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. Roberto

    Folks.....Inflate your tires! You need to get behind someone who has that as a message. Now there's a man we should trust to lead the free world. Not some man who has served his whole life in honor of his country and who has reached accross the aisle to help get things done in the senate. I say lets back the guy who has the real answer for all our petroleum needs. Let's get behind that candidate. All 57 states! Duh!!! The choice is clear. If we can't have Hilary it has to be McCain!

    August 15, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Typical White Person

    Better ABBA than gangster rap.

    Did you guys notice that Obama had a song about himself as one of his top 10?


    August 15, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. mcbush!

    as if i needed another reason not to vote for him.....

    August 15, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Perk

    So what if he likes ABBA, sure, they are not the coolest band ever, but at least McCain says what he really thinks. I have a hard time beliving in what Obama listens to, I guess a pr-consult have helped him making up everything.

    August 15, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Wrinkled OLD White Man

    a noun, a verb and POW

    August 15, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |

    Now that I think about his comment that his mind is stuck in retro since his capture and he has never caught up sounds like my grandmother. May GOD bless her she suffers from Alzheimer's.

    August 15, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. McCain:SmallWeakCowardlyMan OffersMoreOfTheSame TearsOthersDownToBuildHimselfUp

    No, John, you are lacking mental stability and common sense. Forget about the music, it's all in your pea-sized brain.

    August 15, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. An American

    I thought we weren't supposed to talk about his military record and crashed jet planes?

    August 15, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. boered1

    “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.”

    not only has he lost track of who is who in Iraq (are they shi'ia or sunni?) who is being trained in Iran (Al-Queada is being trained by Iran... err excuse me Joe Liebermann just pointed out to me that Itran is NOT training Al-Queada), what countries exist (Czechoslovakia???!!!) who is in charge of Germany... etc we now know that time has been lost also.. since he got shot down in Vietnam (psst that was in the late 60s for those who have forgotten) and ABBA came out in the late 70s.... I begin to wonder if he is a safe bet experiance does you no good when you cannot recall the FACTS straight....

    August 15, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Old Fart

    "They've been selling out for years."
    And McCain knows a thing or two about selling out.
    Guaranteed Lieberman turned him on to ABBA.

    August 15, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. crownsy

    between not being able to use a computer and listing a pop song as his favroite of all time, he's ruined any chance i will ote for him.


    August 15, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. Vera /AB. Canada

    Why does McSame keep on going he makes a fool of himself every week, I bet he is thinking to himself "Oh why did I start this". I can see why some Repub. are crossing over . I change the channel when he is speaking as he is boring, and a liar all he can talk about is getting Obama, not the econ.

    Obama 08/12

    August 15, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. freddie

    Right. Seems like everything stopped when he hit that missile. He's still fighting the Commies!

    August 15, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  14. Michelle

    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?

    August 15, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. FlaDem

    At least he's not talking about starting a war again. Keep him distracted from the important issues. That way he can't do any harm.

    August 15, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    I haven't a clue who or what "ABBA" is–is that an acronym for something–but what does McCain's preference for them/him/her/it have to do with his qualifications to be president?

    August 15, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. Tom

    Wow..that's just Ludacris...get it?!?

    August 15, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. emtp JB

    Maybe McCain needs to concentrate on how he is going to get us out of the recession, Iraq, and the oil crisis and not bore us with comments on ABBA!!!! Get real and get with it. What an idiot!

    August 15, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. Yasriel

    Hey folks! Let's give McSenile a break. At least he has got a taste for beautiful women even though he has not got any taste for Technology, Economy, and now "Art and Music".

    He is such a joke.

    August 15, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Barry Soetoro AKA Barrack Obama

    Ya God forbid McCain listens to something other then Kayne West who decries hatred for white people and violence in songs.

    Oh wait Obama is inviting him to Denver... Way to unite the country by having a radical hip hop star there.

    August 15, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Heather,CA,US

    I don't see why John McCain should have to explain himself.ABBA changed music.They had a unique sound and made their own contribution to music. I don't like all of their songs but most of them.McCain is right.I give him a big break for at least wanting to open up to the world about his desire to be more cultured.Good for him!

    August 15, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  22. ben

    To misinformed "No to Obama" Are you so ignorant you believe if I own a house and a friend visits me, he would have to pay rent? The law in Hawaii is for tenenants not casual friends. Man, it is people like you who will decide this election and that is scarry!

    August 15, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Can McCain talk about anything that he can't connect with being shot down. Has he done nothing since then but womanize, scandalize (KIeating 5) and run a nasty campaign?

    August 15, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. kent

    This is another dislay of McCain's sound judgement on who qualify as genuine celebrity rock stars: Abba, Brittany, Paris, Barack....

    August 15, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  25. RB from NH

    We don't need a dancing queen for president!!!!

    With all the EXPERIENCE McCain seems to claim, he has none relating to culture and the better things in life?

    Thats not what we need at the top.

    August 15, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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