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. jmcafee

    Poor GOP. So angry, so bitter, so jealous! What's the matter guys and gals, dont have anything you can brag about and run on after nearly 8 years. I mean after all...you guys and gals have been feeding from the trough at the taxpayers expense for nearly 8 years now. Not rich enough yet? Oh...this is just the beginning of the "whirlwind". I can see indictments in the future, maybe some prosecutions. Of course we will probably have to fumigate everything you people have touched. I know for certain that some of you are trying to burrow in to some key positions so that you can sabotage the next administrations efforts, however, be aware that you won't make it. Your smell is so loud no right thinking American will be able to ignore you. Just remember this....when the GOP get's what's coming to them...you can blame Barack Obama, the Democrats, or Russia for that matter. But know this, the GOP's death will be because you died by your own hands! All greed, no vision, no conscience. Bye, Bye.

    July 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. karen-phoenix

    The whole world wants a change!!!! NO MORE WARS!!! Out with the old and in with the new! GO OBama!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Michael

    Do birds of a feather still stick together? Do we still evaluate presidential candidates by the company they keep? Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are real vote catchers with GOP supporting Evangelical leaders! They really stand up for traditional values! James Dobson and co must be dancing with joy! Way to go, McSame! And McCain is aiming for the "values" vote. As my wife comments almost every day, "Just give McSame as much air time as possible, 'cause he'll keep shooting himself in both feet every day!"

    July 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Joanna

    Is this what the McCain campaign has stooped to? Using two young people who are mainly famous for their very public problems to help garner votes. Obviously the McCain promoters are not focussing on the main issues America is facing right now. You can't buy personality or common sense both of which seem to be missing in Mc Cain's new strategy.

    July 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Sick

    Maybe he should take notes from hillary's campaign....All the attacking isn't giong to work when Americans are concerned with REAL ISSUES. He's falling into the same trap HRC fell into. Just stick to the issues. Wait...All McCain can talk about is the war without an earpeice.


    July 30, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. Dave

    Why does anyone pay attention to these commercials and ad campaigns? They are all negative and nothing points out the positive in their respective candidate. When are American's going to come to the realization that there is no such thing as a good, whole hearted politician. They are all scheming for an upper hand and they all have a dirty past...

    July 30, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. SD Reader

    I can't help but laugh, I kind of find this ad funny. I am a Democrat supporting Obama, but I'm not overly worried about this ad...seems more silly then anything. I think some of the other McCain or RNC ads are money better spent on showcasing McCain or attacking Obama. This is just a waste of money I think.

    July 30, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. mike s.

    Finally, ads that actually tell the truth - as painful as that must be to the Obama camp!

    July 30, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Capt'n Fatty

    McCrazy. LMAO

    July 30, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. Molly Weasley

    Why is CNN continuing to give the McCain campaign attack ads free publicity? Especially without pointing out that they're false?

    Would it kill you to cover some real campaign news for a change - such as candidates' positions, and how their claims are true or false? Of course, that would take some actual reporting, which seems to be lacking these days.

    Or how about some analysis that the McCain campaign, driven by Karl Rove minions, have nothing real to offer so all they can do is put out these lies?

    July 30, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. Independent Voter

    Obama clearly has a messiah complex!

    Arrogant beyond measure!

    Truly a scary guy – in the mold of Hitler before he was freely elected as "the change" his country was crying out for.

    The Democrats are getting in line to worship at his hem.

    As soon as he's elected, he'll want to get rid of the two term limit. What a self serving, greedy, power hungry creep!

    July 30, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. WBW OHIO

    This OLD MAN IS A PATHETIC POS. He is not fit to be Dog catcher let alone POTUS. And I am sick of hearing he is a hero. He lost five planes and the last one got him caught to bad. He thinks Iraq is another Vietnam and he will not lose this one. He has to many psychological issue's, he is not fit to lead.

    July 30, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. lol

    I really hope the media including faux news show this ad, this is just incredibly stupid!

    July 30, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. TJ Johnson

    Yes and I can't see why the world celebrates Britney and what's-her-face either. That just shows how low the moral values of the world have shrunk to. BO fits right in there with those two women.

    July 30, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Britney and Paris? come on that's the best McBush can come up with, they don't vote!?? America please wake up we need change..

    July 30, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Zion

    I wrote Senator McCain when he first started flip-flopping on issues that were near and dear to Bush's heart. I begged him not to become a typical politician. Even though I will cast a vote for Obama, I am very sad to see that McCain has allowed himself to fall into politics as usual. The very people who he once considered vile, and sell-outs, he has become one of them. I still believe that he is too fine of a politician for this. I hope that one day I will see the old McCain again.

    July 30, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Matt, Canoga Park

    I really don't think America needs to go from Clinton arrogance to Bush arrogance and now Obama arrogance.

    I half expect Obama to change the stars on the flag to little Obama O's any day now.

    July 30, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. Amazed

    WOW, it is scary that people would consider voting for this man if this is all his campaign can do.

    July 30, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. Michelle

    Good one, McCain. Love it!

    Obama's just a pop star who looks good but has no substance.

    And the silly, fawning media goes along for the ride instead of

    We don't need another unvetted, arrogant president.

    Obama is Bush 3.

    July 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Ontaya

    I find it funny that so many people think Obama is arrogant just because the man has a clear vision. I welcome it. We need a strong leader if anyone was arrogant it is our current President George W Bush his way or the highway that is why we are in such a mess now.

    July 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Sandy

    So...and whats wrong with that...you jealous or what?

    July 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. John-South Carolina

    I know you will not post this after you read it but why is MSNBC the only station that is going after McCain and all the garbage he is spewing. I used to really like you CNN but what has happened. McCain looks like and has been talking like he should be in a home with 24 hour care not running for President.

    July 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. warren

    Britney and Paris? that's the best McBush can come up with? they don't vote!? we need change and fast.. OBAMA

    July 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. Tim

    OSAMA I mean Obama is an idiot. Watch him speak. He has to really try to think of what to say. He was raised as a Muslim in a school in Jakarta.He is not a world leader just a community organizer.He will always be a secret Muslim and a I hate white people person. Go McCain,at least he is a real American and not some phony that will say anything to get in office. Obama sucks.

    July 30, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    I have a Question?????????
    Is Obama for legalizing pot? I only ask because of the article about legalizing pot.

    PLS. respond.

    July 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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