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. Dinah

    Nothing less than I would expect from John McCain, the looser, and his advisors. McCain doesn't have anything worthwhile to talk about if he tries to exclude his similar policies to Bush so he resorts to the Republican Party Rove political tactics. So predictable and so sad that McCain has become the man of desperation.

    July 30, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Franky

    Ohhh great!! Now my boy is like Britney and Paris??? What else??? Is Lindsey in there too?? LOL!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Ms. D

    LROL, Mccain is not only desparate but pathetic as well. Comparing Obama to Britney and Paris Hilton. John you are not only losing your mind but you are so corny!!

    July 30, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. Jon in scary Oregon

    The BHO camp just .... oh well. Nice thought though. BHO is just plain not ready and his views will never be ready for the USA.

    July 30, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Tony

    By the way, another funny thing – has anyone noticed McBush wearing $520 black leather Ferragamo loafers (my loafers cost $3.99). I hear they are made in Italy. Wow. For a "xenophobic patriot", he does not have any problem wearing foreign-made shoes.

    July 30, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. NOT ready

    Too many of you saying McCain is not ready to lead.

    Saying McCain is not ready to lead is like saying Obama isn't ready giev a speech at a pep rally. C'mon people! What has Obama DONE (not SAID) to give any indication he'll be an effective president???

    July 30, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Angela Frazier, Memphis TN

    McLame is starting to resemble Shrek! Green and cranky!!

    July 30, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Ron, NYC

    This is a sad day for America. Just look at what the Republicans are spending their contributors' money on. The press stands idly by as Bush and his goons run the country aground. No journalist in the so called mainstream media can summon to courage to confront these blokes of the republican party. Oh, the press cannot dare question them because theymajor corporations that control the media are owned by rich white republican men.

    July 30, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Jason - Chandler, Arizona

    I would rather take Arrogant over Senility any day... As for the names we call McScam.. well he is all of those and more.. McCain is TOO OLD to be president. He is unfit to be president. His nursewife Cindy has to hold his elbow everytime he walks down stairs and steps.. Just watch ALL the videos!!.

    If I were Obama I would not respond with attack ad's, i would instead talk about moving the country forward.

    Still NO republican't can tell me where in the U.S. Constitution it says that you have to be "qualified" with "experience" to be President. It has 2 things and 2 only.. 1: 35 or older.. 2: Have been born in the United States...

    McCain is way out of his league. It will show during the debates. McCain will no doubt attack Obama for being black. His true colors will shine..

    July 30, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Winnie

    I am so tried of this hatred going on in this country, just look what is happening to us, we are first of all losing our salvation with GOD, because he said love one another, we are losing family because we can't take care of them; we are losing homes,cars,food,education,insurance,clothes,apartments,vacation,
    pets,jobs and you name it, wake up American before we are doomed.
    What is really important to you ? may GOD help us all because there is no repentance in the grave, think about this and repent. I love you all whom every you are.

    July 30, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Joyce, ny

    If Obama loses the election somehow due to adds like this, America will forever be the laughing stock of the world.

    What has become of this nation? What a mess the repubs had made. I have seen far more civilized adds in 3rd world countries than what the GOP is feeding the people of this country. As if what America went through under Bush 2 is not enough, we have to contend with this low life mud sling childish mentality being shoved down our throats.

    Get this Repubs, it is not a bad thing to be young, smart and likeable. He is popular worldwide because he actually has substance.
    Something you folks would never understand.

    July 30, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. CS

    ....such credible commentators on current affairs....Britney and Paris....the McCain campaign keeps scraping bottom....

    July 30, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Missy

    McBush's ad sounds like an idea SNL writers would push around. But it's too desperate to be funny.

    July 30, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. dave

    Considering Obama's current state of popularity, he is really much more humble than most people would be. Imagine being in his shoes for one second. It's almost impossible to even imagine isn't it? So, before we blow a chance to have someone who can honestly lead us out of the mess we are in, let's take a breath and go for it! He is a good man who could have taken a different path and instead he chose to become a public servant. Finally, someone with some sense is willing to go ahead and run– we should be thankful– I appreciate the fact he is willing to put his self and his family through this craziness known as our political system.

    July 30, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    is the McCain campaign dumb enough to think this will work......or are the American people dumb enough to let this sway them?

    July 30, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Ms. D

    Polls are not to be trusted either. Because who are they polling in these polls. Women over the age of 50 might explain why the polls are tight!! And Obama already know he has to win over these women and he still is leading rather it is by 6 points or 9. A lead is a lead!!

    July 30, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. mike

    I see the liberals being the ones who are scared, why isn;t Barack Hussain Obama pulling away???? Because he thinks he is above the average person. People can see through him. He is a blow hard.
    Typical Liberal.You would need a very big piece of paper to keep track of all the promises he is offering. Mccain is running the worst campain ever and still is neck-n-neck with Barack Hussian Obama.
    The extreme left looks like a big crowd because the news props them up.

    July 30, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. liz

    What no mention of Oprah?? And she got Obama his celebrity start??

    July 30, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. AJ

    John McCain is such a hater. These ads are a waste of money...

    July 30, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Andrew

    This was a terrible ad that lacked any kind of substantive criticism of Obama's positions. The question of whether or not Senator Obama is ready to lead has been answered by millions of Americans with their unwavering support of his candidacy. If Britney and Paris are the best that McCain and his fellow Bush minions can do, then it's obvious Republicans are nervous about this race and they have nothing to grab onto onto than the fact that the world loves Barack Obama.

    July 30, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Lonely-John

    OBAMA HEADING FOR THE GOLD. MeCan't Get Nolove is feeling a little be Jealous. Now that he is the step child.

    July 30, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. TOM

    sounds like someones alittle jealous

    July 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Debra

    We are really up the creek now. Not one good choice for president! It looks like Obama's VP choice will be as big of a dudd as he is.

    July 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. janet

    Imagine that, McCain didn't even make the top 3.

    July 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Joe B

    That's exactly why mostly ALL the manufacturing jobs have left America. Why our Auto industry is in the tank.
    The Chinese don't mind living on 5 bucks a week. So don't compare their economy to ours!
    Americans are spoiled rotten!! Wake up!!

    July 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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