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. The BOTTOM Line......

    JOHN MCCAIN DOESNT EVEN KNOW HIS OWN EMAIL ADDRESS, BUT HE HELPED INVENT THE BLACKBERRY...LOL. WOW...THESE PEOPLE STOP @ NOTHING TO GIVE CREDIT TO THIS MAN......IS IT ME OR DO THEY ACT LIKE THEY ARE IN A CULT OR SOMMETHING AND JOHN MCCAIN IS "EVERYTHING"! EVEN WHEN HE SAYS THESE THINGS OUT HIS OWN MOUTH, THEY ALWAYS FIND A WAY TO CLEAN UP HIS MESS.....WOW

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. DMD, New York

    And Al Gore was responsible for access to the internet as we know it, but those days it was called the undernet. Really. If McCain was sitting on the Commerce Committee when the committee pushed through innovations as the Blackberry, then yeah, he was (at least in part) responsible for the blackberry's existence.

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  3. landi

    was that blackberry made out of stones?

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. joey from nc

    I know john mccain didn't create the blackberry. But I do know something about him!

    John mccain missed the civil rights movement due to him being a POW.

    He also made Martin Luther King day in arizona a non-holiday.

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. OS

    To be noted – ANOTHER BIG LIE!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Michael Minorgan Montreal Quebec Canada

    give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is going from very sad to seriously pathetic

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Ted

    What? Give me a break. The fundamentals of a sleazy campaign are strong!

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. cherry strawberry

    OMG This is Hilarious. The man doesnt even know how to email...yet you want the American Public to believe that he helped create the Blackberry?!?!?!? ROTFL

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Cindy, Texas

    McCain and hiscampaign has hijacked the comedy industry! They make me laugh out loud daily.

    Maybe Obama should employ them as jesters in the whitehouse.

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. Jen

    Does MCCain even know what is a blackberry, he can hardly find his way to a computer. This campaign reeks of desperation. As usual CNN will find a way to "toast" this one, too scared to confront McCain. As Candy Crowly and David Gergen said, no-one will get up in the morning and ask who made the blackberry. Along with Campbell Brown, who up to a point of irritation kept asking "Do we know enough about Obama, people have questions?" they are too busy drooling over Mcain/Palin. The View is what we must look to for answers. Nuf said!

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

    FYI, the Blackberry was invented in Canada by a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Terrance Cavendish

    I think the Canadians who actually developed the Blackberry would have something to say about that.

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. Juge

    You must be kidding. This is a bad joke and BS!

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. weneedachange

    McPain and his crew are lying idiots. This man couldn't invent his way out of a paper bag with both ends open. He was made a fool out of on the View and his lipstick wearing, hockey playing, out of touch as a mom, bear hunting, moose eating, barbie doll was made a fool out of on ABC. (OMG her experience with foriegn policy is being able to see Russia from the highest mountain in her state) McPain and his crew are jokes.

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. Johanna not voting GOP

    Worth repeating:

    Fact is – McCain said the same thing at least 3 times since January:

    "I still believe our fundamental underpinnings of our economy are strong."
    -Sen. John McCain (1/23/08)

    "I still believe the fundamentals of our economy are strong."
    -Sen. John McCain (8/20/08)

    "Our economy, I believe, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong…"
    -Sen. John McCain (9/15/08)

    We Won't Get Fooled Again!

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

    Just for the record – Blackberries are created by Research In Motion – A CANADIAN COMPANY.

    September 16, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Saad from NJ

    and strawberry too ::))

    September 16, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. Mr. King for Obama

    Then ask McCain how to use it...or better yet, it's functions. This is rich.

    September 16, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. pete

    Good and he help create the recession we are in too. Kudos to you Mcain, you deserve my vote of non confidence.

    September 16, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. Hank

    Genuinely funny stuff!

    September 16, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Bill Charlotte,NC

    I am about to throw up.
    The thought that this pathetic crowd of losers could become the presidentital party of our country again literally makes me sick to my stomach. This is aweful.
    How in the world are they continuing to fool so many? They are a joke. They just go to prove that Obama was dead wrong when he said "people are not stupid!"

    September 16, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. Mr & Mrs

    Mr. Mcdesperate & Mrs. Nowhere
    Get rid of them. This drama has to end.

    September 16, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Steve from Ithaca, NY

    TexicoFrom Mexico: Al Gore said (and this website has the transcript) "during my time in the Congress, I took the initiative and created the internet."

    Show me how that's out of context.

    September 16, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Not4MoreYears

    You have got to be kidding me. McCain invented the Blackberry?????

    This is a gift softball right down the middle of the plate that Obama should be able to hit out of the park.

    September 16, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. S. Boatman

    So Mccain Created The Black Berry? Ha Ha Ha! Now Thats Just Too Funny! My Son Believes In The Tooth Fairy But I Bet He Would Not Believe That Mccain Made The Black Berry! Let Me Tell You What Mccain Did Make! He Made The Financial Collapse We Are About To Face! I Cant Wait To Vote For Obama!

    September 16, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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