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. Susan

    The McCain campaign is just pitiful. In 3 weeks they have not talked about the issues, just keep trying to slime the opponent. They have nothing to offer.

    July 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. Dave

    this is a bullish sign for McCain, where are the all the elites supporting NO BAMA? Why do you think Soros is going to short the US $ and long on Oil, because his investment in Obama winning ensures he wins BIG on both bets

    July 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Anne E.

    McCain's just jealous because he didn't receive the same reception from either the foreign countries to which he recently traveled, their citizens, or their leaders. No "rock star" status for Sen. Johnny-Come-Lately.
    And just what "experience" has the current WH occupant had? He had plenty of experience RUINING things wherever he went, which is exactly what's happened to this country.
    That's what happens when the Supreme Court gives a job to someone folks would "like to have a beer with." NO THANKS, I'LL TAKE A YOUNG GUY WITH BRAINS ANY DAY.

    July 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Debra

    We have such losers to choose from for president that I am having to wait and find out who the VP is in order to make a choice. So far the losers Obama has selected don't impress me at all. Boring Typical White Guy Politicians. I still have some hope for McCain. Romney or Huckabee look pretty good even if McCain is too old.

    July 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Sarah

    Can the country affort another 4 years for Bush?
    – Budget deficit 500 Billions
    – Economy in recession
    – Gas prices more than 4 $
    – Housing market melting
    – Tax relief for the wealthiest American.

    McSame is offering the same. He voted 95% to support Bush policies. He wanted to make Bush taxes permanent

    No, not this time

    July 30, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Judy

    Poor schlep, McCain. While he was having multiple senior moments last week, our next president had Europeans waving the American flag instead of burning it. From senior moment to senior moment, McCain doesn't know what brush to paint Obama with. One minute he's calling him Dr. No, the next Paris Hilton? This just shows the kind of befuddled wackiness we could expect from McCain. Frightening to think that creepy, little smile of his would go abroad in our name.

    July 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Former GOP Member For Obama 08-12

    is because he is the dullest boarding person in the world.

    July 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. mwm

    more negative republican trash.who cares?i have a dvr,and can skip every ad he puts out.i luv my divver!i can also recordificate obama's speeches,and can pahooosay,anytime i want.

    July 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. Kevin C

    John McCain has done it... pulled the Britney card. Hilarious!

    July 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Stella

    Obama is definitely ready to lead. From the way McCain has run his campaign, I'd say he's the one who is not ready to lead. Oh, and Michael, the two traits that make Obama dangerous is not ignorance nor arrogance as you stated, but for folks who are so afraid of Obama those two traits would be he's black and he's very smart – and that's always been a dangerous combination in America, to the racists.

    July 30, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Noah

    So under this ad’s logic it would be better to have some who’s hated and despised throughout the world rather than someone who’s loved and revered?

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |

    What is sad is reading how lost you all are. You need to be a leader to make change not a great speech maker.....John Mccain is a leader (not a speech maker who wows the crowd promising things he can't deliver)and will make change.

    Mccain '08!

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Steve

    McSurge said numerous time that he would not run any negative ads. What the hell is this then. He's not only a liar, he has no credibility at all. This is exactly what American have had for eight years with Bush and Chaney and now some people want more of the same crap from McSurge and the Republicans? UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!

    Everything in this ad is pure lies and misleading. Only STUPID people who knows nothing will believe it.

    Don't believe the Republican BS hype people.

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Marie

    OOPS! McShame has done it again. Insulting the intelligence of the American people. Small minds, such as his, can only talk about people. They have no plans or solutions. All they can do is name call and throw mud. He has become so sad and will do anything to be president. I would fell creepy just being in the same room with this guy ,much less have him represent my country. The Republicans deserve better representation. Right about now, even Bush may not be as bad as this guy.

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Ohio Citizen

    There is something very distasteful about the add. It reeks of dishonesty and shallowness, but there's more than that wrong here.
    Oh yeah, it's a caricature. It's a Republican creation. It has nothing to do with making the best choice. BOOOOOOO!

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Saiful, Amarillo, Texas

    Indeed- this is a free ad for Obama.
    They are helping Obama campaign. Good job by republican for Obama.
    Dem should congratulate them!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. Carolyn in Memphis Tennessee

    These two trashy trollops are the two dumbest women in the country.You would think they would at least get somebody who graduated from kindergarten. Although I'm a Democrat , I like John McCain, if I were him I'd fire what ever idiot thought this one up.

    July 30, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Dian

    Oh my goodness... when is john mccain going to offer "solutions"? This is so sad! All I've seen from him over the last month... is "Sen Obama...this ...Sen Obama that". When is he going to have something to say about what he plans to do? Even more pathetic are the people listening to McCain and saying... "he cares". He hasn't said anything to make me think he cares. He lies!

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. Rick


    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    July 29th, 2008 2:28 pm ET
    I always say where there is smoke there is fire. So if AFL – CIO is denying something, there must be some truth in there somewhere.

    Besides Obama is the riskier of the two candidates. I am afraid of his immature decisions and his hesitancy to go to war when everyone in Congress, the President and foreign leaders think we should.

    Obama is a flipper of the worst kind.

    Watch him try to resurrect the welfare queen industry. if you want someone to protect our values pick McCain, if you want some risky leader choose obama.

    He lives in a state of denial about the surge……………………..

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. a, holley

    To Brooke, Can you explain to me how any man who grew up without a father, was in debt until he wrote his two books. How is he an arrogant person. Pleas explain.

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. ronald and arnold

    McCain must not be familiar with how Reagan and Arnold won their elections!?!?

    July 30, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. Damian

    Even McCain's biopsy was negative!

    July 30, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. Francisco in NY

    As some have said, if it weren't for the color of his skin he wouldn't be where he is now. It's certainly not because of his stance which by the way are almost the same now as Hillary. Why does he need 300 advisors ? Can't he lead by himself ? WhamBama is all fluff just like Britney and great fodder for the media to make ratings and hence more advertising sales !!! NEXT . . . .!!!

    July 30, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. DD, New York

    I don't want a celebrity for President!

    July 30, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
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