30, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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