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 (977 Responses)
  1. Ron democrat turned independent

    HOW CAN YOU TAKE OBAMA SERIOUSLY.
    HE CHARTERS A DONE UP 747 FOR IS EUROPIAN TRIP, RENTS AN NFL STADIUM TO GIVE HIS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH. ( THE COUNTRY DOESN'T KNOW HE IS THE NOMINEE RIGHT) EVERYTHING HE DOES AS TO BE ON A GRANDOISE SCALE . YET HE AS THE NERVE TO SAY IN THE PEOPLE'S MAGAZINE INTERVIEW THAT HE DOES NOT, BUY HIS CHILDREN CHRISTMAS AND BIRTHDAY GIFTS.AND SAYS THIS IS TO SHOW THEM LIMITATIONS. GET SERIOUS. DID ANYBODY KNOW THAT THE MUSLIM RELIGION ALSO DOES NOT CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF CRIST OR ANYBODY ELSE'S BIRTHDAY CO-INCIDENCE I QUESS

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

    I respect McCain. I cannot believe he is allowing organizations to run these unintelligent adds on TV. They cleary have very little respect for the Americans they are feeding this jargon to.

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. rg

    No doubt, Obama can woo a crowd. So could Hitler......

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Dandelion.

    I think these ads just help Obama, honestly. And to answer your question, hell yes he is ready.

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. Bud

    Sorry, John, but he is ready to lead. We are not going down the same old road that in eight years has torn this country down to near third world status. Barack Obama is more than celebrity and nothing you can say on your best day can change that.

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. James L.

    History is repeating itself again. With the way Bush has racked up the biggest deficit in U.S. history (after starting his presidency with a surplus) and is driving this country into the ground, it will be up to a Democrat to balance the budget and pick this country up out of the gutter (again). Just like the Bush-Reagan year's ran this country down and Clinton had to bring it back up, Obama will have to do the same. The repulican's say their conservative's, what exactly do they claim to be conserving??? All's they know is take from the poor and spend, spend, spend... God help us is John McCain (McBush) get's elected.

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Once again....the Republicans are grasping at straws. The notion that Obama must be "unpopular" in order to be "popular" with Americans requires a 1984-type of logic that is downright ubsurd. No doubt they'll be adding to this "silly season" string of lines things like:

    "Old is the new young!"
    "The best way to make international allies to is refuse to talk to them!"

    or maybe

    "100 years in Iraq?...16 months in Iraq?...No big difference! What's 98-and-a-half years among friends?"

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Drew in Wisconsin, where people are sane

    Oh, I think if the dull-witted scion of America's most connected political family was "ready to lead" for eight years, we can risk Obama.

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Matt CO

    Someone should tell oldy mcMelanoma to stop whining. Someone should ask him "Will he be alive to lead"

    July 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. JAB

    McCain is desperate. He thinks his only hope is to make people hate or fear Obama more than they fear a third term for George W. Bush. Get ready. McCain’s ads and the Republican's comments are going to get much more nasty.

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. Chuck

    The Ad will backfire. Why would the Ameican people not want a celebrity for their President? What is wrong with having a President who is well liked across the globe. Someone who has people's attention which is required before you can influence them to work together and to get along in peace and harmony. Sure beats someone known as a sabre rattler.

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Dragon Lady

    Another "O" celebrity trying to make it . Isn't one "O" enough?

    Don't the VOTERS know the difference between a celebrity and a real american who tries to make a difference for all? We need a real sincere concerned individual for President, one that wants to see America the way that our forefathers envisioned it to be.

    Sometimes the word "change" can turn out to be a real nightmare, one that lasts a very long 4 years.

    Be careful what you wish for ! You might get more than you wished for.

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. larry buchas

    They try to paint him as "unpatriotic" or "arrogant" or "elitist" or "empty suit." Now it is "celebrity."

    They can't get it right, can they.

    How about "IMPRESSIVE" or "INSPIRING" or "VISIONARY?" The man is miles ahead of them and that's the truth!

    GObama!

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. Heather in SoCal

    McCain is so jealous, I'm surprised his skin doesn't have MORE of a greenish tint than it actually does.

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Proud American

    Democrats symbol of hope. Republicans symbol of despair.
    Obama '08

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Ex-Republican for Obama

    WOW!

    I can't believe how negative McCain actually is. A total flip-flop on his promise to not run a negative campaign. Yet another example of him straight out lying to America and the world.

    You can't trust McCain. Obama is five times the man McCain is, acts with integrity and actually is working to achieve a better america while the scumbag McCain systematically tries to destroy it and the citizens of it.

    No thanks McCain, you are way too immoral for this white-republican!

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Sherry, Atlanta

    Guess what McCain...it's going to take a WORLD LEADER, to get us out the MESS that we're in. HOW LONG HAS THE REPUBLICIAN PARTY BEEN IN CONTROLL OF THE WHITE HOUSE?

    America wasn't satisified with conditions during the 8 year Clinton Administration...GO FIGURE!

    1) We allowed the 2000 Election to go untouched
    2) Then we turn around and put BUSH back in Office in 2004 (OUT OF FEAR), when it was BUSH WE SHOULD HAVE FEARED.

    The World is encourging American's to MAKE CHANGES!

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Nikole

    Why is it ok for McCain to put out these ads that include false information?

    July 30, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Funny

    I love campaign ads they are just, well FUNNY!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. Alan Felix

    Gosh, don't the Republicans ever have anything positive to say about McCain. Or, perhaps like George H.W.Bush, they're just jealous.

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Lynne

    He is so arrogant! I do believe the man thinks this world is his one- show! He is finally showing his true thoughts! So with that being said, let me say...you just know that if a bomb was heading towards the United States...he would be very well-hidden in his bomb shelter and not giving a darn about any of us remaining.... think about it..
    Vote McCain!!!! He will take care of America!

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. Robert in Virginia

    The media appetit is giving McCain "FREE" exposure. He does'nt need to pay for advertising, he only needs to attack

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. s

    Just wait till the Repubs launch Swift Boat II. Then once again we'll see
    the true nature of how base and degrading American politics can be. US electoral democracy is definitely a work in progress.

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Ted

    Total losers the republicans. Come on people get real.

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Larry

    Ready to lead? Not sure. What's he done other than give rousing speeches?

    Why can't Obamatons give 5 successes when asked?

    Can YOU?

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39