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. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    McCain is antiquated and so are his ideas to take america back to the cold war years.

    August 15, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Brian

    Johnny Boy graduated 894 our of 899 in college...and he's bragging on his education? John! Some people actually study in college and come away with a wealth of knowledge. Someone please point out to me why the US always seems to vote for people who have been failures in their lives? George Bush? Now John McCain? Their combined bios would read like a seedy side of the street novel...but thats right! this is all the republicans give us to vote for! while they tear any educated person down! Tells ya who they want in that top spot! Someone they can control so that big oil companies (of which they are all shareholders) can keep making big money off the backs of the American people.

    August 15, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  3. Anonymous

    What is so great about being shot at? Does it prove that one is very smart? If he did not get shot despite shots being fired at him i can understand that he is smart to do something right. Yes, going to war may mean that one is serving the country. But that is not true in his case. Given how good he was in academics or any other vocation he would not have gotten any job worth the name of his admiral father. So, he took what his father could get for him. By himself he has been a looser all his life.

    As far as his refusing to be released before his turn is concerned just consider how it would have looked in front of other soldiers if he had accepted the offer. And if he really thinks that he did that out of sense of duty then why is he using that for political gain. Duty was done for the country and that's it. If he is using that for political mileage he was serving himself by turning down the offer and not the country. This is like those companies who donate 1 million dollars and then spend 5 million dollars telling everybody that they donated 1 million dollars.

    August 15, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. Ian

    This guy is worse than Guilliani and all his 9-11 comments. It's like every other sentence is about being shot down from his plane.

    August 15, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. That Makes

    This makes me giggle for many reasons. ABBA when the other war time vets were listening to the Doors and rock and roll.... that is too funny. Also he doesn't know how to use a computer. He admits that his wife knows more about them than he does. What else has he not caught up on since "shot down in his plane?"

    August 15, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Scared of McCain

    There's something going on with him in the head. He needs a psycological evaluation and fast.

    August 15, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. angel

    TO Annoy the Media, Say NO to Obama

    You should really check your facts before you start spreading lies. Obama and his family members are paying market rental rates for the property they are renting and I haven't seen any respectable media source report otherwise. It is one thing not to support someone; it is another thing just to do anything to bring that person down. You people really should have more integrity. If you can't win based on the issues, then you don't deserve to win.

    August 15, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. Deanna

    Chris,NJ says the rest of the interview may have been relevant to his comment about being shot down (which he repeats in rainman fashion constantly) you really think that CNN would not have put that in there if they had? LOL Sad part is that someone at CNN really thought this made Johnny Boy look good! and would have added that if it had been the case. CNN is all about supporting Wolfe Blitzer's choice for the fall....yes I did say The FALL...which is what is going to happen to Johnny Boy come election day..but hey...he won't remember the loss by the next day.

    August 15, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. RJ, CA

    I really do not appreciate Obama's attempts at being "crowned" the "emperor with no clothes" at a mega event in Denver, especially during these troubled times.

    August 15, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. Matt

    ABBA is not one of the most ridiculed bands in the world. It is ridiculed in the USA. ABBA's music, in fact, is heralded as artistically powerful, believe it or not. The grotesque thing about this is how ABBA is so beautiful while McCain is so ugly. He should be into right wing country.

    Don't diss ABBA because this loser likes one of their songs.

    August 15, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. ThinkingAmerican

    To: Annoy the Media, Say NO to Obama

    Please get your facts right. He is paying the going rental rate for the house in Hawaii, unlike a lot of other politicians who stay at "friends' houses" as guests. He's got to rent from someone – Not all of us have the luxury that McCain has, of not having to worry about renting from people who may be contributors, since he and his wife own at least half a dozen houses. And they don't have to worry about renting a plane or getting a ride on someone else's plane since he and his wife own their own plane.

    August 15, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. Puck

    Annoy the Media:

    Why don't you do your due diligence and not spread lies?
    Yes, the house Obama is staying in in Hawai'i is owned
    by someone who's made contributions to Obama's
    campaign. But, if you learned to READ, you would find out
    that he actually IS paying rent on the home. Look up an
    article called, "Obama: The Coincidental Tourist," before
    you spew your nonsense.

    Thank you.

    August 15, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. Say it Loud

    McCain ABBA is not from Switzerland you know! ABBA do take their social responsibility, that is why they are living in Sweden inspite the Sweden is "Libral" country. Do know how many vital inventions that Swedes have contributed into the world, stuff like Xray (Röntgen), zipper, GPS graphics, etc? Ignorance is a desease. Stop attacking Obama because he wants inclusiveness for all, that is why you attack him as "Libral". Inventions from "libral" country have saved and kept you alive, so you don't forget that when you make mockery of Obama or others!
    ABBA is a great group, and don't mix them up with you low politics!

    August 15, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Debby

    I like ABBA to and I am younger than McCain and Obama.

    August 15, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. proud army and navy mom

    that's a good idea. mcold should retire and take up art and listen to ABBA.

    Put him someplace nice and safe, so he won't do anyone harm and let the real honorable man, Sen Obama run this country, while keeping up safe.

    August 15, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. BJGT

    "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."

    Well, at least he's admitting his injuries caused him brain damage

    August 15, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. mike

    Master of Puppets are pulling your strings....

    August 15, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. Joe in NJ

    "Pathetic. Just more proof of how disconnected McCain is to the average American."

    Why? Because he likes ABBA? I suppose he should have said he listens to the Jonas Brothers and Kanye West. Would that have made you feel better?

    August 15, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Hey Obamatrons, this is a story about frickin music. Who cares if it's ABBA, or some other group. It has no relation to his qualifications as President. How many people still think the Beattles are the best band, or the Stones, or Black Sabbath for that matter? Usually your favorite is from a early time in your life and doesn't change. Grow up. Get a life. Better yet, get a candidate that's not still wearing diapers. At least McCain isn't building sand castles on Waikiki while Russia tramples democracy.

    August 15, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. Mike from CA.

    Funny how McCain never misses an opportunity to bring up his POW status.

    August 15, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. George B.

    I can see how the concussion of a SAM would make a person an ABBA lover. 🙂

    August 15, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Chesley from Texas

    I took my 11yr old daughter to see Mamamia and it was a really good movie.............allot better than allot of gangtas killing eachother....what has happen to this country.....looks like we have a new MOTO.....Screw-up our kids as quick as posible. There is nothing wrong with ABBA.......if you do not like their music don't listen to........Go listen to you screwed up rap music so the can make millions so they can by more dope. Yes I said it......Rap = Killings and Dope.

    But go figure...............A bunch of idiots hate McCain because of the music he likes....................

    So I guess you all Like Obama because his favorite music is the Mexico Nation Anthem...........( He forgot to add that to his list)

    August 15, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. Joe in StL

    Please, people, it's not ABBA's fault.

    August 15, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. Emma

    McCain is an OLD relic, need anyone say more? He is an OLD MAN. Let's face it.........................


    August 15, 2008 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Didn't ABBA have some leggy lookin' blondes?

    August 15, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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