September 16th, 2008
12:19 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain adviser: BlackBerry a 'miracle' he 'helped create'

A McCain senior aide said Tuesday he “helped create” the Blackberry.
A McCain senior aide said Tuesday he “helped create” the Blackberry.

(CNN) – McCain senior domestic policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said Tuesday the BlackBerry mobile e-mail device was a “miracle that John McCain helped create.”

Addressing the nation’s economic crisis, Holtz-Eakin told reporters traveling with the campaign “there’s no magic solution. And I don’t think that it’s at this moment imperative to write down exactly what the plan has to be.” He also said a president isn’t someone who needs to be heavily involved in policy specifics, which should be handled by “quality” advisers, and echoed McCain’s assessment that there might be a need for a “9/11-style commission” to determine what went wrong with the nation's economy, and to issue recommendations.

He added, though, that McCain — who has struggled to stress his economic credentials this cycle - did have experience dealing with the economy, pointing to his time on the Senate Commerce Committee. Pressed to provide an example of what McCain had accomplished on that committee, Holtz-Eakin said the senator did not have jurisdiction over financial markets - then held up his Blackberry, telling reporters: “He did this.”

“Telecommunications of the United States, the premiere innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce Committee. So you’re looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create,” said Holtz-Eakin. “And that’s what he did. He both regulated and de-regulated the industry.”

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore drew controversy when he said that during his time in Congress, he “took the initiative in creating the Internet” – based on his work promoting funding and early research in that area.

UPDATE: The Obama campaign responded to the comments minutes after they were reported. “If John McCain hadn’t said that ‘the fundamentals of our economy are strong’ on the day of one of our nation’s worst financial crises, the claim that he invented the BlackBerry would have been the most preposterous thing said all week,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Meanwhile, McCain senior aide Matt McDonald said that the senator "laughed" when he heard the comment.

"He would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry. This was obviously a boneheaded joke by a staffer," McDonald said.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (509 Responses)
  1. Morals and Values for sale!

    LMAO, from the guy who doesn't know how to email or use a computer. He gets credit for the BLACKBERRY?

    Do they just throw darts at ideas in the McCain camp and then just put them together with trained monkey's?

    Throw three darts one hits Palin, one hits Never was for, the last hit Bridge to Nowhere.

    That's how they really must do it.

    September 16, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Give me a freaking break. ARe these people on halucenigenic (sp)drugs? Their grip on reality is becoming frightening; how can any sane stable person believe anything that comes out of the mouth of this campaign or it's surrogates.

    September 16, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. GET REAL.

    "During the 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore drew controversy..."

    And I'm desperately hoping that McCain goes out like Gore: I hope McCain gets more popular vote, but loses in the electoral college.

    Then we can hear Republicans (the same ones who said "tough cookie" back in '00) complain... we'll see who the REAL whiners are. Payback would be nice, wouldn't it?

    September 16, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Sarah Palin

    Bridge to Nowhere – a miracle I helped to create by asking for a earmark – I am Sarah Palin and I approve this message.

    September 16, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. Barb

    McCain created the Blackberry? Maybe we should put him to work as a engineer creating alternative power instead of putting him in the White House.

    September 16, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. GIFTTY

    Go JOHN/SARA 08

    HILLARY – 012 BUT IF ...

    PALIN 012

    OBAMA – 025 JUST FOR HIM TO GET EXP.

    September 16, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. Sarah

    Holy Jumping Joe! McCain can't use a computer, but he helped create the miracle of the Blackberry. He's getting more and more desperate. I guess he would rather look like a fool than the guy who helped create the "miracle" of the collapsing economy (which he ACTUALLY did). Very, very sad.

    September 16, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. TexicoFrom Mexico

    OMG NOW YOU ARE SAYING MCCAIN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BLACKBERRY??????JEEZ.Z...THATS AS BAD AS GORE SAYING HE INVENTED THE INTERNET!!!!!THIS SILLYLITTLE MAN AND HIS IDIOT NON SPEAKING PIG WITH LIPSTICK NEED TO GO!!!

    Veterans for Obama

    September 16, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Augustine

    Pathetic. What else to say. I don't have no particular party affiliation but my respect towards John McCain is long gone. It seems that he will do anything to win the election. His words such as 'country first' sound hollow now. He is just another typical Washington politician, nothing else.

    September 16, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Carl from va

    LOL, that's too funny...

    September 16, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. Karma from Indiana

    WOW! Another lie! Here we go. This is just really rediculous. The fact is he is still gaing in the polls. So what does this say about the American people?? We like dishonest people??

    September 16, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. P O O P I E

    T H E---V ER Y--I T EM --H E--–D OE S N' T--–U S E--

    HO W---A B O U T-–T HA T ?

    September 16, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. cdv

    He does not even know how to use email. Bit rich for him to take credit for Blackberrys or cell phones in general. And which numpty would have thrown stones into the boom of this technology anyway. It was a no brainer.
    In any case, which country has not benefited from the cell phone boom. Not really a US leading economy, is it. Total spin, this story. Pitiful really.

    September 16, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  14. TESAP:SAVANNAH, GA

    :(

    WHAT...........HUH.......WHAT.......................

    GORE INVENTED THE INTERNET

    MCCAIN INVENTED THE BLACKBERRY.. BUT HE CAN NOT SEND AN EMAIL............. WOW

    MAYBE THEY MEANT TO SAY MCCAIN, ATE SOME BLACKBERRIES ON THE COOKING SHOW........... LOL. THIS IS TOO FUNNY

    September 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. bob

    From The Guardian...stuff you wont see in the US press
    Yesterday of course the Dow lost 500+ points to close at 10,917. More trouble is expected today.

    Just for the record, on the day Bush took office, the DJIA was 10,578. Wow! What a gain! Man those Republicans really know how to get the economy humming! That's a 3.1% gain - in eight short years!

    If the Dow today has another day like yesterday, we will actually be below where we were the day Bush took office.

    Oh: The Dow average the day Bill Clinton took office was 3,242. His Dow went up 226%.

    More good commercial fodder, no? 226% to 3%.

    September 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. Sean Whitworth

    I thought he created the wheel?

    September 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Cheryl

    Truth of the matter is the only blackberry McFool's familiar with grows on a vine.

    September 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. RyanD.

    hahahahahaha

    Gore invented the internets, McCain invented the Blackberry.

    September 16, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. joey from nc

    John mccain missed the civil rights movement due to him being a POW.

    He also made Martin Luther King day in arizona a non-holiday.

    September 16, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Daniel

    Ha – Blackberry is an almost 100% Canadian invention. How he can take credit for the Blackberry is beyond me.

    I am a republican supporter but I do have to call BS when I see it.

    September 16, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. mississippi girl

    The Blackberry. Just yesterday, it was said that he could not even use the computer because of his injury as a POW, just incase we Americans did not know he was a P O W that means for the less educated people, Prisoner of War (break it down) could not fly defensively to avoid being struck down. P O W. No one and I mean no one contradicts this. We are glad that he survived. But please please stop referring to his extreme experience for president to be lifted up by his downfall as a P O W. I get it. But back to my first thought, NOW he Mr. McCain invented the telecommunication era? Give me a break. In twenty some years with all the people who were and I do mean WERE regulating wall street, NOW the MAVRICKS will step in and regulate. LOL LOL LOL OMG OMG, I am sure McCain who invented the telecommunication era knows what that means.

    September 16, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. EMJ

    I thought he invented the telephone?

    September 16, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    ROFL...LMAO...The same guy who can't send out an e-mail is now suddenly the same guy who helped "create" the Blackberry!!! How desperate is this campaign getting?!

    September 16, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. Uncle Sam

    I also have no particular party affiliation but I have always respected John McCain. And I still do.

    September 16, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. no trickle down...

    Eeeeeer... Blackberry is made by RIM (Research In Motion)...
    Which I believe is a Canadian company.

    Is John McCain Canadian now....? LOL!

    September 16, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
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