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. Mike

    What does it say about McCain's campaign that they think Britney and Paris are still two of the top three celebrities in the world? Three words: Out. Of. Touch.

    Britney and Paris are, like, so last week.

    July 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. Janet

    While Barack goes about being presidential and showing the world that he is serious about REAL issues, the McCain campaign is stooping to new lows every day! McCain does not know what to do next to try to take the spotlight away from Obama, but the truth is, he knows that the American people are too smart for that. We know a good leader when we see one and it's NOT McCain!!!! I would rather see Paris Hilton or Britney Spears as President than McCain!!!!
    OBAMA 2008

    July 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. linda

    How sad. When you don't have any answers or solutions, you attack. How you managed remain a senator is beyond me. You have such a lack of character. Senator Obama is what the America needs, a return to integrity and honor. Some one who is seeking a political office to serve the people instead of serving them self.

    July 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. J in TX

    If you read the Pro-McCain comments here, ninety percent of them are just sad. I truly hope that the majority of the voting public do not think like these people. After eight years of George W. Bush's failed policies and "good ol' boy" tactics, it's time to let someone else lead.

    July 30, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. judge Huck

    Sounds like sourgrapes to me... McCain said he rather give speeches in Germany once president, the way his campaign is going, he won't have that chance. He could only wish to speak in front of a 200K crowd, sadly not enough big oil execs in this country to sit on his speeches

    July 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Linda

    McCain and Obama are ready to lead as much as I am or the average kid.

    July 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. RoRo

    The black nominee gets compared to the worst of the white society by the Racists Party i.e. The Republican Party

    It is a sad day in America. This is an insult to all Blacks.

    July 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. What Would Jesus Do?

    Everytime they say "presumptious" or any incarnation of the word, they mean "Uppity Negro."

    Shame on the Republicans, shame on the Media who regurgitate this meme all day long, shame on all of you looking for a reason not to vote for a BLACK man.

    July 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. celestine

    Republicans stop nominating candidates with a D grade for president. What's McCain's education level? Bush then McCain, Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaseeeeeeeeeeeeee American stand up.

    July 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Laura -Oregon City Oregon

    Those who speak... don't Know...Those who know ...don't speak. This is really getting entertaining. Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Michael, an independent Canadian

    Didn't McCain say he was going to run a campaign of respect and focused on the issues that matter?

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Michelle

    Why am I endlessly moderated and censored?

    This is preposterous! I have never done anything wrong on this forum except to oppose Obama! My posts are always respectful.

    Please take me out of endless moderation; this is absurd and quite unfair.

    Does CNN believe in free speech?

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Kim


    McCain sounds so stupid. I hope Americans do not fall for his message. He sounds like a jealous ex-husband. I am sick of his attacks. It is getting just as old as he is. He has the image of a grumpy of man. I thought he was okay until about two weeks ago. Now he makes me cringe.

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Dee

    What is wrong with the american people. Obama is not the man for the job. He does not even have the respect to thank our soldiers while on his visit over seas. These soldiers do not get the respect they deserve. If it was not for the men and women serving our country we the american people could not do what we do every day without worry. Yes we all have problems whether it be financial or whatever but do you ever think that there are people our there way worse than we are. I'm not saying that McCain should win either cause he also has issues but we really need to think about this. No one will ever know what these two men really think about our nation. Unless you personally know them.

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. South African

    I so agree – McCain does indeed act like he has a crush on Obama!!
    I'm not even American, but watching McCain on CNN has become very frustrating and irritating because all he does is criticise Obama.

    I never hear him say anything else.
    I've not heard him talk about issues once in the past 2 weeks, just Obama, Obama, Obama.

    It makes one so sad to think that Americans might actually vote McCain into the White House just to keep Obama out because his mother dared to give him half non-white genes.

    People, Obama is more white than black. He was brought up by white people, white people, he is one of you, not the scary other!!

    Please dont shock us again like you did when you returned Bush to the Presidency.

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  16. Washington for Obama

    What is McCrazy thinking? That ad is nothing but lies.

    July 30, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  17. Adora, Canada

    I am appalled by the negativity of the American election campaign. The attacks seem so personal. The focus seems be on the trivial rather than substantive issues. There seems to be so much misinformation being put out there. Unfortunately, some people belief everything they read and do not analyze for themselves.

    Thank God the campaigns here are not half as nasty. I am sure everyone will breathe a sigh of relief when this is over.

    July 30, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Nova from NV

    Look, he went over seas to strengthen his credentials on foreign policy which he has none. He also wanted to have the photo op with world leaders which he now has plenty. Obama is more about vanity than any politicians in the U.S. history. America, please elect a leader we can believe in.

    July 30, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. hope briscoe

    McCain stop with all of negative comments; American is ready for a change and need a change and Obama is the one that can provide that change...OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. mwm

    obama is biggest celebrity.thank you for pointing that out.never has a politician reached this celebrity status,and with good reason.most politicians are boring liars,out for their own greed,[mccain].paris and brittany are no where near obama.they appeal to little girls.obama appeals to everyone at every age.mccain should put out more ads, recognizing barack's status as a superhero,as well.he could stand with batman and spideyman.

    July 30, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. Robin

    John McCain and his team have nothing to offer, so all they can do is to attack Barack Obama...and there is a chance that they can win by attacking...it is sad, but it has happened several times that losers won by the help of fools.

    July 30, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  22. To DD, New York

    You don't want a celebrity for President, do you know McCain has been in two movies and Obama has never been in anything. So guess that means you don't want McCain for President!

    July 30, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. eddie

    Hilter talked his way in and look what happened.
    Hussain of Iraq got in and look at the killing of persons and rape of women of a different group than Hussain.
    Obama has suggested taking way freedoms for Charity and Taxes to give the churches, that are against our constitution. And what did he teach in Chicago??? Law???? Think twice before you vote in Nov. Once you give up freedoms, only war will help the persons get their freedoms back....W W 2 and Iraq war.....Obama pretty face and no brains.....

    July 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Canuck

    truth hurts dems. the guy is an empty suit.

    July 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. PUMA 4 HILL

    If the shoe fits... and I would say we found our Cinderfella!!!


    Where's the BEEF???

    July 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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