July 30th, 2008
03:05 PM ET
6 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. Chuck

    Obama is just a breath of really fresh air, and the Republicans know that if his popularity continues to grow here and around the world, they won't see the White House for 30 years.

    July 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. Dollar Bill

    Sen McCain is a rambling, out of touch old man. His body came home from Vet Nam but his mind is still there.

    July 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Jeanette

    McCain, Britney and Paris......could there be 3 bigger losers?

    July 30, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Sheri

    I read all these postings on the "Ticker" daily and I have concluded that Obama supporters are just a bunch of haters.........and to believe that Obama has any kind of plan is stupid...I have been watching, listening and reading and find absolutely no substance. He will do nothing to help the American people.....Maybe he should just do movies I see he is a good actor and is after all a celebrity (gag).

    July 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. mary

    Barack Obama has my vote.

    Obama go 2008

    July 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. JG from WM.

    This is the last time I will ever write on the CNN site. I will admit that I often checked in on the comments for various policital stories to see what people were writing. The postings have become nothing of value. Most of the postings are name calling rants (do any of these sould familiar: McSame, McOld, Mc (what ever childish term you want to insert)) with little thought or intellect. I had gotten to the point where I would read postings up to the point where a derogitory name was written and then stop reading the posting. But then I found I was only able to read about 1 in 20 postings. I'll find an activity where 95% of my time isn't wasted.

    July 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. ABChicago6

    McCain & his krewe and the stiffs at the RNC are running exactly the negative campaign anyone with a memory would expect them to run. McCain is a wooden plodder and anyone with a pulse rate above 60 looks animated and dynamic compared to him. With that handicap McCain's only option is to try to frame Obama as a show-off. As an independent who voted for McCain in the 2000 primary against Dubbya, and watched how the Bushies trashed him unfairly, I would have hoped that McCain would run a higher-minded campaign. Apparently in his now shallow mind the end justifies the means. He ain't the McCain I remember.

    July 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Shirley-Ohio

    How low will you go.

    July 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Elizabeth

    SOUR GRAPES McCAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Garry

    I feel this is just a cheap shot & Mccain should start thinking about what his agenda is & quit worrying about Barrack's...Silly!

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. Enforcer

    Endorsements coming from these characters, come on, you got to be serious...... One has advertised runs-in with the laws, caught in compromising shots without any underwear; the other grew up with a silver spoon and a platter, and yet still served time in jail for drinking and driving, if she is not partying with friends. You two ladies better your senses and stop barking at the wrong tree. Are you afraid that Obama may slap more taxes on your wealth?

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. judge Huck

    ahh.. love rhetorical questions! Johnny Mc needs to do better than this.... or is this all he got??? one word of advice: RETIREMENT!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Chuck, Euigene Oregon.

    Jealousy breeds contempt and anger, it looks like McCain and his camp have achieved both levels.

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. JJ

    Why can't he just focus on the issues instead of running these senseless non-founded fact ads.

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Steph

    This really is sad! Didn't McCain say he would rise above the past "negative" campaigning techniques. He is apparently trying to sink to a new low.

    July 30, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. Kevin - Spokane

    The Republicans will stop at nothing it seems. Good grief. Desperate people do desperate things!

    Obama '08!

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. NOBAMA

    To people who are going to vote for Obama

    In regards to the large deficit, do you really feel that the Tax and SPEND plan by Obama will actually work. Bush tried less tax and spend and obviously it didn't work.

    We need a moderate in the office. Not a leftist or rightist in the office.

    McCain's plan revolves around less gov't spending. This is the right path.

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Michaele

    Leaders become well-admired by the world, so I guess the admiration of millions of people makes Barack a world leader.

    The press creates celebrity so I guess the world press loves Obama.

    So this silly ad points out just how poorly prepared McCain is to lead his campaign. If he can't lead his campaign staff, why would millions of people admire him and the world press follow him around.

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Sheila

    So we have a new Republican group now: Brain Dead for McCain!

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Cameron Johnson

    "A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square": I smell a troll!!!

    So, umm... Does McCain have anything positive to contribute to the campaign? Or is he just so desperate that he has no shame?

    Or wait, it could be both.

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Concerned

    Don't lump him with us out of Illinois or Chicago. He is not "from" here, he just happened to jump on the bandwagon and has been pretending ever since.

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA

    I HAVE A FAIL PROOF METHOD TO PICK THE BEST PRESIDENT.

    LET'S SAY LORD FORBID YOU HAVE PANCREATIC CANCER.

    DO YOU WANT A SURGEON THAT HAS LOST ALL HIS PATIENTS

    BUT DUE TO AGE, 72, CLAIMS THE MOST EXPERIENCE.

    OR A 46 YEAR OLD THAT HAS HAD A 100% SUCCESS RATE.

    MCBUSH HIMSELF STATES THAT HE KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT

    THE ECONOMY, BUT HE HAS THE MOST EXPERIENCE.

    TRUE, HE IS 72 YEARS OLD & ALL HIS EXPERIENCE HAS LED

    HIM TO BE WRON A 100% OF THE TIME. & IS NOT QUALIFIED

    TO MANAGE A SMALL MCDONALDS, LET ALONE THE LARGEST

    ECONOMY IN THE WORLD, WITH END STAGE DEBT CANCER.

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Former GOP Member For Obama 08-12

    who do you want and old cranky fart who does not know how to use a computer and who thinks that cost of living being high and hard on the avg person is all in their head, McCain does not identify with you the doesn’t even pump for his own car I bet he doesn’t even drive himself anymore.

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Todd / NYC

    how out of touch is the McCain campaign? Senator McCain if you had any new ideas you'd be talking about them but sadly you don't. And well this election is clearly about a fresh start. You clearly aren't in touch with the issues and problems of the 21st Century. On the other hand I really can't imagine a candidate that better understands what we face ahead and better represents the America of tomorrow then Obama. I think the majority of us feel this way. I guess we'll see in November.

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. NOBAMA

    so obama doesn't run negative attact ads??????

    July 30, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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