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. Candy West Virginia

    And they are supposed to be the moral majority? they make me wanna puke. I hope every last republican gets voted out of office. They should be ashamed of themselves. It's enough already!

    July 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. McCain is 71

    This new line of argument from the Republicans that Barack Obama is too arrogant to be president is ridiculous.

    Do you want to know what is arrogant?

    Invading Iraq without the support of the international community is arrogant.

    Firing federal attorneys for political reasons is arrogant.

    Thumbing your nose at the Constitution every chance you get is arrogant.

    Being a member of the Keating 5 and still thinking that you can get elected president is arrogant.

    Ignoring the problems of everyday Americans while you continue to give tax breaks and subsidies to huge oil companies and large corporations and expecting that the American public will continue to support your policies is arrogant.

    "Wow" is what McCain's campaign said to the "audacity" of the leader of the Democratic party giving a pep talk (a f@#king pep talk is all it was, this wasn't a policy paper or anything) to the Democratic leaders of Congress.

    Maybe the McCain campaign should take a look at some of the statements and actions of the Bush administration and see if the word "Wow" applies.

    Obama '08!

    July 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    John McSame has officially lost it....it is glaring that he cannot run on the issues, but would smear & fear to spout his gibberish talking points!

    July 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Kris

    I am not a McCain supporter, but I have to agree with this ad. Obama is nothing more than a rock star. He has no experience and no real plan to lead us into the future. He is all rhetoric. He supposed choices for VP are a true reflection of his lies about change and getting away from old Washington. You are the three top choices...all men and all old Washington. He is arrogant and superficial and I am sorry to say that as a life-long Democrat, I will not vote for him for President. I just can't. He is not strong enough for the U.S. He needs someone tough to stand with him and 1/2 of the American Democrats voted for her...Hillary Clinton.

    July 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. T. Trent

    Is this the best McCain can come up with?

    What a LOSER! I'm sorry meant to say SORE LOSER!

    July 30, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Ralph

    How is this ads hard hitting. There more comical! GOP sure wasting money on dumb ads. Oh Yeah, Barackbook.com what a big waste of money. I can't beleive I wasted seconds of my life to check out their stupid site. GOP does not understand the social network aspects. Who in their right mind would add this app to their Facebook. Please.

    Obama 2008

    July 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. William, from Cali!

    If the Republicans, really want to..... have any chance of "winning this election", they need to "attack" Obama, on the "real issues and where he stands on them" ; and stop this type of nonsense!..............................

    July 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Ian

    Thank God I don't have cable.

    July 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. Salaam, Lawrence KS

    Is this what CNN has come down to? Talking about nonsense and reporting on every stupid ad aired by this senile desperate candidate? Whydon’t you folks at CNN ask McIForgotWhatISaid where he stands on the issues, and confront him every time he flip flops and denies it, the same way you rush to confront Obama? We really miss Tim Russert.

    July 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Robert

    This is just more of same desparate negative compaigning that McCain and the Republicans are noted for...and it is a sure sign they know that they are backing a loser in McCain.

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

    You ever notice he hardly ever looks directly into the camera. You know when he is lying because his lips start to move.

    He reminds me of Jesse Jackson. Take the camera away and he was be just like the rest of us.

    Don't be fooled by that Harvard dialect that only a politician would use.

    People wake up and smell the roses before it is too late.

    July 30, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Jim

    this republicans are like bully's, worry about your own campaign republicans, your OWN candidate...wow this is pathetic, if this is the way to win elections that's just sad....

    July 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Bayou Joe

    Now we are talking John. Knock out the empty suit. Be careful though
    Hillary may come in at the convention and convince the Supers that
    Barak is not in their best interests if they hope to win. Damage the goods , don't spoil them. Hillary will be hard to beat. She is an
    American First and Hispanics love her. So watch out for Hillary.

    July 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Ekim

    It doesnt hurt to be a celebrity

    July 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |


    July 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Canadian black man for Obama.

    Well McCain have to spend his campaign money so how.

    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? McCainflip flopper, the media cover Obama 75% percent than McCain, but all the coverages are negative news that McCain want them to cover.

    All the mispeak, all the flip flops McCain have commited none appears on the news and if they do it doesn't last half a day.

    When will the media be fair?

    July 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. NPA

    Finally the McCain camp has come to its senses: they are joining in to campaign for Obama.

    Every time the McCain camp open its mouth about Obama it will backfire - just like that Iraq trip John McCain has been insisting that Obama takes.

    July 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Liz F

    I am just wondering why McCain sounds jealous, petty and geriatric?

    July 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Peter of Oregon

    Republican Senator Ted Stevens is a perfect example of how extensive experience in Washington DC does not automatically equate to sound judgement.

    McCain can resort to fear tactics all he wants, the fact of the matter is that he doesn't have the right judgement or temperement to be our President.

    Obama leads, and McCain follows. This is what the American people have seen throughout this campaign.

    If Obama is the world's biggest celebrity, then McCain is his biggest fan. He can't open his mouth without saying Barack Obama's name at least once.

    July 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Ken Pittsburgh

    If the trip oversea last week is if the mixed he is so ready

    July 30, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Rajneesh Chhabra

    Celebrity?? Please find some real issues to attack him with if you want to win...

    July 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. AL

    CNN will not post this anyway, here goes nothing.

    This is from a Repub on a previous post: Alice Gentry July 30th, 2008 10:06 am ET

    Please, Americans, don't go for this liberal tripe from Pelosi/Reid/Obama. Those people want to control your lives and "provide for everyone's needs". Well, there's just no way a freedom-loving society can endure that, because when the government controls us, we are no longer free.
    Well, in that case telling my neighbor that she can't do what she wants with her body is not controlling her? How?

    Wait, the bible says so....if that's your answer, read Leviticus then come back we can talk.

    July 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. Vet22

    What a bunch of Crap.... Can we please drop the BS commercials and ads designed to fool the weak minded and actually start talking about positive changes each candidate would make?

    July 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Lola

    Yes, because Obama wants to be a Commander in Chief of the World! This is his moment, Change! Change! Change!

    Ghosh! Sound like Bush 4 years ago!!!!! When a candidate has nothing to offer, he will call for change!

    July 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Kyle Indianapolis, Indiana

    McCain needs to GIVE IT UP!


    July 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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