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. Eric

    No wonder he's against gay rights, he seems to be stuck in the closet.

    August 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Sandy - PA

    ...And this is in the news, because...???

    August 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. Joe Kiloz

    M c C A I N R O C K S ! ! ! M A M M A M I A !

    August 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. Graeme

    ABBA was genius.

    August 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. Walter

    MY GOD! This man is worse about Viet Nam than Giuliani was about 9/11.

    He can't even talk about music without reminding us that he got shot down in Viet Nam. Enough already!

    August 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Mama Mia! Here we go again.

    August 15, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |

    This guy is simply worthless. Asked a serious question and he responded with a joke.

    August 15, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Anyone but these 2

    It's a shame that CNN will not post any of the balanced posts that promote American unity and/or attention to third party options. All they want is to see the Dems and Reps catfighting on these boards. It gets boring very fast for those of us who are not party-first zealots. I've tried to defend both McCain and Obama from various absurd attacks from their rivals, but those submissions never get posted. CNN is as bad as Fox. It is ultimately the media (not Obama or McCain) that will ruin America by dividing us for their gain.

    August 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. david


    August 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Amanda M - Chicago, IL

    Now I love ABBA music but you have to admit it's pretty shallow music, very disco....doesn't really give off the impression that McCain has much depth....but then again, I have no idea what else he picked or what Obama picked so maybe its just music they like to dance to??

    August 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Mischelle from Illinois

    Notice and it should be in bold. HIS EDUCATION QUALIFICATIONS! to be the leader of the free world, on must have a clear understanding of the resources of that post.
    The US MILITARY is the greatest on the planet. To command the military, The COMMANDER IN CHEIF must have a back ground steeped in this education qualification. An afirmative action Harvard educated lawyer, NOT EVEN CLOSE!
    Who cares what his favorite song is, I wouldn't even care if it was from the swing band erra as long as HIS QUALIFICATIONS met muster.

    Yeah, ludacris on your ipod is really something to brag about. PULEEESE!

    August 15, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Anonymous


    His liking Ludacris, you can disagree with that.

    But linking Obama's trip to Hawaii with the Edwards affair is stretching it, even for a deperate McCain supporter or a more desperate Clinton zealot.

    Also, what does how much Obama knew or didn't know have to do with anything? I don't see the connection.

    Finally, the birth certificate thing? Still? Really?

    You forgot to say he's a secret Muslim.

    August 15, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Glynn

    I agree John, it does show that Obama supporters are as shallow as he is. And BTW Obama supporters, did you support John Kerry? Because he talked about his service a million times more than McCain does. Since when do we ridicule our American heroes? For ANY reason? I never ridiculed Kerry and I won't McCain. Grow up. I love ABBA.

    August 15, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. mike

    Anyone who thinks ABBA is bad but listen to the trash called #rap is a fool. #rap was invented for those "artists" Ha Ha who could not carry a tune in a bucket.

    August 15, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. ChicagoJosh

    Tell me again how McCain is not an out of touch elitist???

    August 15, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. tina

    Oh what about the comment I was not that proud of my country until I was a POW. Mc SHAME strikes again. KEATING 5..........

    August 15, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. Lisa

    Michelle-get a grip!!! Do you work for the Enquirer, you are so full of information!!!!(wink,wink)

    August 15, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. Michele, Pittsburgh, PA

    Not much of a story, but then again, not much of an answer to a softball question by McCain. I was so on board with him in 2000, but continue to be disappointed this election cycle.

    August 15, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. California Gold

    Do you mean there have been no other music groups since the 70s?

    Or does it mean that's when McCain's long term memory ends?

    August 15, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. susie

    McCain speaks for himself, he is not a puppet, like Obama.

    August 15, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. shamik

    I see all the liberals are hanging out at the Communist News Network.

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    August 15, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Obama supporters are not shallow, we just recognize an exciting candidate when we see one...while musical taste is certainly not key in electing a president, McCain's taste in such (i.e., ABBA songs) is just indicative of his generic, used up, personality and persona...yawn, McCain is the eight-track tape of this election...old and out of use...retire him!
    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 & '12

    August 15, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  23. Good !

    Michelle August 15th, 2008 10:50 am ET

    So what!

    Obama loves Ludacris, the hate-spewing fool.

    Gee, Obama runs to Hawaii at the same time that Edwards
    admits his affair. No coincidence there. (wink, wink)

    And there's more dirt leaking out each day. Just how much
    did Obama's campaign know? Will the MSM dig or leave the real reporting up to the National Enquirer?

    Got your original birth certificate yet, Barry?

    His birth certificate is on his website for everyone to your homework, because, frankly, you sound IGNORANT ! !

    Obama RUNS TO hawai at the same time Edouards admits his affair ??!!! i hope you re not serious ! what does Obama have to do with the fact edouard has an affair ???! Next thing i know, you ll know and say he hooked them up ! Jesus...have some integrity people !

    And what his that Ludacris BS ! Obama himself opposed ludacris song...AND SAID HE does not let his kids listen to this kind of violent music.

    Now why dont you talk about the fact that McCain is known womanizer, that he left his disfigured wife and his kids for fame, beauty and wealth...Might not be a nice story, but at least its true !

    August 15, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    What is the first thing out of someone's mouth when they are getting to tell a lie?


    August 15, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. victor0803

    Interestingly, Hillary Clinton occupies the border area between Obama and john McCain. So what should we expect, a surge of all form.

    OBAMA!!!!!!!! 08

    August 15, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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