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. mike

    Master of Puppets are pulling your strings.

    How many people still believe in the Republican / Democratic (good vs evil) dichotomy? Just listen to the bickering over who is better or older or cooler.

    This whole Republican / Democratic ruse is soooo WWE...

    August 15, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Carlo

    Nothing wrong with ABBA. Plenty wrong with McCain.

    August 15, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. McJoke

    Whenever McInsane opens his mouth, it shows how stupid he is. He is becoming a biggest joker in America. McFool

    August 15, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    "Senator McCain, what is yoiur favorite ice cream flavor?"

    "Well, ever since I GOT SHOT has been neopolitan."

    "Senator, what's your favorite band?"

    (McCain thinks for a while and remembers the latest hip group ABBA)

    "My favoirite band has been ABBA, ever since I GOT SHOT DOWN. Oh! And did I mention I was a POW?"


    August 15, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. hey you kids get off my lawn

    more asinine "news" from the msm. no wonder they're dying.

    August 15, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    McCain "rises" to Abba's defense? I don't think so–not at his age!!! Poor ole thing!

    August 15, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. sylvia

    McCain went to national war college. No wonder he is a warmonger.

    August 15, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Suhas

    I'll forgive the guy for being in a POW camp when the best music was being made and not keeping up. I won't forgive him for being a warmonger and seling out his earlier stances on cap-and-trade, immigration, offshore drilling, and just about everything else. At least not having any musical taste is a position he can be consistent on.

    August 15, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Steve, Jacksonville, Fl

    McSames age or taste in music is not the issue here. This is just another example of how McSame is stuck in the past and out of touch. The planet has changed a great deal since the 70's but McSame still preaches the same old Blustering, Bullying tactics with foreign governments just like like his buddy George W. It's all he knows. We need a leader who has a firm grasp of history and a fresh outlook toward the future and that just ain't McSame. I say let's honor his military service in November by voting to send him back to the Senate!

    August 15, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Lily

    The only thing dumber than this story are the comments posted here.

    August 15, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Robert

    Thank you CNN, thank you so very much for providing me with this article of information, it has greatly impacted my decision on who I'm going to vote for in November..... You've got to be kidding me. The pathetic attempts at insulting comments and twisted reasoning from the loony liberals were more interesting than the piece.

    August 15, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. tired of stupid people

    Hey get off it about McCain referring to his Life changing moments...You ever had any....? I fought in Vietnam and Iraq, the things that happen to youin those moments hours days and years are what make you what you bcame, and there is no way to wash them out of your life or conversation... if you ever havea life changing moment you will see what Imean until then GET A LIFE OF YOUR OWN....

    August 15, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Wishy Washy or is it just me?

    He loves ABBA & He loves Harleys? That dog don't hunt !

    August 15, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. jrzshor

    when ludacris becomes a distant memory, ABBA will still be selling songs.

    August 15, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. CB

    McCain's sympathy stick = "when I was shot down in my fighter-jet"

    August 15, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. John

    He's so funny and down to earth!

    August 15, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Manuel TX

    It's amusing to see the Obama supporters slamming McCain for liking "Dancing Queen"...and stating that he is stuck in the 70s.

    By contrast they say Obama's favorite album is Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks".


    Let's see...

    "Blood on the Tracks" was recorded in 1976 and "Dancing Queen" was recorded in 1975. It looks like both candidates are "stuck" in the 70s.

    Vote for Hillary I say. 🙂


    August 15, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. Kim

    Really, he even blames his music choices on being a POW – that's a bit of a stretch!

    August 15, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  19. Erika, KS

    HA, HA, HA, HA! McCain DOES have a sense of humor!

    August 15, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Lisa

    McCain is not a puppet? Wow how Rich!!!Poor guy he is less than a puppet, but what does that have to do with Abba? I have the cd shown in the picture, I love it. Love Obama too, and Your point was????

    August 15, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. SazzyCat

    Hey! Where's his flag pin!??!! He's no 'Merica!

    August 15, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. Philly Guy

    Why does he take every opportunity to mention being shot down. By the way, Dancing Queen came out more than 10 years after he was shot down so doesn't even have relevance to his military service. Why won't CNN do peices on how he doesn't now ANY foriegn policy? How he can't tell the difference between Sunni and Shiites? He doesn't know which countries border Iraq? Need I go on?

    August 15, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  23. DJ

    To the person who wondered how GWB has "dumbed down" the country, just consider how much the "elitist" term has been thrown around during this election cycle. It's actually BAD to be smart now. That's not good for the country, and I for one give credit for this shift to the good ol' boy in the White House. He made imbeciles everywhere proud of being imbeciles. Sorry – I want a president who is smarter than me – AND the morons who voted Bush in (well, once anyway).

    August 15, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. TX for OBAMA

    I thought McCain's campaign said "McCain does not speak for the campaign". I also heard that the Puppet masters are cutting back on the cell time for Gramps, as he is listening to anyone and everyone.

    And you want to vote for this joker as your president??

    August 15, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. BK

    So let me get this straight, he's trying to say that DANCING QUEEN is a good song by saying MAMA MIA is a good movie?

    ...That's pretty masculine

    Real Men for Obama '08

    August 15, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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