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. Justin (ny)

    yeah, clearly obama is the "oil" candidate – and not the guy being BACKED by the oil industry.....

    please america – don't fall for this rethuglican crap again this year.

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. tpage

    I'm glad to see my McCain contributions are finally going to work to expose BO for what he is. I can't wait for the debates when BO won't be able to turn to his speech writers and camera crew who constantly help maintain his pop star image. Sooner or later he'll have to explain his true plans for this country and indies will be running to Senator McCains side.

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Exhasperated Democrat

    Of course Obama means to bring in more foreign oil in lieu of offshore drilling, for what else COULD he be advocating? Surely not alternative energy sources, because as we all know, he as never EVER spoken of the need to put more research and funding into such things as wind power.

    And who knew he had so much in common with the likes of Britney and Paris! What an enlightening ad from the McCain camp. How could I have ever considered voting for such a narrow-minded, socially irresponsible candidate?

    July 30, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Robert Buce

    It's just like 1992 when a young Bill Clinton was running for president but clinton had 1,000 times more experinence

    July 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. Kiah

    John McCain...Barack Obama's biggest GROUPIE. He follows the man around like a scorned lover or something.

    July 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. von in lakeland, fl

    Since when has it been a bad thing for America and the next president of the United States to be viewed in a positive light? I don't understand how my country has become so stupid. CNN needs to a study on that!

    July 30, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. Wake up America

    YES HE IS READY TO LEAD....

    Fear mongering republicans... How about an ad telling us what McCain is ready and prepared to do...

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. a southern bell for OBAMA

    IS OBAMA READY TO LEAD?

    AS APPOSED TO BUSH & MCBUSH.????

    MAKING THAT COMPARISON IS AN OUTRIGHT INSULT TO OBAMA.

    DO WE ELECT A MAN THAT HAS BEEN WRONG EVERY TIME, OR

    DO WE ELECT A MAN THAT HAS BEEN RIGHT EVERY TIME????

    I WOULD RATHER HAVE A DECENT, RECENTLY GRADUATED

    YOUNG PERSON OF LET'S SAY 22, THAN MC MORON, THAT WITH

    ALL HIS "EXPERIENCE" WANTS LO LEAD US INTO THE 18TH

    CENTURY. & IF THE 22 YEAR OLD IS NOT AVAILABLE, I"LL TAKE

    MY LOCAL DOG CATCHER. SLEAZO JUST GREEN WITH ENVY.

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. MIA

    Seriously, one should really ask what is really wrong with the McCain camp? Are they ok over there?

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Biffington, Biff

    How DARE he be popular around the world....

    We would MUCH rather be hated....

    it has served us so WELL !!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Lara

    This is why he didn't take the 84 Million he was smart enough to know the Republican Party would put these stupid ads out and John McCain would be saying I'm not doing it but they don't listen to me!!

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Obama 08

    McCain doesn't know how to use a computer.

    Is there anything else that needs to be discussed?

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. strong

    Duck !

    The mudslinging has just started. It's election time.

    Same old, same old.

    July 30, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  14. The Truth

    Good job McCain, keep attacking Obama like the true GOP member that you are.

    Keep shedding away your so-called "Marverick" shell that you have encased yourself in...and reveal the old, tired, bitter, and angry GOP troll that lies within.

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. Seattle Sue

    I had a feeling that John McLiar would stoop as low as Bush did in the last two Presidentual elections. McCain is running scared and will not let the truth get in his way. This man has nothing going for him or the GOP. After nearly eight years of Bush, I will never vote for a Republician, even for the position of dog catcher.

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. alicia

    Yes and CNN will give it free airtime by running it in loops. Too bad CNN didnt acknowledge the last ad was false nor did they show Obama's response.. Yes Obama is getting more media attention but 78% of it is negative only 43% is negative toward McCain..

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. Elariia

    The world tour McCain helped goad Obama into proves Obama is ready to lead. The meltdown McCain is now having proves most Americans may now believe Obama is ready to lead.

    (I hope Britney Spears and Paris Hilton sue McCain for slander.)

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. Clemson Student

    If these type of ads are already coming out in July, it's going to be a long 100 days til the election.

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. Mike, TX

    Of course Obama is ready to lead. He has the qualifications of Paris Hilton, what more do we need?

    July 30, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Ray

    I thought McCain was only gonna talk about issues?

    July 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. Bring on the debates!

    This is yet another first in election history- The "Our opponent is awesome and the whole world loves him, is this really the person you want to have in charge?" strategy.

    Obama/Some-White-Chick-With-Foreign-Affairs-Experience-Who-Isn't-Clinton '08

    July 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Biffington, Biff

    McCain......

    believe me... WE KNOW HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT OBAMA....

    ok.... we get it....

    But have you laid out a plan for ANYTHING over the past couple of weeks?

    (I mean OTHER then a plan for new ways to attack Obama)

    July 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. v.a.

    oh mcfloppy don't be jealous because nobody is paying attention to your crappy self.

    notice that the mccain camp can't say anything on the issues because mccain has held 2 positions on almost every issue that comes to mind.

    WAR FOR 100 YEARS.... oh, well, uh, i could embrace a 16 month pull out.

    DON'T SPEAK WITH IRAN AND OUR ENEMIES... well, bush is doing the right thing engaging north korea...

    BUSH TAX CUTS ARE OUTRAGEOUS... oh, well, what i meant was, i love the bush tax cuts... you're my peeps!

    senile mccain needs to start working with memory games because it looks like the early signs of alzheimer's are really becoming more prominent as the campaign rolls on.

    July 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. LOL@MCCAIN

    Wow....John McCain is a joke

    Actually Republicans as a whole are jokes

    July 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. Darryl M Arliington TX the typical Black Man

    Jealous John McCain, the "Old Man" with no plan that does not include getting paid.

    John McCain is ripping Off the VA, this man is so healthy that he can run for president why don't he give that money back..

    July 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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