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. Josh Maloney, Oakland, CA

    Is this all the McCain camp can muster up? Its really quite pathetic.

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

    The McCain campaign is pathetic. Why don't they spend some time actually articulating a platform, and less time making some of the most ridiculously irrelevant tv ads i've seen in my life. The more I hear coming from McCain, the more I think that his whole team are spoiled brats - mad because no one is playing with them. Grow up.

    July 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Vonnie

    Why don't they just give up on these stupid ads and DONATE the money spent to the huge mess the current Repulican party got us into? McCain could spend time trying to getting us out of this mess instead of spending time putting Obama on the defense. Obama is TOO BUSY to put up with the juvenile tactics of the McCain campaign!!

    July 30, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Todd

    I can't believe I used to like McCain. He has done nothing but fire potshots during this campaign.

    July 30, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. offshore thrilling

    tired tactics from a tired campaign aimed at a country tired of more of the same.

    smacks of jealousy.

    pathetic.

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

    Senator McNegative.

    Oops, he did it again!

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

    Maybe the media is to fault for this, but I haven't heard McCain do anything but attack Obama for the past three weeks. I haven't heard him discuss his initiatives and plans at all. However, I have repeatedly heard Senator Obama discuss his position on dealing with America's allies, Iraq, Afghanistan, energy solutions, etc. I guess the real question is whether Senator McCain is ready to lead? I don't think he is.

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

    Since Obama acts and McCain reacts, I'd say Obama is the effective one. Will we see McCain topless with a snake next, or slithering around on a soapy car eating a cheeseburger? I bet we DON'T see him in front of crowds chanting "McCain, McCain."

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

    It's a shame, someone who I liked, though don't always agree with, who suffered through so much abuse and dirty politics regarding himself and his wife, would stoop so low during this political year. He has become so negitive I can't listen to him anymore. Sorry my friend,
    Helen

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

    AND MCCAIN 'S WIFE SAID HE WOULDN'T CONDUCT A DIRTY CAMPAIGN !!
    HANG ON TO YOUR HATS ! HERE WE GO !
    THE REPUBLICANS ARE AT IT,AGAIN !
    SWIFT BOATS ARE ACOMIN' !!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Eric in MN

    Um... how popular is McCain? He shouldn't be popular with veterans, since he has a horrible record in this area...

    July 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Tammy - KCMO

    Why doesn't McCain quit with the negative ads and say something positive for a change about his own campaign…oh I forget – the Republicans never have anything positive to say and don't have a solution for the mess they've created.

    July 30, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Jeff Long

    So Obama is now a symbol!?! I wonder if he will adopt the "Prince" symbol as his new logo since he is now a symbol.

    Substance over the "Symbol"!! McCain '08!!

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

    after 8 years of bush administration, anyone would look like a great president, even paris hilton.

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

    If McCain lie to you now, what will he do if elected president? I guess the only thing left is for him then is to screw you!! Be aware of liars.

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

    OF COURSE BARACK OBAMA IS POPULAR WORLD WIDE...BECAUSE IT NOT ONLY PEOPLE IN THE U.S. THAT WANT CHANGE BUT PEOPLE WORLD WIDE.

    GET A CLUE YOU REPUBLICANS...PEOPLE NOT ONLY IN THE U.S. BUT PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE MESS THAT THE REPUBLICANS HAVE GOTTEN US INTO...WE DON'T HAVE GOOD FOREIGN RELATIONS BECAUSE OF ALL OF BUSH'S POLICIES THAT JOHN MCCAIN AGREES WITH..

    I SAY HOORAY FOR OBAMA HE'S STRONG, CONFIDENT, ELOQUENT, INTELLIGENT AND IS THE BEST CANDIDATE BAR NONE.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE PUT BARACK OBAMA IN THE WHITE HOUSE...THIS COUNTRY NEEDS HIM ..WE ALL NEED HIM

    OBAMA ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE 08!!!!!

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

    McCain is jealous of Obama, Britney, and Paris....so he decided to stuff them together in an advertisment, plus he's jealous of them three because they're all ALOT younger than him and more popular

    July 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. Koilor Kimba

    I think Senator McCain and hIs advisers have not learned from the experience of Senator Clinton that these mockery and negative campaign ads are signs of fear of defeat. And remember what ever you fear will definitely befall you. McCain's campaign advisers are playing on the emotions of voters.

    McCain and his advisers can no longer say that Obama is inexperienced in Foreign Affairs. As I a result they definitely have to find others faults so that their supporters will not be disappointed about their performances.

    From Obama's visit to the Middle East and Europe anyone with sound judgement can see that OBAMA can effortlessly steer a wise American foreign agenda. This is what his rival McCain and Company are in panic about.

    K. Kimba

    July 30, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Dave

    This is desperate and if I hear this guy say AH one more time...

    McCain's lead is coming from his negative misleading ads. Obama will wait for McCain to put his foot in his mouth. I believe that McCain will be scorched during debates.

    July 30, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Andy

    McCain attacking the Messiah is just wrong. Obama will save us. He said so himself. I believe him. Just look at everything he has done for us so far.

    July 30, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Mike

    The only thing Barry Obama is ready to lead is a pack of school kids across a street. Of course there better be cameras there if you expect him to show up.

    July 30, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. NJ BORICUA

    lol, silly McCain is so desperate he's hired dumb and dumber

    July 30, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Kathy in Michigan

    Mr. Wilson, go home and take a nap!!!

    This won't work this time!!!

    Talk about what you are going to do and maybe someone will listen.

    July 30, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. Janet

    Why do you in the MSM keep giving the McCain campaign air time for this garbage? you are as bad as they are. Quit it CNN

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

    Did anyone see the Obama ad with all the crying adults? Reminds me of all these CNN posters.

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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