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. Rhea

    OMG...you have got to be kidding. Their lies never cease to amaze me. Well folks, you are seeing the true John McCain. He might even be a bigger liar than Bush. Incredible.

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. nate

    Interesting especially as he mocked Obama yesterday for asking for funding for "planetariums and other foolishness".

    September 16, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. S. Boatman

    Mccain Also Made The Hubble Telescope Out Of Old VCRs.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Jesse

    Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie created the Blackberry you idiot, Douglas.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Realistic

    You Obama fans are sounding bitter. Are you clinging to your blackberries? You sound scared and rightfully so. Come November 4 you probably won't log onto CNN when Obama loses by a landslide.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Tony

    They meant to say he invented electricity.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. Joe PA

    WHAT!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. Proud to be American

    Give me a break ... this man does not even know how to work a computer. Did I read something wrong or did his spokesperson say that McSame do not need to know about the economy if he have "quality" advisors.... yeah right his lobbist? Look it is okay to vote for an intelligent person that actually have the sense to tackle and fix things.... I don't want to have a beer with my President I want him to fix the mess we are in and be at the fore front in doing so... not being a front man for lobbyist.... for the sake of America...

    Obama and Biden 2008!

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. Andreas, Germany

    I am a regular follower of the elections from here and I really have to say its getting silly. John McCain really seems to be desperate to look cool and hip with this. Doubt that will help him tho with the economy in the US gowing downhill. Glad that at least Obama knows what hes talking about.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. John Stevens

    The Blackberry was in fact a Canadian invention !!!!!

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. austin

    what a crock of bad lipstick...

    he helped to create the blackberry like he says america produces more goods for the world. if that were true, we wouldn't be buying everything from china.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. McCain Invented the Blackberry

    JOHN McCAIN INVENTED THE BLACKBERRY

    Actually, he just discovered it while hunting and gathering during the Bronze Age.

    He also invented fire and sliced bread.

    In other news, Sarah Palin invented the John Deere manure spreader...

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. MW

    If all of these McCain camp lies weren't so trajic, they would be hilarious. Not only did McCain NOT help create the "Blackberry", but I doubt he even has the capacity to use one. The REAL inventor was Thomas Campana Jr. without the help of John McCain.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Mike from Ohio

    What a hoot! The only blackberries John McCain knows about are the ones placed on his table by the servants.

    McCain is out of touch an out to lunch – blackberries for dessert anyone?

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. Liz

    I still have not seen CNN change Florida to McCain on their electoral map. McCain is leading by about 6 – 8 points. So please CNN change your map because right now its incorrect. You were quick to change the national poll to show the two candidates both at 45% each but you still have not changed your map to show Florida is now an advantage to McCain. GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure if the advantage was to Obama, Florida would have been changed already.BIAS CNN TO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. JJ

    Stop the Presses! John McCain Invents the Blackberry?!?!?!?!?!?!

    ha Haha HAHAHA ha

    another campaign lie, this one even bigger than most.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. spiculari

    he is old enough to have invented the fruit itself.... but definitely not bright enough to have invented the device...

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. B

    Okay, this tidbit just allowed me not to listen or read another word from the Republican camp until Nov. 7th. I can't physically laugh any harder without rupturing my spleen. These guys are a joke.

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. sidney from NEW YORK

    i love this guy hes the best lol oh my god what 's next he invented thr wheel

    or the chair

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. JC

    And they laughed at Gore's invention of the internet. Maybe McCain is misremembering again and it was actually the telegraph.....

    September 16, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. mav in MI

    More distractions!! Our economy is going down the drain and all that McCain wants to talk about is creating the Blackberry? Did he not get the memo about Wall St.? Quick someone deliver a newspaper to one of McCain houses!

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Joe from Oklahoma

    Yeah...He found that blackberries taste better than prunes...

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. Common sense

    So he regulated and de-regulated the industry? Oh ok, that makes alot of sense.

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Silence Dogood

    Most smart people will read the full comments and not jump on the out-of-context snippet. But then there are rabid, desperate Obama fans..... who are the biggest reason people are changing their minds about The One.

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Independent-Latina-for-OBAMA

    NO! THE BLACKBERRY TECHNOLOGY HAD.......NOTHING...........NOTHING TO DO WITH MCCAIN!

    DEAR GOD WHAT ARE THEY SAYING????????????????!!!!

    CLEARLY ...........NUTS!

    WAKE UP AMERICA WE CAN NOT AFFORD ANOTHER 4 YEARS OF WARPED GOP RULE!

    September 16, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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