September 16th, 2008
12:19 PM ET
10 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. P O Dubya

    The abacus maybe

    The Blackberry- I don't think so


    Steve from Ithaca, NY September 16th, 2008 11:37 am ET
    Show me how that's out of context.

    Check out Snopes

    September 16, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. JR, MD

    Okay, a man who doesn't know how to email, helped to create the Blackberry? Is this April Fool's Day?

    How silly is this silly season going to get?

    I'm sticking with Barack, at least he's sane.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Sharyn in Atlanta

    Wait, what? Really? As noted, remember the ridicule Al Gore faced? Except that he ACTUALLY did have a hand in working with the technology that fostered the Internet (not inventing the Internet, as he never said but was eviscerated for)? Will those same people come after McCain? I doubt McCain can use a push-button telephone, let alone email or a BlackBerry. When the HELL is someone besides Chris Matthews or Huffington Post going to rip these LIES apart piece by piece? Why isn't anyone paying attention?

    September 16, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. ER P

    This self-admitted IT illiterate man who cannot even send or receive an email helped create the Blackberry? Please spare us the nonsense!

    September 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Matt

    Wait a second. Hold on, hold on:

    "Did that guy really just say "He both regulated and de-regulated the industry.”

    Ummmmmmm....that's a neat trick. So there's no magic solution to the economy, but McCain can simultaneously do two mutually exclusive things? He's hired. everyone else get out of the Government. McCain is going to just do it all. We don't need you. LOL

    September 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Wake Up Zombies!!!

    So the man can't use a computer or send an email but he invented the blackberry? Hilarious.

    McCain invented the blackberry...great stuff.

    September 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. suzyq-philadelphia

    Guys come on......I almost had to clean my cubicle.......The remarks were even funnier than the article I'm just surprised that he even knows what a blackberry is............................

    September 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. OBAMA the REAL Change

    NOT!!!!!!!!!!! GIFTTY September 16th, 2008 11:23 am ET

    Go Obama/BIden 08

    HILLARY – 12

    PALIN 025 by then our kids will know she is about war against Russia, they will see she still slacks EXP.

    GIFTY – 025 Still crying and prejudice.

    September 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. RKR

    Lue Dobbs said that McCain cant type owing to his injuries during his time of being a POW. But he can write....!!!! Honestly this kind of journalists can learn a ton from Lohan and Pamela Andersaon. Seriously, read their comments and blogs to understand how dumb you are.

    September 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. demon_joe

    McCain discoveries:
    Dinosaurs (rode one to school daily)
    Fire (burned himself with cigarette lighter as child)
    Gravity (fell off the dinosaur one day)
    Electricity (I know, I was shocked as you)
    Actually Invented the automobile, the internal combustion engine, first airplane.

    But! He had nothing to do with the Blackberry®! He picked some blackberries for a pie as a child!

    Geez, get the facts straight!

    September 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  11. Blue

    After over half a century since the discovery of computer, the Republican nominee, John McCain, still don't know how to use a computer. The question is: where's the brain in the head?
    Or should this be a case of the dullest brain ruling the mightiest nation in the world?
    The further down we go, the further other countries like China laugh at us.
    Be wise, Americans!!!

    September 16, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Frank Ont. Canada

    My son went to the same university as Jim Basille in Waterloo Ontario where the RIM company is located. Further to this Jim is a native of Peterborough Ontario where I live.

    In the final analysis both my son's and Jim's expertise in computers would make John McCain look like a total moron. This claim is not only moronic but is an insult to the intelligence and educational level these people achieved through their own initiatives and not achieved through family connections or inheritances.

    I just can't believe the American public can swallow so many lies these out of touch and immoral spread on a daily basis. Haven't you people had enough of this garbage over the past 8 years?

    September 16, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Democratic Pride

    I think that any man that goes to war invading some other poor country, falls in trap and was imprisoned is a failure. Oh, I thought we last war in Vietnam, and guess who was in it Mr. McCain, same is going to be for our economy and this election. I feel sorry for the poor guy, or should i say Rich Guy. I think he is a new era Rambo to Nowhere. Once you loose your job, don't blame Bush for it. He already admitted to his poor presidency ratings. McCain said, "economy is strong", well we all saw that with Katrina, Gustav, and Ike. Not only that we are doing wrong to crash economy, even God hates us. American worker is strong and not just American, but any other worker who is willing to enrich his life. Well is not so much like that anymore. I saw it this week, there was less traffic on interstate like the half world just died. Is it that people lost their jobs or that people just can not afford $5 dollars for the gallon of gas. McCain or should i say McBlame will fail just as same he failed in Vietnam, where is He taking us "To Failure", that's where or I guess there is The Light on the other side of Palin's Bridge to Nowhere.

    September 16, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Tolu

    Right, and Sarah Palin is the CEO of PETA... Keep 'em coming folks, keep 'em coming...

    September 16, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Randy Smythe

    If Al Gore can create the Internet, well ....

    September 16, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. tony

    This blog is for far left loonies to feel important that someone is listening and think they care-
    I saw on one of these that a African American stated -I have never been polled-well of course not-tHe numbers are factored @ over 90% will be for Obama-

    But I am so glad that the Obama campaign keeps hammering McCain on his age-
    THis is beautiful–The most loyal voting block is the over 65 or retired-
    You can never replace ignorance–
    Thanks Obama Campaign for ensuring your demise-

    September 16, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. DJ

    Seems like this was more of an effort to convince people McCain knows what a Blackberry device IS than an effort to position him as a legislative leader. Somehow, it falls flat though. Like, if the guy can't work e-mail, he probably can't manage to sync these puppies either. Pathetic, really. Kind of like his entire campaign, his party, its platform, and his oh-so-earnest talk about how he's the same guy he was in 2000. Right. McCain lies.

    September 16, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. Another Republican for Obama

    This is how bad my party's nominee has become. I especially love the line about "he helped regulate that industry, and then de-regulate it".

    Idiots. Voting for my party in this cycle just proves how stupid people can be. Seriously people, get a clue.

    September 16, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  19. Rick in NC

    I think the american people can recognize a "Boneheaded Joke" when they see one......

    September 16, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. RYnAZ

    You go McCain! AZ's got your back!


    September 16, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. Erica

    It's almost like the Repub's live in a dream world. For real! I still think that when you are applying for the job of President of the US, you need a psychological screening and MRIs of the brain. I don't care if you're a Demo or Repub. That should be required. Because Bush is a bobble-head nut case and McCain is obivously senile.

    September 16, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. Broadway Comes To Arizona

    "How low can you get, Getlow?"

    –from the Broadway musical, "Purlie Victorious"

    September 16, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Credit Card Republicans

    Even the Japanese knew when it was time to surrender,give it up John and go home,your credibility has expired.

    September 16, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Boston

    Too Funny...........Does McCain know what a Blackberry is?

    This is a reach LOL

    September 16, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Rena

    Bottom line, either take what you have now for the next 4 years or turn and try to receive something new and better. This is simple people! It's not hard if you are running out of money and/or losing your home or job then vote for change (Obama). If you are fine with suffering, if you think you can leave under Bush policies for another 4 years, and if you think our country and soldiers can stand 8 more years of wars then vote (McCain). It can't get any simplier

    September 16, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
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