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. James in Montreal

    It is nice to see that McCain takes credit for Canadian inventions.

    What's next, Cirque du Soleil, Poutine or Hockey?

    What a joke!

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Jacquie

    MCCain wouldn't know a Black Berry from his black heart.

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Mike NYC

    Um blackberry is a Canadian company.

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. Bdiz

    McCain doesn't know how to use the internet or email. And this guy is suggesting that he created the blackberry? PLEASE. This is a joke.

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Paul Robinson

    Now, if only he could use one!

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Rich from VA

    I heard that John McCain invented the iPod too! Also, he built the first computer and then he rolled up his sleeves and said we have to get this room size thing down to the size so it can fit on a desk top or maybe even on a lap–then, he got to work on it.

    What people don't actually know is that those seven houses are really super secret labs (that is why he was hesitant to answer) –in one he is working on improving consumer electronics, in another, he is developing a fusion reactor, in another he is close to the cure for the common cold...so, now, the cat is out of the bag–now you know why McCain "takes the weekends off" it is the only time he has to do all of his inventing!

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. lala

    Um....the Blackberry was created by a Canadian company.....his people should get a clue

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. PalinLiesTooMuch

    Now the GOP and the Mccain is claiming they invented the blackberry we all know Mccain does not even know how to use e-mail let alone invent blackberry what a joke Mccain campagn lie, lie,lie,lie all over again they think the American people are so stupid to beleive this, for some voter they might be right, but the majority are not that stupid.

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Steve in Orlando

    Coming from someone who hates Blackberries, especially work issued ones, this gives me less reason to vote for him :D

    Come on guys, remember how much trouble Al Gore got into for saying he "helped invent the internet"? Let's keep that one off the books

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. michael

    Good jobJohn. Let your guys make this claim. Just like the pig crap you will say 48 hours from now it is not true. But hey it will go out there and people will turn away to look at the claim while the economy is being flushed down the toilet. By the way John where is your man who thinks we are all whinners? Oh by the way even though the msm won't report you campaings attempts to disenfranchise voter in mischigan because they have a foreclouser, and your phoney ballots sent to democrats, and your push polls spouting vile lies. It will come out. That is the bueaty of the modern age. You know the age you invented the blackberry.

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. Kallie

    Read, people, read! It doesn't say he created the blackberry, it says he was on the committee that helped develop telecommunications! Stop doing what the media does and jump on one comment out of context.

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. PK

    You got to be kidding me. McCain did not help create the blackberry. He can't even remember how many houses he owns, nor can he realize how bad our economy is....how can he create a blackberry?

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. USAF Staff Sergeant

    HAHAHAHA!!!!

    Didn't they learn from Gore's mistake?!?!

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. republican mom

    are you kidding?

    JOHN MCCAIN'S ECONOMIC POLICIES WILL PUT US ON THAT BRIDGE TO NOWHERE THAT SARAH PALIN SUPPORTED!!

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. sue

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Danman

    John McCain can't work a computer and now he invented the Blackberry? Wow!!!

    Al Gore is laughing hard today.....

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Kyle NY

    Great! now Obama will sieze that one line and use it over and over out of context. McCain did not create the Blackberry but he did help establish the necessary foundation for its existence in the US.

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Denise

    What???

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. GOP lack confidence in Sarah Palin

    I can't wait until SNL uses this in their next plot.

    PEOPLE – THESE ARE SERIOUS TIMES. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO TRUST OUR COUNTRY'S FUTURE IN THE HANDS OF JOHN MCCAIN AND SARAH PALIN.

    HECK, THE GOP AND JOHN MCCAIN DON'T EVEN TRUST SARAH PALIN TO SPEAK HER OWN WORDS OR ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC OR THE MEDIA. HOW CAN SHE BE TRUSTED TO POSSIBLY BE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD.

    THIS ISN'T A PERSONALITY CONTEST.

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. anon

    ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Please tell me he's not serious!!

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Oh Boy!!!???

    Blackberry? No

    Dingleberry? Absolutely!

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. James

    This is even more impressive when you consider that Blackberry / RIM is a Canadian company. Why is McCain inventing products for Canadian workers and not creating American jobs!

    But seriously, Obama should have a commercial out with this statement before tonight's news cycle.

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. Americans Wake Up

    Americans should wake up. McCain-Palin and aAll the cronies that surround McCain-Palin are bunch of dishonest liars, they will say anything just for the Americans to beieve them. I am sorry if Americans should make a mistake of voting in McCain-Palin, what they are going to witness in the coming years will be far worse than what they are winessing now. From one dullards administration to another dullards administration. There are so many things fundamentally wrong with McCain-Palin ticket that majority of Americans should have known by now that McCain-Palin is not good for the country. Let's wake up and vote according to issues that are affecting majority of Americans and not according to race.

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. Jerry

    Stupid Blackberry comments aside, I suppose Holtz-Eakin wants to be on that “9/11-style commission” to investigate what went wrong with the economy?

    So he can make sure it brushes over HIS role in deregulation that caused the whole mess.

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Toni

    Can he even use a BlackBerry?

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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