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. Mary Ann

    It is not surprising that John McCanin would focus his whole campaign on negative, cynical rebukes of Obama, Unfortunately after dealing with the elderly for many years this is the pattern that a certain percentage of them fall into and he's just showing his age!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. Beverly, NYC

    Only Republicans would consider this a hard hitting comercial.
    As Kermit would say, It ain't easy being green, with jealousy that is.

    What's next McCain picking on his kids?

    July 30, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Kevin

    Obama is an incompetent idiot. 143 days in the Senate or being a "community organizer" does not qualify you to be president.
    No ideas, just an empty suit.

    July 30, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  4. DONE WITH THE DEMS

    I have been really offended by some of the comments on here. Especially the black gentleman , with all the Negro comments. No one is second guessing Obamas intellegence or his accrediations schoolasticly? I do however find his positions change to suit the political moment, and that is disturbing. He has flip flopped on more issues than McCain, by far. I personally have just had it with my old party. I have changed to indpendent and am not voting for obama or mccain. I am voting for HC because she is the BEST PERSON FOR THE JOB.

    July 30, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Obama Bin Laden

    Obama is a closet muslim. I can't believe that there are so many americans who are actually dumb enough to think that he can lead this country to greatness. Obama is a media-made phenom. Nothing that he's ever done or achieved has earned him the type of hysteria that surrounds this moron. Take the blinder off fellow americans and see through this phony. He's not really the second coming of Jesus as you all are lead to believe ... he's more like the second coming of Jimmy Carter.

    July 30, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. Michigander Debbie

    America doesn't need an "Older Gent" who isn't aware of what the internet is and what it can do, or what it's like to live without health insurance, or the fear that one feels when they are unemployed with a
    family to support. I equate the youth and idealism of Obama of the Clinton/Gore administration. We need youth
    idealism, bipartisanship and time to heal after this current President/Joker leaves the White House!! God Bless Obama and the
    great USA. Wake up people, this country is hurting, we need help!! OBAMA IS THE ANSWER!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. CM

    Whats even more hilarious is that some people will actually believe this drivel.

    Lets not give Obama a chance for 4 years but vote McCain in to finish the stellar job started in the first 7.

    That was sarcasm there people.

    I also laugh at the people who are voting against Obama. Last I checked you vote for someone, never saw an 'against' vote on a ballot.

    For the voters who plan to write in Hillary. You're wasting your time. Do share your experience on the night of Nov 8th with the voting machine and your 'write in' campaign.

    July 30, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Chuck

    Wow! From the respone I'm reading the truth really hurts. The McCain campaign hit the nail on the head.

    July 30, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. Joe B

    Does anyone really believe that a first time US senator who has spent more that half of his first term out on the campaign trail is ready to be the commander in chief?

    We must look deep inside ourselves to really understand the problems in America. Immigration (uh, NAFTA), the deficit (uh, CHINA), etc.

    Americans all want to be wealthy without sacrifice and work. Shame on us all.

    Don't vote for Obama, he's not ready. They were telling him to run at the last DNC. He says the right stuff, but can't back it up!

    July 30, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Cindy Hussein McCain

    McCain is starting to steal bits of Obama's speach to the DNC – IS ANYONE PAYING ATTENTION – AT HIS TOWN HALL MEETING IN AURORA, CO HE SAID – THIS HAS ALL GOT TO DO WITH NOT BEING REPUBLICANS, NOT BEING DEMOCRATES BUT BEING AMERICANS..."

    This is an indirect knock off of Obamas speech stating we were The United States of America.

    McCain can't even write and original speech, how can he run a country?

    July 30, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. P of the USA

    This is a JOKE!!!!!!!! John McCain and his staff and advisors are delusional. McCain looks ignorant with these constant attacks on Obama and ALL OF YOU MCCAIN FANS HAVE GOT TO ASK YOURSELF IF THIS IS REALLY THE PERSON YOU WANT TO RUN OUR COUNTRY??????????
    INSTEAD OF TELLIING US WHAT HE WILL DO FOR OUR ECONOMY STRUGGLES, HE IS JUST IN THIS ATTACK MODE THAT ARE PROVING TO BE FALSE ATTCKS AND HIS FACTS ARE BEING PROVEN TO BE WRONG AND THE MAN IS PROVING TO BE A BIGG FAT JOKE.
    MCSAME has indicate that Obama will raise taxes but will not include that he will raise taxes on people with incomes of 250,000.00 or more and over the past 2 weeks McCain has been taped indicating that McCain will be raising taxes on everybody. THE WHOLE MCCAIN/MCSAME COMPOUND IS DELUSIONAL . THE PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO HERE ABOUT THESE FALSE ATTACKS. MCCAIN, GET BACK ON POINT AND TRY TO RUN A DECENT AND FAIR CAMPAIGN................

    SIGN,
    THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    July 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  12. philly

    McCain is so lame! How about focusing on making himself look better to the world?

    July 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. INDEPENDENT NOW

    DITTO I WOULDNT WANT BRITNEY OR PARIS RUNNING ANYTHING.AND THEY ARE MORE SUCESSFUL THAN OBAMA.

    July 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. p davis

    I am so sick of hillary supporters saying they are going to vote for McCain then so be it if they feel another 4 years of bush tatics is how they can survive then let it rip I mean poor people know how to make do those who are not use to it will suffer. hillary was ok but to put your future out the window is stupid. So here's to you.

    July 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Cindy Hussein McCain

    McCain is starting to steal bits of Obama's speach to the DNC – IS ANYONE PAYING ATTENTION – AT HIS TOWN HALL MEETING IN AURORA, CO HE SAID – THIS HAS ALL GOT TO DO WITH NOT BEING REPUBLICANS, NOT BEING DEMOCRATES BUT BEING AMERICANS…"

    This is an indirect knock off of Obamas speech stating we were The United States of America.

    McCain can't even write and original speech, how can he run a country?

    July 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Cathy Agu

    Sour grapes.....Mc -the -same once said...

    Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iraq
    Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iraq
    Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iraq
    Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iraq
    Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iraq.

    Obama said continues to say,
    Reach out to every body including your enemies
    Reach out to every body including your enemies
    Reach out to every body including your enemies

    Obama for LIFE

    July 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. john

    McCain said he knows how to win wars...meanwhile he was shot down in the only war that he was involved. A failure as a student, a failure as a airforce pilot, a failure as a husband and will definately fail as a president.

    July 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. smokesignals

    Excuse me.
    Howz about some real news.
    As in Karl Rove being voted in contempt of Congress?

    What is really with you guys at CNN? Do you really think that the Republicans are NOT feeding you this garbage to splash all over the internet and headlines? Garbage in, garbage out.

    July 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. I miss Hillary

    Even if Obama becomes our next president and stinks I will still be happier than if McCain wins. My support for Obama grows stronger and stronger with each racially motivated 'chain' email that is fwded to me by people I know. You know, the flag-pin wearing, God bless the U.S.A. car-magnet using, "if you don't like things here go back home" shouting types .

    As if that is not enough this morning on the tv news stations the words I heard too often regarding BHO were "hubris" and "arrogance."

    July 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Austin

    Idea for next McCain ad: try calling Obama a "butthead." That's sure to get people to think you'll make a better President, by golly.

    July 30, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Mat

    I don't watch polls or believe in them – when it comes to the day of voting the American people in the privacy of the voting booth will make their choice.

    McCain is paying money for ads that hold no substance and try to highlight Obama as a celebrity? Strange, the American people were in love with our biggest celebrity president JFK so maybe a popular President is something this country is in need of.

    I also like how McCain is flip flopping more than a fish out of water! suddenly he's all about off shore drilling? hmmm – Lets face it, when was the last time we saw a crowd in a foreign country waving the American flag, without it being on fire?

    Roll on November – it's about time this country had a new direction to follow.

    July 30, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Tired of McShame

    This is just low....but what do you expect from a very desperate super old remake of our current leader!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Nadine

    Desperate McSame, goes after "trash" to promote his popularity. As we know, McSame likes 'em young. He can't jumpstart himself!

    July 30, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. jamat

    I used to like McCain but he's turned out to be the biggest flip flopper yet. He was a maverick, now he's in the back pockets of the neocons, the religious right and the Bush incompetents. He said he'd avoid dirty campaigning, yet here it is in full view. McCain admits to be weak on economics; he accuses Obama of being weak on security and foreign policy. Well, weak economies make for weak security and weak policies, including foreign ones, so I'd rather Obama's " inexperience" over McCain's old ideas, old age and old ways.

    July 30, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. Dan , TX

    McCain's ads make it clear. McCain is a senile, lying sack of.., a man of no honor. He is not fit to be a Senator, let alone president.

    He's such a joke I'd laugh him off if the stakes weren't so high. McCain is dangerous to my financial security, he is dangerous to US interests around the globe.

    July 30, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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