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. Bill Stapp

    Senator McCain was in the Navy and he likes ABBA....

    Then he married a wealthy lady...

    Money, Money, Money... must be sunny... in a rich man's world

    August 15, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  2. Andy in Charlotte, NC

    Isn't ABBA from Sweden? McCain is being unpatriotic!!! lol

    August 15, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. SoCal Roger

    McCain and his pandering lies disgust me. He was shot down in 1967 while that ABBA song came out at the end of 1976. It reminds me of when he blatantly lied/forgot about recalling the names of the Steelers defensive line while in prison. A quick search for "McCain Lies about Steelers" on YouTube will reveal what this senile old fool is about.

    August 15, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. MD

    Even his taste in music highlights how OLD this man is. If disaster strikes and he is elected president, he will take us back at least 50 years. God help us all!

    August 15, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. dittohead with forty names

    What do they teach people at the National War College?Freund had a few thoughts about the "Dancing Queen".

    August 15, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Please Love Me and Post My Stuff

    Who cares. Are you going to tell us Barak's favorite song now too? NEWS...WHERE IS THE NEWS!

    August 15, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |

    McCain is a verified, and proud, disabled veteran who suffered greatly for America. I'll cancel your vote out by saying he can bring it up all he wants to because it is 'true and correct'! I'm sick of Obama continually brining up the 'changes' we supposedly need in America. He wants to change things that will result in crippling America's defense systems and as a result, will create even more need for America to have to resort to military action to ward off subjugation.

    August 15, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. cecil

    More Tax Deceptions
    August 8, 2008
    Updated: August 12, 2008
    McCain misrepresents Obama's tax proposals again. And again, and again.

    Why Would You Want To Believe His New Tax Ad Now!

    He Continues To LIE!


    August 15, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    McLame like ABBA – well excuse me while I stifle my gag reflex. I knew something was strange about the old coot from the git-go.
    What does the "old dude" mean he doesn't appreciate the finer things in life? Does that mean $550 Italian (not American) loafers and 8-to-10 houses aren't the finer things? If McLame can't smear it, fear it, mock it, drill it or lie about he just "doesn't get it".
    Besides, what's getting shot down have to do with McLame's choice in pop music??? Oh I forgot, that's why he thinks he's qualified for POTUS

    August 15, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Historian

    Frankly, on another note, when I saw the headline for this article, I instantly thought OH NO McCain wants to send missiles to Sweden now! I guess that is telling, in that the second I see the words "McCain" and "defend" used together in a sentence, I automatically think military and war. Count me in as someone who is also tired of his constant references to his experience as a POW.

    August 15, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    This just goes to show how henpecked this "man" is. His defense of liking ABBA is saying how many people went to see Mamma Mia?!?! What man would admit to actually going to see that movie voluntarily?!?!

    August 15, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Andrew, Chicago

    Hey I like ABBA.

    August 15, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. Indy for Obama

    "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." – John McCain

    Need I say more.

    August 15, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. Montana is Obama Country

    Abba is soooo yesterday and so is John MCain..

    Too OLD for a 21st century America...

    August 15, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Dem in Utah

    "...the time I impacted a surface-to-air missile with my own airplane and never caught up again.” So, um, he shot himself down? HE impacted and missile with HIS own plane. Jesus, McCain. Dumb it up much?

    August 15, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. Justin

    I agree with the first comment. How someone percieves the arts tells a tremendous amount about a person. McCain's comments show him to be out of touch with American culture today, as well as having horrible taste.

    August 15, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. Lost (maybe) in CNN Moderation

    Big D,

    You said it best "my friend"!

    August 15, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Keith

    Sooner or later we will be hearing "Dancing Queen" in one of his ridiculous TV ads. Mark my words.

    August 15, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Brenda of Saginaw ,Michigan

    I like "Nelly" and I am 64 years old., I like Tom Jones ,I like Elvis ,so what does this have to do with running the United States of America?

    August 15, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. Mike - Texas

    Yes, and Obama listens to Ludacris and his bad rap lyrics that demean women.

    Very distasteful.

    August 15, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. anonymous

    I LOVE ABBA!!! Mama Mia is a great movie!! I love John McCain!!! Nobama can go back to Indonesia and swing from a tree!

    August 15, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. Denise

    One of the world's most ridiculed acts being used by one of the world's most ridiculous politicans!

    August 15, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. A.

    I can't stop picturing him dancing (or you know, trying to dance) around to Dancing Queen.

    August 15, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  24. sherry for Obama

    TIRED OF W ......





    August 15, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. John

    I prefer McCain's taste in music than Obama's taste... I'm sick of the low-life thug music played over and over again, which Obama clearly likes, as he has made it so obvious. At least ABBA has real music, and they are one of the most successful music talents in the wolrd!

    And yes, I used to be a democrat... HAHA!

    August 15, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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