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. anthony

    All right, people, you can now replace the "Al Gore invented the internet" joke with "McCain created the Blackberry."

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Patty

    Obviously you Obama fans don't read the whole article. It was a joke and perhaps to get you blogging off on something stupid so you will sound stupid for not reading it. McCain laughed when he heard this so he knows what they are up to. It's called "Diversion" and you are falling for it. The more you put him down the more people think twice about Obama.

    September 16, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. tony

    By the way–
    THe Blackberry incident was laughed at by McCain-
    You are grasping at anything–

    September 16, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Biodun

    Powerful information !!!!!! .................exactly the type of information Obama should be very busy showing to Americans...!!!

    "... the Dow lost 500+ points to close at 10,917. More trouble is still expected ...

    On the day GW Bush took office, the Dow was 10,578. Wow! Meaning thath in 8 years of Republicans administration there was a 3.1% gain — in 8 long years!

    If the Dow today has another day like yesterday, we will actually be below where we were the day Bush took office!!!!

    On the other hand, the Dow average the day Bill Clinton took office was 3,242. The Dow thus went up 226%! in 8 years of Democratic administration!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. RYAN kr Jr

    Invent what? This is a man who doesn't know how to use internet, or e-mail?.....LOL...LOL ....McDumb -the great inventor?

    September 16, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Abul

    Really!!! Does he know how to use one!! What is he doing?

    September 16, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. john

    that's funny. the guy who does not know how to send emails and were able to invent blackberry..

    September 16, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. Arizona Goes To Oz

    "Off with you, you have no power here"

    –Glinda the good witch to the Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz"

    September 16, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. V

    The BlackBerry is not a miracle! A miracle would be something like McCain-Palin actually talking about real issues, or helping those that have lost jobs and homes in record numbers due to these current policies get back on their feet! Oh wait, the economy is sound!

    Obama/Biden 08 PERIOD!

    September 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. overtaxed32

    Why is this hard to believe? He's certainly old enough to have invented blackberries. Although I picture him as more of a plum/prune guy.

    September 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Party Crasher

    Palin has more experience than Obama September 16th, 2008 9:03 am ET

    Sen. Obama and Biden are part of congress and the DEms have been in control for 6 years. Seems like they both are part of the problem.
    ------------------------------–

    SEE THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF A LOW INFORMATION VOTER. THE DEMOCRATES HAVE ONLY HAD CONTROL OF THE CONGRESS FOR LESS THAN 2 YEARS. DUMMY!

    September 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Donkey Party

    So McCain's senior aide, Matt McDonald, says this is the "joke of a boneheaded staffer"... that "staffer" is... wait for it... McCain's very own senior domestic policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin! The whole McCain campaign is one big boneheaded joke!

    September 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Trent

    No, no, no..

    McCain had to have discovered fire..

    September 16, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. David in Dallas

    So McCain's senior domestic policy advisor doesn't believe the president should actually have a plan before taking office or be much involved in planning once he's in.

    And when said advisor realizes how lame that actually sounds, he cracks a joke about McCain inventing the BlackBerry.

    How can a man who sat on the Commerce Committee "Not really know much about the economy"? What was he doing in the committee? Sleeping?

    Thank Heaven we have a choice–Obama '08!

    September 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. 911wille

    If Obama doesn't believe that the fundamentals of the economy are strong, he is truly more scary than I had believed he was.

    Even if the neophyte didn't believe it, why in the world would he say such a thing when people are already jittery about their economic security?

    September 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. American Ariman

    What I have really found amusing out of all of this is the attack that the
    Democratic candidates have levied on Senator McCain for his comment that the fundamentals of our economy remain strong. The amusing part to me about this is how Senator Obama and his campaign staff can brag about raising $66 million during the month of August, then claim the economy is hurting. If the American people are in such dire straits, why is that they can afford to give $66 million dollars a man running for president. If he truly cared about the economy shouldn't he have taken the public financing and not
    relied on the poor American worker's money?

    After all, Senator Obama is opposed to special interests contributing to campaigns, isn't he?

    I also read that Barbara Streisand is holding a $31 thousand a plate fundraiser for Senator Obama this evening. How, can an economy in dire straits support such a lavish affair?

    September 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Chris, Florida

    I'm sure this claim will come as a big surprise to Research in Motion, the Canadian company that, until now, was considered the inventor of the Blackberry.

    September 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. cj

    The strong fundamentals of this economy helped create the Blackberry.
    Wow, I put 2 dumb statements together to make a gigantically stupid one.

    September 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Greg

    Read the quote and not the headline. The quote actually says that he was on the committee responsible for promoting the rise of telecommunications...not that he created the blackberry.

    September 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. carolflowery

    And the dems have created the Black Barry, they have a candidate with overblown credentials, who even in his on memoirs talks about himself looking in the mirror all the time...LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
    have a nice day

    September 16, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Vincent

    Obama campaign said:

    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

    What a bunch of idiots does the Great Depression not ring a bell the Crash of Thursady October 24, 1929 was the worst in this nations history but of course followed by the folowing Monday and Tuesday.

    Lets don't lose sight of history here.

    September 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. Kel in Auburn, AL

    The guy who doesn't know how to use a computer, send an e-mail, or get in the "internets", now invented the blackberry? LOL! THE GOP IS FULL OF IT!

    September 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. Becky

    The fact that he still has votes at all is amazing and disturbing.

    September 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. foreign observer

    ahahahhahahaha.... struggle for breath.....hahahahahahahhaaaahhhhaaaaahaa.... choking with laughter.... brouhahahahahahaha

    September 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. IT Professional

    Let's get some accurate reporting – the speaker was referencing the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which helped create the environment for the flourishing of mobile communication devices, NOT the invention of the BlackBerry itself – please ... only a complete moron or a biased reporter would infer such a notion. The American electorate, we can only hope, is smarter than this.

    September 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
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