August 15th, 2008
08:10 AM ET
15 years ago

McCain rises to ABBA's defense

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain's choice of a favored ABBA tune drew analysis from political and musical observers alike."]

ASPEN, Colorado (CNN) - ABBA might be one of the world’s most-ridiculed pop acts, but at long last, John McCain is rising to their defense.

Speaking to Walter Isaacson at the Aspen Institute in Colorado on Thursday, McCain found himself explaining a recent interview with Blender Magazine in which he selected ABBA’s 1976 track “Dancing Queen” as his favorite song.

Watch: McCain defends Abba

“What were you thinking?,” Isaacson asked him, looking incredulous.

“If there is anything I am lacking in, I’ve got to tell you, it is taste in music and art and other great things in life,” McCain joked. “I’ve got to say that a lot of my taste in music stopped about the time I impacted a surface-to-air missile with my own airplane and never caught up again.”

But McCain quickly defended his musical taste, citing the Swedish band’s longevity and crossover success on Broadway.

“Now look, everybody says, ‘I hate ABBA. Oh ABBA, how terrible! Blah blah blah,’” he said. “How come everybody goes to ‘Mamma Mia?’ Huh? I mean really, seriously, huh? ‘I hate ABBA, they’re no good, you know.’ Well, everybody goes. They’ve been selling out for years.”

A few minutes later, following a question about Iraq’s budget surplus, McCain turned back to his discussion of the finer things in life, saying he plans to take an art class “when I have the opportunity.”

“I loved my Naval Academy education and my time at the National War College, but some of the things weren’t there that I would like to see to fill out my education,” he said. “But I make no excuses for my taste in music.”

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. Tami

    Why don't you ever post my anti-Obama posts? No wonder your ratings are in the tank.

    August 15, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. dittohead with forty names

    John learned alot at theTHE WAR COLLEGE.

    August 15, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. Samir

    McCain likes ABBA?

    I thought they don't let those types of people in the military.

    August 15, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. dittohead with forty names

    They must have played ABBA for him while he was in prison camp to torture him.

    August 15, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |

    Y A W N. has more current news than CNN.

    August 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Original Pechanga's Blog


    McCain always brings up his naval aviator experience and getting shot down and surviving Hanoi Hilton for 5 years.

    And Obama always brings up being a neighborhood organizers.

    The way these guys bring up their highlights is amazing. Well and least one has something of importance..

    August 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  7. mello doug New Mexico

    God, not only is he old and losing it, he has no taste. That has got to be a sure sign that he will be elected.

    August 15, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. Robert Johnson

    That's great! At least the man knows what he likes. And ABBA is pretty darned good too. It's pop music. No one ever claimed it was genius. A Big Mac is not a filet mignon, but it is still pretty tasty. Sometimes you just want a Big Mac. Abba is that big mac. I'm not an Obamaton or a McCainiac but this was pretty funny. Good for him.

    August 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. Stacy

    Meanwhile, WWIII has begun with Russia at the wheel and the USA is reading about ABBA.

    WTH? I've been a lifelong Democrat but Obama has, once again, missed the boat on what Russia is trying to do right now. Only one of the candidates has been engaged in what is happening right before our eyes. Looks like this Dem will be voting for the only candidate that seems to even be aware – McCain.

    August 15, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12