(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.
Here's the difference...McCain never said he created the Blackberry. His ADVISOR said he helped contribute to the creation.
Not the same as Al Gore, Candidate at the time claiming responsibility for the internet.
iPhones are better.
McCain's intellectual development arrested before 1960. He doesn't even have a theoretical understanding of a stand alone computer, much less a PDA type device like a BlackBerry. This is yet one more in a long string of lies McCain is willing to support, and it doesn't even have to be fact checked since he gave us the answer himself.
John, because your gardener planted a berry shrub in your garden doesn't mean you invented the Blackberry. It just means you're too rich to know the difference between fruit and electricity.
Thanks John,want to buy an apple?
He created the Blackberry but can't use it...wow!!!
that's so funny. the McCain campaign will say anything, won't they?
Wow, thank you Senator McCain. I never knew you invented the Blackberry.
What won't the McCain campaign say or do to get elected? They want power so badly...they are pathetic and sick.
They were talking about regulating and de-regulating the telecommunications industry you MORONS not the Blackberry device.
That's as silly as saying that Palin has foreign policy knowledge because she can see from her porch!
Closeness does not equate knowledge!
The very least CNN reporters could have done is to note the facts about the Blackberry.
For the record: The Blackberry was invented by a Canadian who went to the University of Waterloo and established the company called RIM or Research in Motion located in the city of Kitchener/Waterloo in Ontario Canada.
What a dolt. The Blackberry was created by a Canadian company.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed telecom companies to re-consolidate and expand, but it had nothing to do with inventing the Blackberry.
To be honest, I've always wondered how McCain, who has stated he doesn't know how to email or use the internet, how did he ever vote on all these bills? How did he legislate something he didn't understand?
It's scary to think that people really believe this C-–.
In other words, McCain doesn't have a clue about the economy but will authorize a commission to look into what went wrong and rely upon advisors to make the final decision? Please! Haven't we had enough of a president who hasn't a clue on anything and relies upon advisors who really run the country?
I don't know the facts, but it's hard to imagine someone who is unable to use a computer ever coming up with an idea like the Blackberry.
Remember, Al Gore also invented the internet. Not.
This is just getting down right bizzare. Is he responsible for gravity to? Although it's becoming typical. Asked for accomplishments and they just make something up.
I cant send an email but I can create the Blackberry.
Its like saying u cant have sex but u can make a baby.
The guy can't use email, and he's responsible for the Blackberry??
Stephen Hawking can use a computer, what's McCain's excuse?
John McCain had absolutely nothing to do with the BLACKBERRY!
I'm putting my boots on because it is getting awfully deep in here!
And Al Gore invented the Internet
Ummm... the blackberry was created in Canada. What an idiot!
Abacus, yes. Blackberry, no. Time to change Grampy's diaper.
This is becoming very sad. I would half believe it IF he knew what a black berry looks like, let alone use one.