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. Debbie,Ewing,Nj

    McCain is a war hero but is he ready to lead?

    July 30, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. Johnny the Boy

    This whole election is a joke. Politicians being politicians and we are the sheep being fleeced.

    Is McCain a leader – NO; same stuff different day.

    Is Obama a leader – No, apparently he's a "prince" in Europe and a "rock star" here in the USA. If I hear about change one more time...

    Neither has offered a single soultion to any of our problems. The rhetoric never ceases from both sides of the aisle. Wake up. $200 million will be wasted to put another "politician" in the White House.

    July 30, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. tonyrich69@msn.com

    This just show why McCain is not fit to be President. He has not come up withone new solution to anything new. He is a lost soul Send him and Cindy to a retirement home.

    July 30, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Darryl

    Campaign contributions from oil industry executives to Sen. John McCain rose dramatically in the last half of June, after the senator from Arizona made a high-profile split with environmentalists and reversed his opposition to the federal ban on offshore drilling.

    Oil and gas industry executives and employees donated $1.1 million to McCain last month - three-quarters of which came after his June 16 speech calling for an end to the ban - compared with $116,000 in March, $283,000 in April and $208,000 in May.

    July 30, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. Monica

    CNN, your censorship is outrageous! Based on many posts I see, there is no consistency to it. I would expect this from Fox, not from CNN.

    July 30, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. Terri, Independent Thinker from Texas

    DESPERATION is the only word I can come up with. I TRULY EXPECTED MORE FROM MCCAIN AND HIS CAMPAIGN. Wow, is this what he's been reduced to?

    July 30, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Christian

    Someone asked why Barack doesn't have a huge lead over McCain.

    1. His race.
    2. His inexperience.
    3. His pastor is still hurting him.
    4. The FISA vote weakened him and made him look like a flip flopper.
    5. People are getting bored because neither has a VP choice yet.
    6. Perhaps he could distance himself from the Clintons a little more.

    July 30, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. Wisconsin


    Obama is talking about issues

    McCain is whining "remember whining" about Obama

    Who do you think is ready to lead?

    July 30, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. Michael Alexander

    The time has come for new blood. Grandpa's need not apply.

    July 30, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Roger from CA

    I'm sick of this nonsense. Where is the "honorable" campaign that McCain promised?

    July 30, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. PUMA-PAC - Hussein 4BHO

    Their is no greater insult to HRC than voting for McCain. Their is no greater insult to the mother's and father's waiting for their kids to come home than to vote for McCain. A vote for McCain is a vote for American's to die in Iraq for 50, maybe 100 years... who knows.

    July 30, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. Robert

    This coming from a man who refuses to use a computer? Get with the times McCain, it isn't 1960 anymore.

    July 30, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. john

    wow obama is popular and mccain you are not..great ad...at least obama knows how to turn on a computer and use email...do we really want someone in control of nuclear weapons that doesnt know how to use electronic communication...

    July 30, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. nana

    Well that does it...... I refuse to vote for anyone who thinks that Britney and Paris are two of the world's top three celebrities.

    I can't stand either one of those girls and I would not be proud of any child of mine that turned out like either one of them has.

    July 30, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Bob (Illinois)

    Well, there you go! Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. Wow. The Republicans are rolling out the intellectual heavyweights.

    July 30, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. Mario

    Do you have something concrete to propose Mr Mccain?
    You spent your time just talking about Obama: He doesn't understand..., he did this..., he did that..., etc, etc.
    I am tired of your negative ads (an is only summer!)

    July 30, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. David - MO

    Desperate people do desperate things. Believe me it's only to get worse as we get closer to November. Interesting that Rick Davis would publicly acknowlege just how popular Barack is at home and abroad. Top billing – nice job Rick. Isn't it nice to have a candidate that can inspire so many. Bottom line is the American people are fed up with negative tactics. Rick – keep the negative ads coming baby! The people of this great nation will be sending you a very clear message regarding your political tatics come November!

    July 30, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  18. Chut Pata

    Umm. I think Blondie Cindy should have been mentioned with other two blondies.

    July 30, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  19. William

    We here at the ElectObamaStore.com are green as the day is long. What we detest is the what some Republicans openly say on the cable news shows: "We'll do commercials with information that might not be true - but it's up to Obama to 'prove' that we're wrong...." So, That's the kind of truthful, honest campaign McCain is running? I hear a swiftboat coming ... ... sounds like (on all the real issues that matter) Obama's going to have to pull out the big guns; and none too soon. Staff of ElectObamaStore.com.

    July 30, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Bacusla

    The current Republican election machinary is a sad and sorry bunch; OBAMA is so ready for the Presidency – the world is once again ready for America to lead; INTELLIGENTLY.

    July 30, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. John Doe

    ROFLMAO! Is that the best the repukeblican "strategists" can come up with? Comparing Obama with Paris Hilton and Brittney Spears? HAHAHAHAHA!!! What a pathethic gaggle of utterly useless losers!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Richard OIF 06/07

    The last post I submitted was at 1:30. Apparently, it is still being reviewed by the moderators, so I'll try again:

    There is nothing false or misleading about the ad from what the article states. Obama failed in his visit to General Petraeus and the troops in OIF/OEF. Obama gave lip service to some other national leaders … and they gave lip service back. Obama is out of his league; no wonder his poll numbers are shaky and Senator McCain's support is firm. McCain can only move up. Notable too is the spit and vinegar coming from angry Obama supporters; they are more finite than they thought and some have actually come to that realization. With a secure Iraq and Afghanistan within sight, those of us who were a part of those successes certainly deserve better than fifth columnists like Obama and an all star cast of like minded people in his proposed administration who spent the last few years undermining our efforts. Likewise, we all deserve better than highly taxed foreign oil, with no efforts to increase domestic production of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and alternative energy as proposed by Senator McCain. Perhaps Americans have heard enough of Obama and his bewildering prophesies of an Obama heaven on Earth.

    July 30, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. Tony Z- MD

    Let the games begin. Can't wait for the debates when you can't read the notes. Ever wonder why he is never looking at the camera. He does not know the subjects.

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Gary in Milwaukee

    I think the McCain is pretty out of touch with popular culture if they still think Paris Hilton is among the top three celebrities in the world. Maybe a few years ago, but not now.

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Kim, Ohio

    The thing that kills me more than anything is to sit here and read all the comments of people who hate Obama. The main reasons are fear of change. Most younger Presidents did not have much experience, look at Bill Clinton just to name one. Everything happens for a reason and maybe it is time for Obama. God is in charge of the universe and if this man comes out of no where pulling all races together and giving people hope......What is the problem???? Some Americans are making a mockery of change??? We need change regardless of who is in office. America needs to let what is suppose to happen, just happen. This thing is bigger than Obama, he is just a vessel.

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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