August 15th, 2008
08:10 AM ET
14 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. Greg, NY

    You know, you can tell a lot about a person by what kind of music they listen to and what type of art they enjoy.

    McCain is not scoring points here, or in anything else really.

    August 15, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  2. sherry for Obama

    Will his naval days being shot down ever cease?
    Thats all he ever seems to talk about.........boring

    August 15, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  3. Dianne

    I have great respect for McCain's military career, but....I sure am tired of hearing about it. He even comments about it when talking about his choice of music!

    August 15, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  4. Chanda in Cincinnati Ohio

    Yeah and if he gets elected, he can play Abba music in the background when he gives the order to bomb Iran...or as McCain would say...bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran!! What a Joke CNNN (Cable non-news network)!!!! I know the Olympics has eclipsed the presidential race, but there has to be a story out there more worthy than this!! Somebody go ask him how he plans to "take on Big Oil", when Big Oil has heavlily financed his campaign! Now that's a question that needs to be answered!!!

    August 15, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  5. McWhine

    Well, another non-news.

    August 15, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  6. aghast

    He really does live in the past! Guess his life stopped about the time he impacted a surface to air missile...

    August 15, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  7. jen

    CNN why do you never report about McCain gaffes such as "countries do not invade other countries in the 21st century" or character issues such as being unfaithfull to his first wife, rather then these constant blatant attempts at feel good stories. All you do are stories about the Clintons and how it relates to Obama, and none stories about McCain.

    August 15, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  8. Annoy the Media, Say NO to Obama

    By the way folks... Back to Hawaii for a minute.

    How come the media is not reporting that the Obama's are staying at a beach mansion "rent free" , this home is owned by a prominent Democratic contributor to Obama. The house is in a community that requires that rent be paid by non-residents. The non payment amounts to a "CONTRIBUTION" to Obama's campaign by a contributor who has already maxed out his contributions.

    August 15, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  9. republicans hate america

    his policies will be stuck in 1976 too.

    August 15, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  10. Noah

    Hard-up for a story CNN?

    August 15, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  11. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Nice, lightweight fluff for a guy whose economic policy is every bit as lightweight. Who would he use for the Inaugural Ball-the Spice Girls? McSame is WAY out of touch.

    August 15, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  12. mekhami

    He's so... unbearably... old...

    August 15, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  13. Donkey Party

    Interesting, considering ABBA is lining up behind John Mellancamp, and Jackson Browne to sue for copyright infringement. Also, old man McCain missed the connotation that the questioner was asking regarding "Dancing Queen". As a POW, should your favorite all time song be the transgender anthem "Dancing Queen"? The song is more fitting for Giuliani.

    August 15, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  14. John B. From New Hampshire

    no taste for economy, technology and now music?? hmmmmmmmm

    August 15, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  15. Tony

    Always knew he wold come out of the closet someday. Welcome Johnny Boy! Love those Silverdaddies.

    August 15, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  16. McCain is out of touch with America

    Pathetic. Just more proof of how disconnected McCain is to the average American. I don't want this old out of touch corrupted Washington insider deciding the future for my children.

    August 15, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  17. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Well, maybe better ABBA than Lawrence Welk...hmmmm!

    August 15, 2008 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  18. The Iraq war IS legal

    How appropriate, with Obama's "Waterloo" approaching in November??

    August 15, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  19. Lorna, NY

    McCain is an IDIOT.

    August 15, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  20. Rocky

    How is this news and what does it have to do with one's choice for President?

    August 15, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  21. Matt in NC

    I like some ABBA, but DANCING QUEEN? Come on, that's one of disco's more egregious sins.

    Obama's favorite album is "Blood on the Tracks" by Bob Dylan.

    Your choice is clear.

    August 15, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  22. Hello!!!

    ABBA is great.....

    August 15, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  23. Demonut

    This is NEWS??? I guess next Obama will have to be defending James Brown and P-Diddy......

    August 15, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  24. Tired of W, OH

    "Dancing Queen"? Personally, I think it's great that at his age he's finally coming out of the closet.

    John McCain. Turning the red states pink.


    August 15, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  25. JIM...TX

    McCain could have gone on and on and on about what he's lacking in!And there's that "subtle" reference to his being a shot down war hero as an excuse for being behind the times......that could explain a lot of his PROBLEMS.

    August 15, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
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