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. Capitol T

    I've read over some of the comments left on the board and I am surprised to see that Repub's are calling Obama a "rock star" and media "superstar". Geez, you half to chalk up all the work to GW for making Obama look so good. To be honest that as a black man in America I know well enough that no man is going to steer this country correctly, whether he be white or black. The only one to trust is God, so i ask "When Will America Bless God?"

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

    McCain and his campaign have totally lost their marbles. These ads only confirm that they are so obsessed with Obama that they don't even have a message anymore [correction, never really did]. I believe that if President Bush was liked around this country and the world, he would have been able to do a better job.
    In this case, it's too much to ask for. Go Obama – YOU ARE THE MAN AND THE REPUBLICANS KNOW IT!!

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Ronnie

    Paris , Britney and McCain ... bunch of losers fit together ....

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. dg, houston tx

    we dont need obama. we need a real leader

    July 30, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Danito

    Yeah, thats about right. About the same mentality; all 3 of them. Mr Obama, why haven't you hired papparrazzi fo follow you around yet?

    July 30, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Sig, Los Angeles CA

    Poor McCain – the forgotten stepchild!

    It is so funny to hear people ask why Obama hasn't pulled away from McCain. The question is, why can't McCain, a man the American people know, can't pull ahead of Obama.

    July 30, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. Tom in DC

    Shame on McCain !!

    July 30, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Dan, Mpls, MN

    The ads serves a purpsoe and they know it. It is aimed at the btoom feeders. The people who cannot distinguish between fcat and distortion. In other words, it is aimed at stupid people. They do make up a large portion of the population.

    July 30, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. Not fooled by negative ads

    McCain has turned into a bad joke, nothing more.

    I'm sick of his negativity – all he offers is criticism, nothing constructive. I've tuned him out completely.

    July 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. Nija

    Paris Hilton and Britney Spears equals empty HEAD

    July 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. Indiana Voter

    Please, please, please focus on facts and research the candidates. If we allow this false advertising and fear tactics to work, then we will continue to pick bad presidents such as Bush. If you check out the candidates, you will find that actually Obama has better credentials than McCain to lead this country. McCain has done very little for our military and for this country. Given he has few ideas to turn around our economic situation, he is spending all of his time attacking Obama in a negative manner which he hopes will instill fear in people and lead to our not looking at the issues and their performance. If McCain truly had something to offer us he would be focusing on issues and his concrete plans to improve the issues in our country. How sad that the greatest country in the world would allow ourselves to have such inept leaders. No wonder our economy and reputation is slipping.

    July 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Rick FL

    LOL This is absolutely ridiculous. Is the McCain camp serious with this nonsense, bringing Paris Hilton & Britney Spears into their presidential campaign folly? They owe these ladies an apology. And imagine, the McCain camp tried to say the media was sexist about women in high level positions. Hmm....pot meet kettle.

    July 30, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. 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 in the current Congress, and of course him in Nov.... Well, why 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 businesses 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 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. rs


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

    Dont you love how the Obama spokesman hit back at McCain for a "negative ad"? We are under 100 days to the election and according to the Obama spokesman McCain cannot tell the truth about Obama.
    Is this the type of country that we will have under an Obama Presidency that you cannot challenge a President Obama or be called a racist or a negative person?
    I choose not to go there. If you do to, vote for McCain

    July 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Nathan, IA

    The fact that McCain used Paris and Britney, proves that the man is way out of touch from other generations.

    July 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. ex-Republican for Obama

    Obama is busy looking forward, meeting with both Republican and Democrat experts to work on solving America's problems while McCain
    is busy criticizing and running negative ads containing lies about Obama. (Of course this is only five days a week because McWar doesn't work weekends).

    July 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. damon

    No tact at all. That's why McCain will lose....he has no platform to challenge Barack on...so he challenges him about everything that he's lacking...ie, youth, charisma, popularity and smarts.

    July 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. PH

    I don't understand that why most Americans just think about the present. What will happen to the future, when China and Middle East become powerful!!! Dem and Clinton helped/help the foreign countries gain their economy and power. Clinton signed the Open Door Act and now most things bought are made in China. After Obama's term is over, everything will be made in "Islam and Muslim".

    July 30, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Aaron Hussein

    This is laughable. All McCain has it lies. Britney in the top 3 biggest celebreties??? McCain has lost his bearings.

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  21. Martin

    McCain's campaign is like a SNL episode. I feel sorry for the Republicans trying to support this moron. Obama speaks in front of 200,000 in Berlin, while McCain talks about the price of milk in front of 3 or 4 people in freakin' grocery store.

    You couldn't script a worse campaign strategy if you tried.

    I'm starting to feel sorry for McSame....well...not really.

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. jeff

    OBAMAAAAAAA!, OBAMAAAAAAAA! Glory to Obama, now all we need is for Obama to walk on water. Truth hurts!! The only change Obama will make is the going from a millionaire to a billionaire thanks to all the donations by the cult followers!

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  23. dg, houston tx

    obama is in no position to r.u.n this country, but he would be in a position to r.u.i.n this country

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. tjpdx

    Relax, americalives. Obama's real lead is likely close to 20 pts. Why? Because virtually no one like me ever gets a polling call. I'm part of the millions who support Obama in the under 30 crowd who doesn't have a land-line phone to receive these polling calls. Also, don't forget the millions who are on no-calls lists.

    Think about it, who is most likely to have a land line, NOT be on the no call list and BE HOME to answer these random polling calls?? Seniors. So all these 46-42 polls out there, I'd venture to say is how Obama is polling with the 60+ crowd. The fact that he's ahead at all with this group is very good news for Obama supporters.

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. DJ

    This is just sad. I do wonder why the lead isn't larger though.

    July 30, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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