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. Bellacat

    It is hysterical to hear the narcissist McCain sreaming violation because the world has been waiting for a true leader and it is not he. Really, how arrogant are you to make yourself an authority of good judgment especially when you lack good judgment yourself!? When it is all said and done, greatness speaks for itself. Barak Obama is and will continue to be one of the greatest leaders of this world and of this time. I won't be surprised if McCain referred to Bruce Lee, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, or Bill Clinton as narcissist if either were competing against him in this election today.

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  2. RO, Minnesota

    CNN: I noticed that your caption under the screen shot from McCain's ad describes the ad as "hard hitting." I think you could have used more editorial judgment and accuracy in your description. To use a boxing metaphor, to be "hard hitting" and actually land a heavy blow on Obama, I think the aim of McCain's punch would have to be more accurate. The premise of this ad and comparison of Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton (what? is McCain "Hanoi Hilton?") are so ridiculous that the ad is more of a wild swing that misses its mark than it is "hard hitting." Nevertheless, it's straight out of the Rove textbook: try to turn your opponent's strength into a weakness.

    July 30, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Paula, CA

    This ad will appeal to the same "intelligent" Americans that voted Bush in TWICE!

    For those of us with an IQ above that of a peanut, we see these ads and the GOP tactics for what they really are: pathetic and without substance!

    Obama '08

    July 30, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Chut Pata

    Post #1 is spam and gets posted, my relevant post is censored. What the heck?

    July 30, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. Professor

    Oh John, I thought you are much better than this! You are shooting your self on the foot!

    July 30, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Greg in Annapolis

    I'll take an intelligent, charismatic celebrity with real ability to change our stagnant, politics of greed and manipulation, system any day of the week over a senile, angry old man who would bring nothing new to the table. You go Obama...all the way to the White House and into the hearts and minds of all of us that like to actually use our brains.

    July 30, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Hundo

    This is the kind of behavior that allows the creators to gloat, but changes nothing. Obama in the same league as Paris? Um... anyone who buys the idea one of the most influential politicians of modern times can be equated with a person famous for her idiocy, then they will most likely not vote at all, or already have a disdain for intellectuals. Drivel.

    July 30, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Pat from Tiffin

    If Hilton and Spears are endorsing McCain then I can't imgaine a better reason to vote for Obama. There's something deeply distrubing about a serious candidate accepting endorsements from airheads.

    July 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. shay

    McCain that did it for me. Your lies and ads are desperate everyday.

    Throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. Doesn't work.

    July 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Bo

    Britney and Paris come as 2nd and 3rd? Republicans have bad taste.

    July 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    so sick ,have never seen this kind of low lessness,macbush lacks issues instead he is going negative with silly stuff comparing OBAMA to two fools like britney and paris,shame on you macbush!!!!

    July 30, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Republican 4 Obama

    Good Lord McCain, the smell of desperation around you is like a heavy green cloud of envy! Even flies attracted to the smell kept landing on you during your interview last sunday with George Stephanopoulos. If you can't present any ideas of your own, please get out of the way and quit clouding up the issues. Your jealousy is sickening!

    July 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Les

    THERE GOES McCAIN'S civil and just campaign.

    Old McCain is going to lose so big in November,
    he will be a disgrace in his home state, which he
    probably will not carry.

    An independent goes Democrat in 08!

    July 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Jim

    McCain has a college education, he went to the Naval Academy. So the person that said he only has a High School Education needs to get her facts straight, before saying McCain doesn't get his straight.

    July 30, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. Concerned

    Senator Obam is not full of himself. Some of the people in the media follow him night and day because they are seeking hope. The need hope. They admire Senator Obama and want to be near him. They are human and often forget that he is human also. Senator Obama is full of hope. His hope is from God, not of himself. Senator Obama's comments are sliced and diced out of context to make it look like he has said one thing when in fact he has said the exact opposite. You haters need to check youselves. Senator's McCain's negativity is not presidential. He sounds angry, frustrated, and afraid. He turns be off!

    July 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Les

    THERE GOES McCAIN'S civil and just campaign.

    Old McCain is going to lose so big in November,
    he will be a disgrace in his home state, which he
    probably will not carry.

    An independent goes Democrat in 08!!

    July 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. m4rk

    Nope, Nobama the Libtard isn't ready. Neither is McBush.

    RON PAUL '08!

    July 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  18. Dave C - NJ

    Really? Brit and Paris are the "top celebrities"?

    July 30, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. NC Man

    the ad must worked ... there are a lot of pissed off Libs on the board today .... opps well thats the norm! btw the Mc jokes are becoming lame put a bit more thought into it, please!

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  20. liz

    So what the ad is saying is that McCain is upset because he isn't as pretty and popular as Obama? Shouldn't he have gotten over those issues in High School?

    Obama is popular around the globe because he doesn't treat all other people like servants and other countries like garbage. If the rest of the world hadn't been treated with such disrespect and loathing by Bush for the last 8 years, maybe they would like McCain too.

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  21. Raoul

    McCain makes gaffe after gaffe while running ads that are outright lies...looks like nothing is changing in the GOP anytime soon.

    The bar has been set so low by Bush it's quite amazing McCain can't raise it!

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  22. Food4Fuel

    I like foreign oil, food 4 fuel and higher taxes on electricity. I like that Obama has led Chicago out of it's slummy mess, it's such a great place to visit now with my kids. I couldn't in good conscious vote for anything less than change, I don't care what it is, as long as it's change it must be a good thing, right?!

    Now that I got that off my chest, who in their right mind would vote for either Obama or McCain... 300 million people and that's who "they" want us to vote for? Sheeple, wake UP!

    July 30, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Dragon Lady

    Now we all know how to become the "biggest celebrity" in the world. Let the press & CNN promote you! It will get you in everyone face. However it won't get you ALL the votes you necessarilly want. Just wait. Pay attention VOTERS. READ between the lines. Do your homework. Try to figure out where we will go as a nation with which new leader. Remember any President we get will only be able to do what the Senate and Congress go along with. They have the majority. There are more of "them" trying to get what they want than the "PREZ." He's only in there for 1 or 2 terms. They keep getting re-elected by US ! That's really where our "problem" lies. THINK ABOUT IT! Don't go off half cocked. READ UP ON POLITICS – Listen to GLENN BECK and others.

    July 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. FedUpDem

    Nothing but a "rock star" who has repeatedly shown a willingness and an uncanny ability to flip flop and pander. A typical politician who has done nothing. An empty suit the Germans were intelligent enough to say "no" to when he wanted his campaign stop at the Brandenburg gate. Wow he goes on a little vacation and now he is an expert on international affairs? Are you kidding me?

    Lifelong Moderate Dem voting Republican 08.

    Hopefully a Republican who has shown he can work in a bipartisan fashion can temper a Pelosi lead Liberal House and Senate.

    A Socialist inexperienced hypocrite President with a left leaning Congress= disaster.

    July 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. wyclef


    July 30, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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