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. milo

    Wow.

    Gore NEVER said the "I invented the internet" thing that people so widely believed.

    Now a McCain guy actually says that he helped create the blackberry??

    What does this guy need to do to lose his lead in the polls, start eating babies?

    September 16, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Karen

    He meant fruits people..fruits..

    September 16, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Tanya

    In defense of typewriter : much too complex for John McCain!

    September 16, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Helene

    That old fool cannot use the internet but he invented the Blackberry ? Good, why doesn't he recycle himself in the private business selling them ?

    September 16, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. S. Boatman

    He Also Made The Hubble Telescope Out Of Old VCRs!

    September 16, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Bulldog

    The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 deregulated the financial system by opening up competition among banks, securities and insurance companies and allowed commercial and investment banks to merge. Look it up.

    September 16, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Don

    Oh MY GOD! This is a guy still learning how to get on the web. Of course he did not. Next thing you know he will claim he helped discover the New World Of course he and Chris C. are probably pretty close to the same age. This guy needs a real lesson in TRUTH!

    September 16, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Democrats for McCain

    Sending Obama to Washington to be the doting foot soldier for the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Chris DOdd, Ted kennedy and others is a frightening prospect. That is why many Independents are going with experience and a provem record of reaching across the aisle to work on ALL important agendas. Now is not the time to send in a rookie with no record of achievement on the national scene and no national or international experience – that is just too dangerous. We need experience and A PROVEN TRACK RECORD of accomplishments to initiate change — not empty words written by unnamed strangers and read off a teleprompter eloquently by a junior Senator with 1 year in DC and 1 year campaigning WAKE UP AMERICA Obama, if elected, IS ZERO HEARBEATS AWAY FROM THE PRESIDENCY – THAT IS TOO CLOSE

    September 16, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. buba, cincinnati oh

    That can create very funny ads.
    The creator of the blackbery that does not know how to email!

    September 16, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Jorge

    This is right up there in the pantheon of stupid statements from McLame and his campaign. Others include Palin's military qualification from being CIC of the Alaska National Guard, her foreign policy qualification beause Alaska is near Russia, and Obama not going to town hall meetings with McSame being the cause of the downward spiral into sleaze by the McShame campaign, not to mention Failin saying, "Thanks but no thanks" to the bridge to nowhere. BTW, she never did explain what the "no thanks" part was, since she kept the money.

    September 16, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Matt

    Wow. I'm starting my timer to see how long it takes for Factcheck.org to completely and utterly obliterate this nonsense.

    Best laugh I've had all day. The McCain campaign deserves a Hasty Pudding Award for this one.

    September 16, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. irony

    we don't need more jokes. America can not afford four more years.
    vote Obama/Biden and lets get America working again. We are just seeing the beginning of the end. If banks are not sound then the fundamentals of the economy are not sound. The Fed's solution to the banking crisis brought on by a lack of over sight and too much deregulation is to loosen the restriction on lending. How can pouring gas on the fire make it better? Mcsame's policies are more Bush policies. Mcsame says he went against his party but he neglects to say hat Obama went against Mcsame's party too! They needed to be gone against even more.

    September 16, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. John

    I hear nothing but mean spirited remarks from the Obama campaign and it is getting O-L-D! Obama is looking like more of the same old tired politics!

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  14. conny

    I'll just say anyting or doing anything JUST to hold the hightest office in this land. This is straight UP a shame!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Paul Dobro

    As an employee of a telcom company that has lost billions over the last 8 years, I can say it was not done correctly. Even if we have the technology, the companies are not making any money at it.

    Remember the internet and telcom bubble busrt of 2000???? A great accomplishment John.

    BTW – the Blackberry was created by a company in Canada, Research In Motion (RIM), which is involved with a slew of copyright infringments.

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Belle

    Obama Action Wire Team:

    At LEAST McCain blames BOTH Democrats and Republicans for the failure in Washington...Obama and Biden? Well they blame John McCain!

    Let's see....

    Chris Dodd-Dem...Chairman of Banking committee...think HE was asleep at the wheel? Yep...

    Obama-Dem...Chairman of the SubCommittee that controls war in Afghanistan...think HE was asleep at the wheel? Yep.

    Nancy Pelosi Dem–Speaker of the House...in line for President...10 bills were written in the past two years, and 190 fluff stuff...think she was asleept at the wheel? Yep.

    Charlie Hagel–Dem–Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
    He is writing tax laws for us while NOT paying his own...

    As a Democrat, I am disgusted with the past two years of broken promises by Democratic Leaders. I agree that corruption has to be swept right out of the House and Senate.

    Obama has "CHANGED" his position on just about everything to the point I no longer trust him. So much for fighting the Democratic leaders...he is in bed with them.

    I find it odd that he fought Clinton so hard...tried so hard to smear her personally...could it be because she ACTUALLY has pissed off Democratic Leaders by bucking them on issues?

    At least Palin DOES have a record of bucking her own party, as DOES John McCain. McCain has NEVER taken an earmark. NEVER.

    I am not against earmarks, but am against earmarks that are unwise. I understand states need part of the money to run, and help with infastructure. BUT the truth is Democrats have gotten too Greedy right along with Republicans.

    McCain/Palin 08 CLINTON 2012

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. Bulldog

    The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 deregulated the financial system by opening up competition among banks, securities and insurance companies and allowed commercial and investment banks to merge.

    John McCain voted for this bill along with the entire Republican Senate. Phil Gramm indroduced this bill was John McCain’s top economic advisor before he was forced to resign but still gives McCain economic advice to this day.

    John McCain has a direct responsibility in the financial crisis we are in today. McCain has supported the very philosophy and mentality that has caused the economy we are facing today. Is that what you want? Another 4 years of this? If you do then vote for McCain.

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Tina B

    Wow! and his deputy can see Russia from her tanning bed, hence able to duel with the big bad boys out East.

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. jim bob

    The guy does not know how many houses he owns, lives off his wifes money (gold digger) has done nothing for the State of Arizona.

    Was a crook in the Keating 5 and got the Gov. to take the fall for the team.

    America thses are the peole that gave you this economy. Congress voted to make your house an ATM machine. Free money just live in your house for 2 years take out up to 500,000 no taxes.

    So Business turned it into a 1849 gold rush with no rules. Everyone that was a crook is blaming everyone else.

    You gave crap loans and sold them as good loans and it was all a scam, now everyone is going how did this happen?

    Give me a break this guy and Greenspan and Bush created it.

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Syed Gilani, Virgin Islands

    And the McCain said let there be Blackberry! and it happened :) I guess thats the only way he could have done it. lol I can't believe how his campaign is thinking. And yea if he had created Blackberry, then i created IPOD. This should be true, shouldn't it?

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. jos-bam

    And John MCCain created the lie !!! Just pathetic

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. Bob

    Let's have a retirement party for John McCain, maybe then he will get the idea that it is time to go home. If he can figure out which one.

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    Come on. The Gore-said-he-invented-the-Internet thing was ridiculous and so is this.

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Lee

    Maybe he and Gore can get together and invent some new technology device that will lift us all up from the economic disaster we're all feeling.

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. soccer moms for obama

    what has gone to this campaign.

    more LIES.
    MORE SCANDALS AROUND MCBUSH.

    I SAY, "BOYCOT CINDY'S BEER'.
    MCBUSH WILL REALIZE THAT THE ECONOMY IS IN SHAMBALS AND THAT HE DIDN'T CREATE THE BLACKBERRY.

    OBAMA 08

    September 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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