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. honestly

    Who listens to Britney and Paris for political advice. They needed parenting oh I am sorry the money raised them.

    Britney raise your kids sweetheart!!!!!!


    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. D in Phoenix

    Okay, take take the gloves off and depict McCain as a senile, grumpy old man with no ideas of how to lead, complete with a trophy wife.

    What would happen if the American public had those images seered into its conscience as it watched this guy fumble and gaffe his way through the next 100 days of the campaign.

    I'm sure the conservatives would cry "foul", but isn't this latest round the same kind of junk the King George played on John Kerry to get everyone away from looking at his previous four years of blunder? What is good for the goose . . .

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Reply to Francisco in NY

    He has 300 advisors. Can't he lead by himself?

    Are you an idiot? You ever heard of the president's cabinet? No president leads by himself, MORON!!!! Go back to 4th grade and repeat social studies.

    July 30, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Concerned in Alabama

    Jealousy........just plain jealousy in the Republican camp.

    The Repugblicans can't distinguish between Confidence and Arrogance when it comes to Obama.

    Well, if it would have been anyone else besides Obama for the Democratic Presidential Nominee, it would have been Confidence. It just happens to be Obama with all the Confidence and some peope just don't like it.

    The nerve of a black man with CONFIDENCE!

    July 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. Dan

    Wow, is McCain really this desperate this early??...McCain is soooo mad right now...I cant wait to see him morph into the hulk

    July 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. eric

    McCain, Go back to 2000 and pick up your dignity. Having been Bush's yes man for the last eight years has left you with a nomination with no brain or spine. I thought you were smarter and better than this.

    July 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Peachy Keen

    Boy, do I miss Tim Russert. He is the only one who would be calling McCain on the carpet for this ridiculous campaign. Brokow won't, George Steph... won't , Face The Nation won't. And McCain doesn't have the guts to go on MSNBC and face some of those guys.

    Take the low road John. It's the road less traveled right now. You will have to share it with Fox.

    July 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Bill Williams

    If McCain lies to you now, what will he do if he is elected president? My guess, he will then screw you!! Beware of liars.

    July 30, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  9. FL for Obama

    Wait a minute, isn't the Governor of California a big Republican celebrity with no experience in politics? I guess being a celebrity isn't a bad thing! Give it up McCain, you're just helping Obama more with your negative attacks. You'll never change my vote!

    'Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Lizzie

    Funny, he chose two Republicans to show how out of touch Obama is with the average American. What does that really say?

    July 30, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Ryan

    What a pathetic way to try to win a campaign...The country is in dire need of a true leader and this is the ad we get. I have zero respect for McCain, he's lost his mind, dignity and honor he once had. Please go awaye and lead Obama lead us.

    July 30, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. No More McSame

    Good lord, John! Just how low are you willing to stoop in your pathetic attempt to become Bush III? This one's actually laughable. Sad, but laughable.

    July 30, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Angel

    Britney and Paris=DUMB & DUMBNER. The republicans are truly desperate. Of all celebrities to use, they chose the two with the most notorious record of reckless and immoral behavior. My God what have this country become. No wonder the American are so far behind in intellect. God help us all!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. McCain rocks Platform Flip-Flops

    Obama is most definitely the better liked, more exciting candidate. It was the same for Ronald Reagan, J F Kennedy, and Bill Clinton (at least at some point in their political careers).

    This in no way precludes Obama's message or abilities. This all just makes the Repulicans look OBVIOUSLY VERY DESPERATE AND JEALOUS to go this route.

    July 30, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. kim

    This is for No McSame – wow. You are a racist fool.

    July 30, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. AGW

    Would somebody put a lollipop in his mouth and drop him off at the retirement home.
    He whines more than my 2yr old.
    obama 08!

    July 30, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. Jim Hall

    McCain is a natural born idiot Jim Hall.

    July 30, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Goldstein

    72 percent of american jews belive the Iraq war was wrong remember that mr McCain .

    no show businesss there

    better judgment over bad experiences any day

    OBAMA 08

    July 30, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. CT Voter

    This ad smacks of the old "SHAME ON YOU, Barack Obama" tactics that turned many voters off because of its nastiness and negativity. Ads of this nature are beginning to make McCain sound like a grumpy old man - not a smart move.

    July 30, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. David, Silver Spring, MD

    There goes McCain, shaking his fist at the clouds and complaining about young people.

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

    Good, that's politics – it didn't stop Obama from smearing Hillary when she was still in the race. Go Mccain.

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

    Well I think he is more of a Celebrity want be.

    Either ways he is not ready to lead the free world.

    John McCain 08.

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

    Oh, come on if McCain said its black the Dem. would say its white and vice versa. There is so much mess going on with the Dem. I think they are turning there on people against them. We people know what is going on in the world plus the United States, we don;t need a reminder on every corner. I think the Dem. may be sabotaging there own party, we will see.

    July 30, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. R.I.F.

    The Straight Talk Express has turned into the McAttack Express. I thought McCain was going to run a positive campain and keep it about the issues? I doubt if he even knows who Britney Spears and Paris Hilton are.

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

    In all honesty, both candidates do make these statements, and I always question how true the statements they make are. However, I have to respect Obama's more than McCain's. This is because Obama is running a more positive campaign than McCain. I've always preferred positive campaigns over negative ones.

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