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. Walter

    This is what John McCain needs to do and he needs to do more of this on everything Obama says he is for... higher taxes, bigger government, more socialism, anti-american, anti-military,elitist attitude, and disgust for the blue collar gun toting american. Lord Obama expects to be crowned King of America in November and then when he gives away the America we have known for 232 years, he will move on be Messiah of the World... John McCain needs to peel away the layers of the man Obama really is and expose him for the puppet of the radical libs that he really is.

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. California Gold

    McCain couldn't buy the kind of good press Obama earned during his travels to the middle east and Europe last week, so this is how McCain's camp puts a spin on what is Obama's successful meetings. Even McCain's anti Obama TV commercial claiming Obama didn't meet with troops shows Obama playing hoops with American troops. Lame.

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. McCain Lied.

    I clearly remember John McCain saying he would not approve, support, endorse, or stand for ads lie these. He said he wanted to run a clean campaign based on the important issues of the day.

    This is disgusting. His campaign is grasping at straws now.

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Dustin

    This is getting pathetic. The sad part is that this is going to work in many of the areas that it's run. Obama needs to hit back hard with an ad that features all of the McCain gaffs of the past few months. That would basically highlight that McCain is not the expert on foreign policy that he claims he is. He is wrong about the Iraq timeline. He is wrong about the geography of the Middle East. He is essentially out of touch on every issue.

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Mike from Westchester

    Is Obama ready to lead? Absolutely YES! YES! YES!

    Will the fearmongering Republican smear attack machine try to make Americans scared of an Obama Presidency? YES! YES! YES!

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Chi-Town Cheryl

    Obama is a celebrity all over the world! Everyone loves Obama. He is more than ready to lead. Heck, after 8 years of "W" - I could lead this nation. I have no questions about Obama. He is good for America. He is good for the world. And, unlike McCain, Obama went to college and then law school. McCain only had a high school education. I AM NOT GOING TO PUT A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE INTO THE WHITE HOUSE. McCain does not have the intelligence to lead this country.
    OBAMA "08

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. MD in GA

    None of this is going to work this time. Too many things wrong going on in the United States that can be attributed to the last 7 plus years of Repbulican leadership. (Or a lack thereof.)

    July 30, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Still no statements from the McCain camp of why anyone should (or would) vote for him.

    More respectful, positive campaigning for the GOP. They're terrified.

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Lisa

    McCain and the RNC need to focus on the topics at hand and stop all the nonsense ads. This shows their ignorance and obviously obsession with Mr. Obama. It is very distasteful.

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Bruce Taylor, Berkeley, CA

    It is not Senator Obama's fault that John McCain and his campaign are so bereft of ideas. If they can 'seize' upon such triteness and then hope that the American public believes them, they certainly have no respect for the intelligence of the American people.

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. ANGIE

    MCAIN is getting really pathetic with his old school politicts!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. Betty Jean

    McCain's entire campaign is centered around what Obama says or what Obama does. Obama is too much on John McCain's mind. Can he say ANYTHING without referencing Obama?

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. C W

    John McBush is just jealous – he wishes his supporters (the few that they are) showed half the enthusiasm Barack Obama's supporters show!

    Barack Obama is more than ready to lead, and the desperate tone of this ad shows just how well the McBush campaign knows this.

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. Rocky

    I wonder if he will select Madonna as his running mate.

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. glittergirl

    Instead of John McCain sounding and appearing so desperate and jealous in his pitiful ads, why doesn't he show ads that state how great a job he's going to do as president? These ads are jokes, they are meaningless and even though I don't support McCain to begin with, I think he is really doing himself an injustice by airing these dumb ads. Instead, I think people would find him more credible and worthy of a listen if he instead focused his jealous energy on telling the public how exactly he plans to run the country IF he should be so lucky to be voted president. I thought he was going to avoid the negative campaigning but instead he seems to be doing the COMPLETE opposite.

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Venus

    One word... PATHIC!!!

    Shouldn't McSame's ad be about him and what he plans to do for our country?

    McSame's camp is lost. They are the one's in Movie-Land!

    They have nothing positive to say about McSame other than he is a POW...

    Go Bam!

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Mark

    And another attack.

    And again nothing on the issues.

    McCain/GOP WAKE UP!! People want the goverment to govern the country well, not to attack on and on and on....

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Ron

    I am no Obama fan but this ad is idiotic. Off shore oil drilling will not provide any oil for at least 7 years from now. John McCain has been against making increasing car fuel efficiency standards for years. We have not had an increase in fuel efficiency standards for over 20 years.

    July 30, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. McCain is a jerk

    Try listing actual facts, instead of lying to the American people on national television in advertisements. Fantastic, a candidate who is willing to lie his way to presidency, sounds exactly like Bush to me.

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. Grand Rapids, MI

    Same old Roveian politics: attack and distort to confuse the fickle-minded. Shame on you, McShame. Is this the clean campaign you promised?

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. Texas Trail Dog!

    That's all he is is show and tell no substance!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Watermann

    Attack # 157.... and still going on

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Alex

    obama for foreign oil? what's with these lies..thats all they got, lies!!

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Weepy

    Obama says the bazarre appearance in Germany was not about him. He is just a symbol of America? NOT MY AMERICA. He wants to be the President of the World! Well, let him go and tell him to take the likes of the Dixie Chicks with him. Europe loves those kind of people.

    July 30, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Eric in Ca

    Oh Boy... Not another Republican/McCain ...attack of foolishness...
    McCain what are your issues....being a POW does not solve the issues at hand...Economy!
    And let's get real..Gas Tax – joke ! Off-shore Drilling – joke!
    Oil goes to the world market... it wouldn't reduce the cost of oil. Period!

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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