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. Paula

    McCain has gone from distorting, lying & pandering to the brink of insanity-and so have his supporters. What moron would vote for a VP under investigation (stalling won't work Sarah)

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. John in Ohio

    Thank you McCain for this catchy Al Gore moment that can be carried 24/7 by the MSM and carry you to defeat.

    Yes, I wish we could have a campaign that focuses on the issues and who would be best able to handle the problems that arise, but sadly large sections of the American people just plain aren't that smart or mature yet. I've seen Obama's plans and I like them, I've seen McCain's plans and I don't like them. If the rest of the election has to be about trivialities and sound bites, so be it.

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. New Day

    That Johnny's a crazy kid.

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  4. Brian

    And didn't Gore invent the internets?

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Oh! The Irony

    This is hilarious.

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. MikeH

    ?????!

    This is disturbingly strange. What is in the water over at the McCain headquarters?

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. fed up

    here you idiots go again blowing things out of proportion.

    i won't fall for it.

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Proud iPhone user

    John gets the Blackberry, but Steve gets the iPhone! I'll go with Steve.

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. Robin in SC

    Oh Dear God! A man who can't/hasn't used a computer, never sent an email, had anything at all to do with the invention of the Blackberry...how stupid do they think we are??? McBush becomes more of a clown with bad jokes every day.

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. trainguy

    Amazing he could have reached into Canada, where the Blackberry is from, and created it at long distance . . .

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Alex

    Is this a rerun of Gore "I invented the internet"... now it's going to be mccain: "I invented the blackberry" hahahhaha .. I am having a good laugh

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. D from MI

    Sarah Palin is nothing more than a parrot … And John McCain is nothing but a baked potato that someone tried to heat up and fry …

    September 16, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. marsha

    Yes and Sarah invented the tanning bed.

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. M.B. from Berlin FOR OBAMA

    oh guys come on...this is a joke, huh?

    So where is McMagic's magic stick??? this is completely laughable. A Konrad Zuse(if he still lived) could stand up and say he helped inventing the PC by inventing the "z2" and "z3" – well that would be right, because he invented something.

    Come on, just sitting in a committee, probably doing nothing than "thumbs up" or down, whatever your adviser says would be right and than be claimed as one of the inventers??? this is a joke, a really bad one.
    truly, this Douglas Holtz-Eakin is DUMB AS A BUCKET OF SHRIMP!!!

    and what kind of "inventer" is McCain if he doesn't even know about E-Mail??? Come on, stick to the issues, not that kinda BS!

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Boye

    And they shall call him John McCain for he shall doth Miracles.

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  16. Plainsman

    And Al Gore invented the internet, Bill Clinton invented a new definition to the word "is", and Dan Quayle and GW just plain invented words in general.

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. Susan in SC

    Blackberry, huh? Oh yeah, I'm believing that..... Just like I believe Palin has nothing to hide in Alaska..... Just like I believe Cindy McCian didn't deserve to be brought up on drug charges.... Just like I believe John McCain gets it on the economy (and everything else).

    Oh yeah..... And I believe in the Tooth Fairy!

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. steve

    The Obama campaign unleashed an ad mocking John McCains inablity to use a computer and a keyboatrd. Turns out that McCain lost alot of the dexterity in his fingers when he suffered the repeated injuries to his arms during his 5 years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi. It's the same reason he can't lift his arms over his own head or comb his own hair. How much lower can you go than that? It's despicable.

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. Old Fart

    Yeah, me too. And the internet. Or "internets."

    Is everybody on that campaign out of their minds?

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Ann

    ROFLMAO
    At least, despite the economy, the GOP ticket is keeping my sense of humor alive and well these days. :)

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  21. Fed

    c'mon now this is getting rediculous.
    I think the Republicans have the right idea on immigration.

    Elect McShame so everyone leaves voluntarily

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. MLD

    Al Gore created the internet.
    McCain created the blackberry.

    Obama created the recession.

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. NoMoreEvil

    LoL.... I can't stop laughing. Does he know how to use a Blackberry????????????????

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Ken in Dallas

    Come to think of it, are we sure that creating a monopoly for a Canadian company in the US telecom market was a good thing?

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Ben Langhinrichs

    Doesn't the fact that RIM, the creators of the Blackberry, are Canadian make this a particularly ludicrious lie, even for Senator MCCain's campaign?

    September 16, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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