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. Peggy, PA

    Is this for real!??!

    I thought John McCain wanted to run an HONORABLE campaing!!


    July 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. Felly

    Old McSame is desperate attacking Obama instead of telling us what he would do as a President. McBush has no agend after 25 yrs in Senate. Obama is a breath of fresh air with substance.

    July 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. CWhite

    Obama should make an add calling McSame the oldest person in the world.

    July 30, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. WarHeroFmrPOW HijaxStr8talkXpress DrivzIn2GutR TurnzCoward XploitsTroopsAsProps UsesPatraeusAs PoliticalPawn

    I smell desperation in the McCain camp. Maybe the smell is fumes from incinerating Grampy's dirty adult diapers after he poops himself in the townhall meetings after he's caught in another lie.

    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Dee

    These lies are the only way Republicans know how to play. They know they can't win on the issues. McCain has flipped so much, he'd make any olympic gymnast envious.

    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Sue


    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Canadian black man for Obama.

    Well McCain have to spend his campaign money somehow.

    When most people are finding it difficult to pay gas, difficulty with their home bill, difficulty with their health care bill.

    McCain have all the money to spend on negative ad against Obama. McCain have nothing really to say about Obama so he make things up.

    Is McCain the next president you really need NOW?

    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. rachae

    McCain needs to stop lying. He is the one who hasn't wanted to fund the troops voting against every bill.

    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Sorrry...that's "absurd"...missed the spell check

    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Phil, FL

    SO? The old man that stumbles over his own tongue appears to be jealous.

    STOP the Bush/McCain train wreck.

    Go Obama '08

    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. MMN-Milwaukee WI

    McCain, if you spit into the wind, it will blow back on your face.

    This goes to show you that McCain’s not in charge of his campaign because if he was he wouldn’t allow this to go on and if he’s allowing it to happen he just proved to us that he’s not all he says he is.

    July 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. James

    I smell desperation. And it smells like an old man.

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. Dee

    The days of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are over. I hope the american public has woken up and won't let them torpede our country any more.

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. JHal

    Obama was born ready to lead. Face it and deal with it.

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Alice in Florida

    Maybe Obama should run for office in Germany. They're used to megalomaniacs who are also rabble-rousing speechmakers.

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. NPA

    Why is it that CNN is busier trying to make the news instead of reporting the news? For example, that half quote about something "OH MY GOSH CONTROVERSIAL" Obama said.

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. M.S. Indiana

    aww, poor McCain, well if you really had something to say say it, fire us up, lead us, bring us hope and inspiration !!!!!

    Obama Mia !!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |

    yes he is

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. David Goldman for OBAMA




    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. MO

    We have said from the start that he is 'star struck'

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Informed Voter

    Desperation 08!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. jeremy

    Does anyone else think this is just totally dirty. I do not care if this is an ad from one of these special interest groups supporting McCain, or not. McCain should be distancing himself from tactics such as this.

    I am from Canada, and I am hopeful that he American people will, or should see through this rouse.

    We also have our dirty politics, but come on, attack someone's position on policies, not on their popularity. I sincerely hope for the good of the globe, not just America that the Repubicans get slammed for these tactics.

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. one day at a time

    this is getting so pathetic... is this all they know how to do? Why don't they tell us why Johnny Mac is ready to lead? OK, so that was a rhetorical question.

    I'm getting tired of having my intelligence insulted by McCain and the RNC... I can't believe anyone still buys this stuff.

    July 30, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. Former republican white man from california for Obama

    This is exactly the kind of trash I would expect from The radical right wing nuts that have taken over the republican party I hope they crash and burn in November then maybe us true republicans can come back and rebuild the party again from the ashes.

    July 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. Reality Check


    McCain = Bush = Status Quo = Failure

    July 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 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 40