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. Tracy

    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.”

    OMG- so you are basically saying he knows diddly squat about the eocnomy, he doesn't need to know anything about the economy, and a commission will put the economy back on track?????? Where do these people come from and why would anybody vote for McCain???? He doesn't need a plan but vote for him and he'll appoint a commission to find out hwat happened.............. How about finding ways to solve the crisis. Typical Republican- always looking to the past and not the future.

    And now he is the one who is responsible for the Blackberry? I retract my earlier statement that his "fundamentals" comment will be the death of his campaign. In one day he has topped that and THIS is now the death of his campaign. McCain is so out of touch that it is laughable and sickening at the same time.

    September 16, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. florence

    Stop this nonsense. Do and say anything to stay in the news.
    STOP -ENOUGH,

    September 16, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. DB

    It is amazing to me that anyone would even consider putting this party back in the White House....they are a joke, but unfortunately it is not funny...I like so many other Americans am drowning fast...

    September 16, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. "Country Club First!"

    Lets keep him creating phones that he cant use!

    Obama-Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Ashley

    The biggest Economic Blunder of this Campaign So Far.....

    The New ad should go as Follows.

    Narrator: McCain Record on our Domestic Economy...The invention of the BLACKBERY.

    Barack if you do not take advantage of this GAF. I will be at home on 11/04.

    September 16, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Lynn

    The Blackberry was invented, marketed and produced in Canada by Canadians.Come on CNN do some research!!

    September 16, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Georgia Gal

    Haven't I heard this before??

    No wait ... that was something about Al Gore and the internet.

    September 16, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Anonymous

    serioulsy?

    September 16, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Voice of Reason = Obama/Biden

    The Blackberry is a Canadian invention.

    September 16, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. TJ in Texas (Dallas)

    Hilarious!

    September 16, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Love my Country!

    He doesn't even know how to use a blackberry.

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Amanda/PA

    That is great! I cant stop laughing long enough to send a serious comment!!!

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Chris

    Come on now, guys. What they really meant was that McCain invented blackberry the fruit, not the device. Isn't he about as old as Johnny Appleseed anyway?

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. dolarbil

    "He both regulated and de-regulated the industry.”

    sounds like "I voted for the bill before I voted against it" that Kerry was riduculed about.....

    silly Republicans.....tricks are for kids!

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. youth vote

    GOD HELP US ALLLL

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Kris In Atlanta

    This would be funny if it weren't so frighteningly bizarre. Seriously, does McCain even know what a Blackberry is-or what it does? Statements like these, aided with horrendously dishonest ads, have solidified my choice for Obama. Not only that, but McCain has encircled himself with Bush Camp Alumnus, the ones who brought you Iraq and the Sinking (Sunken??) Economy. Thanks for the offer McCain, but a silly old man and an even sillier, corrupt woman are not what we need in the White House this year.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Independent

    WHAT! Then why does he not know how to use the internet...Come on this is so stupid!

    McCain and his camp have all lost their minds...this man CANNOT be president...I am absolutely convinced of this NOW! I mean seriously!

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. Ed from PA

    Huh? How? Where?

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. DB

    Sometimes I find myself thinking that the McCain Campaign is trying to send out dumb quotes to the 24 hour MSM. To some extent, it probably is good for them, because every minute the media isn't laser focused on the economic meltdown they're winning the daily news battle. But do you really want to come off looking like idiots when the nation is dire straits on so many fronts. I guess I feel they could be fighting the wrong battles and thereby losing the war.

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. Fed Up

    This is hilarious.

    Now, forgive my ignorance, but are "we" now saying that McSame invented the BlackBerry AND the Internet? This coming from the guy who probably was around when the abacus was invented.

    Whenever you thought things couldn't get worse, McSame manages to top himself.

    Please America, can we please show that we're not this stupid?

    Go Obama/Biden!!!

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. Steve from Ithaca, NY

    Morals and Values for sale! : You really should have read Forbes' and the Boston Globe's articles from EIGHT YEARS AGO that show McCain doesn't email because he can't type. He can't type because the Vietnamese smashed his fingers and shattered his arms.

    Nice work, attacking the handicapped. "Stand up, Chuck" Biden would be proud.

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. Nick

    oh yeah, and al gore invented the internet.

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. sensible Cape Coral FL

    TO: Texico from Mexico

    Gore NEVER said he invented the internet. He introduced its use into the Senate. Even Newt agrees with that. It was the Republican slime machine that started that rumor but rumors are always more interesting than facts.

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. James Greenfer

    Wasn't the Blackberry invented in Canada by RIM?

    September 16, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. SG in SD

    Someone please ask him to demonstrate!

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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