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. White Mother for Obama!!

    LOL this is amusing...

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Mark

    Maybe Gore and McCain can open up an internet store and put AT&T out of business

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. obamamama

    he probably invented post-its, too

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Former Republican

    Maybe McCain can use his computer skills to retrieve some of the millions of missing White House emails from around '03 and '04.

    While he's at it, he might be able to restore some of Palin's missing email... But that might require McCain to login to yahoo mail.

    Wake up, folks, the only way the GOP will ever reform is if we vote them out of office in November.

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. TRUTH HURTS @ McSHAME CAMPAIGN - JOHN McSAME LIES WILL BE WORST THAN GEORGE BUSH!!!!

    BLACKBERRY OR McSAME-CLUELESS-BERRY?

    WHICH ONE DID HE CREATE?

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. Nick, Chicago, IL

    I'm pretty sure that RIM (actual inventor of the Blackberry) is a Canadian company and that Blackberries are manufactured in Canada, Mexico, and Hungary. What happened to "Country First"?

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Anonymous

    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,
    --------------

    By far, the most important and frightening statement made this political season.

    The president is not heavily involved in policy specifics... Sound like anyone we know?

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Republi-CON

    LOL!!!!!LMAO!!!!!
    It's not important to have sense to run a nation.... so vote McCain (the man who created the Blackberry)

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. ok

    If you know he is lying, why do you intend to vote for this incompetent liar? Go and vote for the right guy who cares and cant improve the economy. Vote Obama. Dont bother about these lies anymore.

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. applecrispbetty

    RIM (Blackberry company) is Canadian. McCain spokemen can't even get their country right when trying to defend McCain. Just the sort of people we need running our country (into the ground).

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Brian

    McCain: 'Today, we are all Georgians..err Canadians!!'

    September 16, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. Moody

    Seriously???? bwahahaha... I cant even believe that people still vote republican... I can understand if your old, selfish and white and like the tax benefits... or have an abundant affection for unwanted fetuses.... But what other reason is there? They are horrible with the economy, war, domestic issues.....etc...

    If you make under $500,000 a year and vote republican, you are an idiot.

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Al Mellen

    The only thing that Senator McCain has created is confusion.,,mostly in his own mind. Before he discovered Sarah,,,,it was Joe lieberman, the individual who on more than one occasion had to correct something McCain had said. McCain is truly the president i want answering the phone at three o'clock in the morning. If anyone believes the afore mentioned statement,,,,,,,i myself will build you a bridge in Alaska,,,,,,straight to Sarah's home.

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Marissa from Boston

    I can't believe this. This is the most hilarious thing I've heard in a long time. Thanks for replacing Comedy Central, McCain Campaign! I mean seriously, its just not feasible that a man who can barely work a computer would even have an inkling of how to expand a telecommunications market, much less that of the crackberry.

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. ez

    Wow, I thought he didn't know how to even send an email.

    Republican voting for Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. David Minneapolis

    McCain and Palin are desperately trying to stay away from the issues, because the issues will sink their little boat. It would be hilarious to see McCain try and use a Blackberry, I hope some interviewer like Gibson whips it out and lets him demonstrate his visionary technological genius.

    The US housing market is plunging, it may take the world economy down with it...McCain has no idea what to do with this situation. So he's talking about Blackberries. It's so absurd and desperate, he just hopes that he can put the economic genie back in the bottle, but he doesn't stand much more of a chance of doing that than he does of figuring out what the heck all the buzz about the internet really is all about.

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. Don

    So a guy who probably thinks phones still have rotary dials invented the Blackberry? What's next - He has beachfront property for sale in Arizona? Whatever McCain and his people are on, it's some good stuff.

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. tedious898

    How many of us realize that getting older will cause a loss of faculties? John McCain (I'm sure) is a nice guy but please...this is getting pathetic.

    He also seems to suffer from some untreated PTSD. What is sad is it appears its catchy because his entire staff are showing symptoms.

    America.....let's not send a very bad message to the world that we will elect someone who is not only divorced from lives of americans, but divorced from reality. But his back-up is a Beauty Queen / Hockey Mom??? Oh how the mighty have fallen.

    Oh boy

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Rob

    do we need further proof that Sen. McCain has completely lost his bearings. It seems he out does himself every day.

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Kathy

    This HAS to be a joke. McAlzheimer's can't even send an email or get on the internet by himself!!! Maybe Palin's buddy, Ted Steven's is right, "THE TUBES ARE ALL STUFFED UP!!!"
    Give me a break!!!

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. David

    Obama create the concept of community,,,so he could organize it to fill in his resume.

    Unfortunately, this community and it's inhabitants have not been found.

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Jason

    McCain created the Blackberry, just like Gore created the internet. These guys are just a bit too full of themselves!

    September 16, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Dal CA

    OK guys here is the news straight from the mouth of Steve JOBS, Steve says that McCain was the guy who came over to Cupertino and designed the iPod and the iPhone. Two thumbs up and well Blackberry he just mispoke about it. It is all about that golden years.

    September 16, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. John Is A Low Life

    Oh yeah, let's not talk about what John said yesterday, or the fact that he was on all the nets trying to do damage control because of his stupid statement yesterday.

    Let's CHANGE the subject and talk about "Blackberry". Yes, that will do the trick. We want to control the news cycle. Talking about John saying the "fundamentals are strong" is not good for our lying, low-life campaign.

    So pay no attention to that economic crisis behind the curtains, Americans. Just keep talking about how John designed the blackberry.

    Obama/Biden 08
    Because we are smarter than 5th graders and John.

    September 16, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. Tim, Seattle

    Mr MaGoo is clueless.
    We need a technology driven Green revolution in this country to save it and the planet and this guy doesnt know squat about tech.
    Drill baby drill is so appropriate for dinosaurs like the GOP.

    Old or new. Status quo or change. Bridge to the future, or bridge to the 19thy century.
    Cmon America, dont go for the security blanket of an easy soundbite and maverick-speak. Vote with your head and an eye to the future. Dont let Mr MaGoo and Palin take you back to a disaterous past.

    Vote Obama/Biden

    September 16, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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