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. brad

    JEEZ. Get over it. Not his fault for getting the attention. Listening to McCain's rant and most certainly envy. I don't want that type of person in the White House. For once, get some dignity. Talk about what YOU want to bring to the table. What YOU offer to help America. Simple politics 101.

    July 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Jared

    When is the MSM going to put an end to this madness. Americans are hurting and all we get from John McCain are negative ads about BO. I have yet to hear the MSM question the John McCain on his plan vs negative attack ads. SHAMEFUL!!!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. cruz

    i think he is and he is better looking than mcain,the old man is jeolous the only crowd he can generate is paid republicans who come to his small meeting.

    July 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. JA Cook

    It says a lot for McCain that all his campaign has to offer is Obama attacks and gaffs from McCain himself, the candidate they say doesn't speak for the campaign.

    Where's the beef, John?

    July 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. andrew s

    joh if you are so mad about the world loving obama then you must be out of mind. this inot the 19 hundred we are living in global economy so we need the world. i think you are arrogant obama 08

    July 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    John is green with envy and given his infamous speech with the green backdrop, he should know that is a color that does not suit him very well!!!

    July 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. allen schaeffer

    Nothing but negativity and attack ads from John McCain and his incompetent Republican counterparts. I hope America shows just how far we have moved beyond allowing fear mongering to dictate our views... We have a reason to hope for a brighter future. This is our moment!

    July 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. mike

    Also obama said he did not care if gas prices were going higher but wished it was at a somewhat slower pace. For high gas prices, increase of taxes including on electricity but no to domestic oil drilling, but continue to depend on suppliers who dislike us. I like the saying a taxpayer voting for obama is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders.

    July 30, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Heide-Auburn

    McCain is so jealous and it shows. What a McShame. I was a republican for 35 until the past 5 years. What Bush, Rove and the neocons have done to this party is beyond the pale. This rebublican campaign is sleezy. There is no longer anything grand about GOP. Never again.

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. Tricia

    He has my vote, I want a representative for this country in a positive way. Republicans don't care about our relationship with other countries but God does. We should get along and end this terrible unjust War. GWB has been the worst president in history!!! Just like the shooter recently enticed by Bill Oreilly and Sean Hannity's book, We need a new and peaceful direction.

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. R.I.F.

    "The campaign did not release the buy details of the latest commercial" – That's because just like the troops video they only spend a few thousand dollars and instead let the media run it over and over again fo free. The media has literally become the water carrier for McCain.

    Is McCain going to release any ads talking abotu what he's going to do or is he just going to bash Obama over and over again. The fact that the media is still treating McCain like this postive, cheerful "maverick" is appaulling. He's nothing more that a Karl Rove.

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. diane

    Obama is relaxed and confident with himself in public. McCain looks
    as if he is out of place, ball caps do not become him, he does not appear to be comfortable in public. We need someone who is at this
    time, he is not running for president in 1943, this is 2008 and life is different. I am not an Obama fan but.....he is what we need today.

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. Bryan

    Offshore drilling wouldn't even have a viable impact for a decade, if we started today.

    It is absolutely NOT the answer to our foriegn dependance. Obama knows this, and McCain probably does too unless he is stupid on top of hateful and hypocritic.

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. ClintonDems4Cynthia08

    Democrats and Republicans have ruined this once great country. Vote Green this year. Cynthia 08!

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. LP

    McCain REEEEEKS of desperation.....and mothballs.

    i dont know how they get away with flat out lying. The Rep. muckraking is at a new low even for them.

    Obama 08

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. Alan Boyer

    Obama better release his attack dogs because the repubs are getting warmed up. Countering McCain will be easy...just create ads of his gaffes and flip flops. The first ad ought to show all of McCain votes against support for troops.

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. J

    He is your typical Democrat. Lets take fromt he rich and give to the poor. Where does it say that we have to furnish housing for everyone? Also, why do we keep the welfare when people are not willing to work? Obama wants to continue giving and giving and taking from those who have earned it. Give everyone a job and make them earn it.

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  18. The Surly Scholar

    John McCain: Churlish, immature ad-hominem attacks that you can believe in.

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. lovable liberal

    Ben Stein got his wish. McCain and Karl Rove are trying to bring us four more years of disaster. And CNN is repeating every slimy smear they issue.

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. WILLIE

    Since when do what other countries think about us matter. If they want him as prez, don't you wonder WHY. If we elect someone who will give in to the worlds every whem, we give up being the STRONGEST country in the world. Obviously, our country is still the greatest, most free country of oppertunity in the world, or people would not be dying to get here. Good Lord America, wake up before it's TOO late. If we elect this man, Obama, our kids and grandkids will never have the freedom we ahve right now. Pray for our country.

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. SharonD

    YES!!! Old Crotchey is right...It's Obamas' fault that gas, eggs, milk etc is sky high!!! King Idiot George has nothing to do with it...ugh, repukeblicans

    July 30, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA










    July 30, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Ian

    Is it normal that I want to vomit every time I see or hear McCain?

    July 30, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Carson - Austin Texas

    John McCain, the career POLITICIAN, is getting desperate!

    July 30, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. joe kiloz

    Why has Michelle been "muzzled" all of the sudden ? Why is Mr. Obama, NOW, saying that Afghanistan is crucial to the war on terror ? He states he's against war, he can negotiate with anyone, why not Al Qeda in Afghanistan ? Why force and several brigades ?
    What makes Mr. Obama think any European countries are going to send one body to Afghanistan when no leader, even after his visit has even hinted it ?
    Is there any substance to the notion that some European leaders relish an Obama as an easy target for foreign policy manipulation due to his inexperience ?
    How many of you think Obama will increase foreign aid for the UN, Africa and the Palestinians while not pressuring any Arab countries for the same ? That's what's ahead, think about it.

    July 30, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
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