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. Troy in Canada

    I wonder what RIM (Research In Motion) founder Jim Balisle would say to that and the fact that RIM is A Canadian company.
    Free thinkers for Obama/Biden

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. Danny from Phoenix

    HAHA who are they pandering to now? Because if they are thinking of pandering to an educated, technology dependant, information technology worker like myself, they just failed. McCain didn't do SQUAT to create a Blackberry or the BIZ network. All he did was put his signature on a document, not knowing what doors it could open. I am so tired of Republicans lying that it is 9:00 AM and I already have a headache from the news. Can November 4th please come so I can vote for Obama?

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Elizabeth

    Is John Mcain a Canadian?

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Mario fl

    NO you tell me...

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. Chris Banner

    Oh My God,
    What a Lie !!!
    Blackberry is a CANADIAN Company, is John McCain canadian then?

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Nancy

    Who the heck dreamed up that concept. He may have had a hand in the creation of the Morse Code..... I'd be surprised if he actually knows how to use a telephone. Nice try repubs; but it ain't gonna fly with the intelligent, savvy, common sense voters for Obama. What will you think of next? IQ's and age about the same.

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. bij

    YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! WAKE UP AMERICA! THIS GUY IS A COMPLETE JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Wajiw

    I really think someone needs to tell the McCain Campaign that the Blackberry was made in Canada.

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. McPain

    I'd be a Miracle if he knew how to use one!

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. Jeff Brown

    Another GOP lie and distortion!

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. GOP for obama

    john mccain, " I created the blackberry" hahahaha good luck john

    September 16, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. Cathy

    McCain invented the typewriter would be more like it.

    September 16, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. John, FL

    He meant to say rotary phone.

    September 16, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Doug R.

    McCain is incapable of e-mailing and can't even recall how many houses he owns or what kind of vehicle he rides around in.
    If you believe this, you believe in the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny.

    September 16, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Anonymous

    wow.....lol...FYI Mcain....Blackberry is made by Candian telcom giant RIM...perhaps he was a freelance engineer in Canada

    September 16, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Stranger than fiction... oh wait, their entire campaign IS FICTION.
    What a bunch of McTools...

    September 16, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Tony

    GIVE US A BREAK! THE MAN CANNOT EVEN USE A COMPUTER.

    CHANGE THE REOCRD WILL YOU PLEASE?

    September 16, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  18. S. Boatman

    He Also Created The Rocket Boosters On The Space Shuttle From Old Lawn Mower Parts!

    September 16, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Al Ware

    Sen. McCain helped create the Blackberry, this from someone who doesn't even know how to turn on a computer. Sen. McCain and his crew will say and do anything to get elected. First Gov. Palin, now this. He's not a straight talker or doer, he is a man who is easily influenced and controlled by others. Outside of his time in the military, the man has NO honor or integrity at all.

    September 16, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. Irene

    You MUST be joking !!!

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    September 16, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. Doris,Memphis, TN

    Desperate ! The economy is fundamentally sound.
    Only because he is white.

    September 16, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Quinton

    He probably can't even use one...hahahaha

    September 16, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  23. HENRIE WARE

    THIS MR MCGOO AND THE LIPSTICK PIG IS JUST WRONG GIVE ME A BREAK

    September 16, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Republicans Hate America

    AHHH just like Gore created the internet

    September 16, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. Undecided in WI

    Oh, c'mon!!! I am still undecided in my vote, but just how much skewing and manipulation will be allowed by the media?? The headline doesn't even come close to what was said. Everyone, before you write your ridiculous comments, PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, not just the headline.

    September 16, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21