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 (975 Responses)
  1. Scott Brown Palm Bay Florida

    Wow some you dem's make the case in your comments on why we Christians and republicans do not like this guy. You talk of following him instead of electing a leader. A follower does not question or even take the time to learn about someone and their qualifications. (Obama) A leader is elected because they have a track record and he or she is allowed to lead because they are promoted. As someone who runs a company he does not have the qualifications to run this country or even a business. He has no track record. You don't hire someone and HOPE they will do well-you take the time to hire someone who has the track record and can measured by there past performance.

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  2. Cheri

    Yes ,Obama is ready to lead.John McCain is getting very desperate with these childish ads.It will all backfire on him.I think maybe John McCain is a little jealous of Barack Obama.

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. beevee

    It is not Obama's fault that Mr. McCain does not have the have charisma or personality of Obama. Stop being so jealous and focus on issues that matter to us most. May the best man become the president.

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. WeBoDave

    The citizens of the world and the USA are sick of G W Bush and his cronies like John McCain. This is Obama's point when he says this is what the world is waiting for, which is obvious to anyone but desperate, misleading Republicans.

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Mike, Surrey BC

    Every time the McCain campaign puts out a piece of trash like this, whatever integrity he had takes a hit. Go home John to your ranch and flip hamburgers for your cronnies.

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. TJ Gorton

    This is just pathetic. McCain should ashamed for the kind of campaign he has run so far and the desperational attacks that he has come up with so far. This is just getting ridiculous!

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. dormar

    Mccain is too old for for this kine of stuff/lying

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Jay

    Obama should make an add with the Crazy guy who shot and killed 2 in a church in Knoxville because they were Librials and he did not agree with them. See what being a republican is all about, killing those who dont think like you! Nice Job McCain.

    July 30, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Matt: honestly

    Can someone tell me why appealing to people the whole world over is a bad thing?

    July 30, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. Foreign Observer

    "hard hitting"? Lol. doesn't that imply you actually connect with your target?

    July 30, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. M-

    Britney and Paris are voices of .... what? Reason? Knowledge? Good judgement? I think not.

    July 30, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Joyce

    To all the white cult members of the Obama Camp, just remember he has attended a radical black church for 20 years with the "HATE WHITE MEN" doctoring , whites invented Aides and all that is bad for all other races. Take note how fast he turned on his Rev. Wright, once he gets in office, he will do the same for you!!!! Stop the Brain Washing.

    July 30, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Garry

    Those who don't want a celebrity are out of their minds...Barracks not a celebrity...Maybe Arnold is in California ^ Ronald Reagen but Obama ...certainly not!

    July 30, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. Marty

    Go McCain. Someone needs to call out Obama, may as well be you!

    July 30, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. CHANGE

    .............THE FACT IS .............................................................................,

    O B A M A .... IS MORE ARTICULATE . JOHN MC CAIN
    TOOK PRETTY MUCH THE SAME WORLD TOUR BUT 200,000 HAVE NEVER SHOWN UP FOR HIM.

    O B A M A HAS THE ABILITY TO BRING OUR ALLIES BACK.
    ...........if we're fighting a war that is important.

    O B A M A IS PROPOSING ALTERNATIVE ENERGY. THE OFFSHORE DRILLING PRODUCES 3 YEARS OF OIL AND IS CURRENTLY BANNED BECAUSE IT NEGATIVELY IMPACTS OUR ENVIRONMENT..

    ALTERNATIVE ENERGY CREATES NEW JOBS. WE MUST BE WILLING TO CHANGE HOW WE DO THINGS AS A NATION OR THERE WILL BE NO IMPROVEMENT AND WE WILL SEE THE SAME OUTCOMES.

    THE PRESENT STATE OF THINGS HAS BEEN BROUGHT ON BY REPUBLICAN POLICIES . PLEASE OFFER HOPE FOR THINGS TO CHANGE . PLEASE VOTE FOR OBAMA.

    I AM A REGISTERED REPUBLICAN WHO REGRETFULLY VOTED FOR THE WORST PRESIDENT WE HAVE EVER HAD. GEORGE BUSH.

    July 30, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. Matt

    Haha. McCain...really? Talk about the straight talk express. McCain is being thrown around by a bunch of Bush cronies in what he thinks is his best chance to win the election. Sorry John, but that ship sailed a long time ago.

    July 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  17. bob j

    come on john why is your staff looking to sling mud why want you run a positive campaign i am not a fan of these young ladies but they make more sense than your senior staff obama 08 and keep rocking the vote paris and britney hey i am your newest fan

    July 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. the commuter

    McCain's campaign has put forth very little in the way of ideas to address the enormous problems we are faced with in this country. This lack of and inability to provide substance leads to the "trash" put out in the way of political ads.

    The truth express has run out of gas–and a proposal to suspend the gas tax will not refil the tank

    July 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Former GOP Member For Obama 08-12

    to Nova from NV
    who would that leader be? McCain who helped Bush get us where we are today. after all McCain vote 95% with Bush. why do you think times are hard who do you think got us to this point,,,,, can you say the GOP,BUSH, MCCAIN. need i say more

    July 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Doug, New Jersey

    It sure is quite telling that most liberal Democrats in America believe that the facts are attacks and that the truth is hate speech.

    Everyone knows that liberal Democrats are all about defining people based on their skin color, ethnicity, and sexuality. There is no doubt that they made their decision on who to run based on calling those who won't support them sexist or racist. Obviously racist carries more weight and that is what the hateful, dishonest, liberal Democrats went with.

    I have spent a great deal of time in Red and Blue America. All people in Red America are much much much more kind, friendly, thoughtful, helpful, honest, repsectful and loving than the people in Blue America. It is not about how someone talks about the generality of a group of people but how we interact with each person on an individual level. There is no comparison, Red America is filled with people who are just amazing human beings where as Blue America is filled with the most rude, vile, hateful, selfish, mean-spirited people this nation has ever seen. Yes, there are two Americas, one that takes pride in being kind, honest and thoughtful and another that is rude, hateful, dishonest and selfish. I hope the best of America wins out in this election and that people like Rev. Wright and their brand of hate and division lose. To not agree with me, well as a conservative I fully support your right to do so (even though you want me censored and locked up for not agreeing with you), but really what type of person are you and more importaintly what type of people are you raising?

    July 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    More evidence that the McCain campaign has nothing to offer the American people but snarky campaign ads and tired, out of date ideas.

    July 30, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. violet

    How condescending of McCain.

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Melanie Jones

    McCain your ad makes Obama look better than you. Images are more powerful than words. Obama looks like a leader in your ad. Maybe someone should go back to the drawing borad. THis is a big ooops.

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. Steve/Houston,TX for Obama

    The more negative attacks that Republicans throw just proves that their days are numbered!!! It's time for real hope, change and a turn in the right direction for this country and world!

    Republicans = Desperate and out of touch with reality.
    OBAMA= CHANGE,HOPE,INSPIRATION

    Just Keeping it Real
    OBAMA '08
    Get on board!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. Democrat for Hillary

    According to what he supposedly said 'behind closed doors' with the House of Representatives. He wants Washington to start to listen to the US citzens that voted Congress, and of course him in Nov.,... Well, whay isn't he listen to us now.
    A. Start drilling for domestic oil, including off shore drilling.
    B. Stop ILLEGAL immigration....NO AMNESTY.
    C. Don't continue to bail out business and/or people for making BAD financial decisions.....No one is paying my mortgage. BUT apparently I will be expected to pay someone else's because they defaulted.

    Don't apoligize to the rest of the world for me. I am very, very proud of America. Germany and France haven't helped us...WE HAVE HELPED THEM...Did he forget that?

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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