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

McCain rises to ABBA's defense

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/15/art.abba.gi.jpg 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. James From Chicago

    I love the fact that McCain is so blatenly honest.
    On the other hand you cannot believe a word Obama says.

    30 year democrat, but not for Obama.

    August 15, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. victor,nj

    who cares?????????????????

    August 15, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  3. Shrill for Hill

    I was shot down in Vietnam, did I mention that? He's getting to be as bad as Rudy "9/11" Giuliani. Too bad getting shot down doesn't teach you anything about "How to win a war".

    We need judgment over McCain's type of experience.

    Obama '08

    August 15, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  4. Texas trail puppy

    Mammamia!!! This Guy should be a comedian and not be running for POTUS..

    August 15, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  5. alec

    You mean there's a belief he's held consistently for more than a few years? Wow!

    August 15, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  6. carlo

    “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.”

    If McCain loved his Naval Academy education so much he should have worked harder to have a higher ranking than 894 out of 899.

    Why is it that no one in America wants a smart President?

    August 15, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. Dave, Illinois

    At least McCain has a sense of humor and can joke about himself. Obama is to impressed with himself to do that! Insert idiotic, hateful, Obamite comments here: 5,4,3,2,1....

    August 15, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. emj

    What McCain listens to is Obama fault, right?

    August 15, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  9. Charlotte

    Can he not even talk about his lame music choices without bringing up his stint as a POW? Honest to Pete. He's got all the substance of helium.

    August 15, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. flygirl

    I find this amusing. The same guy that doesn't know who the factions in Iraq really are knows that ABBA's music was the basis for Mamma Mia.

    Seriously, he wants to run the country?

    August 15, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  11. Big D

    Boy, for somebody who says he's reluctant to talk about his VietNam war experiences, McCain sure does talk about this a lot. That was a pretty slick way to bring it up, one more time, when talking about music. Is there any topic that he can discuss without bringing up his war experiences? And then how can he say that he's reluctant to talk about it?

    August 15, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  12. arc, Lugano CH

    CNN: I'd like to hear some more about McCain's views on the Iraq surplus so I can compare it to what the BBC, Deutsch Welle, and other news sources are reporting.

    In all due fairness, when I read articles about Senator Obama going to the beach, it makes me want to go to the beach, but I can't go to the beach right now because thanks to GWB and Cheney, I can't afford to go to the beach.

    August 15, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. American Mom for Obama

    Seriously? This is news?

    August 15, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  14. Brian Phoenix AZ

    Most likely could not discuss Iraq's budget suplus cuz he had forgotten about it and any way "it's not too important".

    August 15, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  15. Rob Johnson

    It is vital to the future of this country that somebody who's favorite song is "Dancing Queen" not be allowed to be President.

    Some of you think I'm joking, but I'm not. Read McCain's own words:

    “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.

    A President who would dumb our culture down even more than Bush? That is something we don't need!

    I look forward to having an intelligent, sophisticated President in Barack Obama.

    August 15, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  16. Lisa Salt Lake City, Utah

    Will he ever stop talking about being shot down? Seriously, this guy either has PTSD and needs some major mental health services to deal with an event that happened over 40 years ago - or the guy is milking it for all he can. I never hear other vets speak about their experiences like McCain does. Does he think he was the only one?

    August 15, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. Anonymous

    These Republicans get more mileage out of tragedy than a Prius.

    August 15, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  18. Erik

    Oh, and by the way, Russia may be instigating a regional war in Eastern Europe.

    August 15, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. Tom

    I was going to vote for him, but no way I'll do that now! I mean, ABBA?? I wish someone would post the favorite groups of Obama, Paul, Nader and that fake-Libertaian goofball (forgot his name) so I could make a more informed choice at the polls.

    August 15, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  20. Phil in KC

    Hey, I'm no McCain fan, but everyone's entitled to their taste in music. My son's girlfriend (who is getting her doctorate) looked at my MP3 player and said, "Wow, you've got everything but ABBA." So, after taking my wife to see Mama Mia! (a definite chick flick), I went out and bought her an ABBA CD, which I will load on my MP3 player. You know, it's really not all that bad.
    Of course, now, what all this has to do with politics or the issues of our time escapes me....

    August 15, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  21. California Gold

    McCain is hopelessly stuck in the 70's. My physician says this is not unusual when we get very, very, very old and feeble minded.

    August 15, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  22. jimmy

    BETTER THAT THAN ATTEND A CHURCH FOR 20 YEARS AND LISTEN TO RACIST SERMONS FOR 20 YEARS AND CALL YOURSELF A "CHRISTIAN" LIKE OBAMA DOES.

    August 15, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  23. bob

    this is news?

    August 15, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  24. Election Watcher

    Laugh if you will but ABBA's record sales eclipsed most bands, following only the Beatles or Rolling Stones.

    August 15, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  25. Obama supporter:White, 60 year old woman

    Hopefully the American media is not going to swallow the Bush Administration and John McCain's line about what happened in Georgia hook line and sinker as they did in Iraq.

    I am not saying Russia is right but there is a whole lot of questions unanswered about the time line and the hypocritical talking points coming out of Washington and John McCain's mouth. Everything they are now saying about Russia is what they practiced in this same "21st Century and there is something called democratic imperialism that is the basis of the Bush/Cheney/McCain doctrine.

    Where was America's outrage when Israel marched into Lebanon and completely decimated it causing?

    August 15, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12