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. PG

    I thought the "Dancing Queen" was Bush? Oh I forgot Panamanian McCain is connected with Bushie.

    August 15, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Wisco

    Meanwhile, McCain and RNC are being sued by Jackson Browne for stealing his song "Running on Empty". Music and McCain apparently do not get along. Maybe he should use Paris Hilton's album in his commercials?

    August 15, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. biffington, biff

    you know he's partial to blondes right...

    August 15, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Maya

    "A man that hath no music in himself is fit for treason, stratagems and spoils".

    McCain seems to exemplify this adage...

    August 15, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Dylan

    LOL. McBush still thinks Abba is what the young kids listen to.

    This guy is a joke.

    August 15, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Susan MO

    To James From Chicago

    Was he blatantly honest about the Keating 5, to his first wife while he had numerous affairs, about the number land deals he authorized in Arizona to prominent contributors, etc. etc. etc. ?

    August 15, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  7. Truth

    If you weren't aware, Obama condemned the distasteful lyrics from Ludacris' song.

    His American birth certificate is posted on his website, since Hawaii has been part of the United States for almost 49 years. He and his family are visiting his grandmother there.

    If you want to dwell on Edwards' indiscretion, are you willing to hold McCain up to the same level of scrutiny?

    Now, "Dancing Queen" for a warmonger? That's hilarious!

    August 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. C E H S

    Why are you people so nasty?? Listen to yourselves, you sound like a bunch of nasty little children, not thinking, respectful adults. Oh, that's right, respect for others is no longer popular. Let's slam the ones we don't like and be hateful to those that are different. People in this country were at one time thughtful, respectful and concerned with the feelings of others. It doesn't matter who is the President anymore, you will all just continue to complain and bad mouth about one thing or another, yOu are so busy being important. Your negativity is totally disgusting and I bet your parents are all sooooooooproud of you, unless of course you are just like them. Shame-shame. If you can't say something nice, SHUT UP!!!!!

    August 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |

    McBush Better Get Use To A New Song Come November--LANDSLIDE

    August 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Alice Brinkley

    Don't you people get it? Obama wants to give everybody everything that makes them "happy". Who will pay for it - you!! That means higher taxes without any doubt. Higher taxes to move this country into socialism where Americans don't need to take care of themselves anymore because the government will do that for us. Then, we really won't be America any more but just some offshoot of Europe, second rate taxpayers, still dying at about 70 years old but with more schooling.

    August 15, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. biffington, biff

    Tom, that was actually funny., nice one. (Lucacris stuff is hot, though)

    Barry Soetoro..... please lighten up. Not EVERYTHING requires a nasty, snarky response.

    emj... ditto.

    michelle, ditto.

    guys... SOME of you are soooo deep in the fight.. (or so deep inthe pockets of the RNC... that you miss the fact that just sometimes, something is reported for humor alone.

    geez, already.

    August 15, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. John

    This thread shows that Obama's supporters are as shallow as he is.

    August 15, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Juan M

    I was thinking about voting for Obama but I just don't trust the man. If Obama has to go toe-to-toe with someone like Putin, he will get eatin alive. What was Obama's response to the invasion of Georgia; "We should have a resolution at the UN against this." Does Obama not know that Russia, as a member of the security council, has veto power and there will not be a resolution. Obama has a lot to learn.
    McCain '08

    August 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Mike

    McBush admits his taste in music never recovered from his POW years. Unfortunatly, neither did his outlook on World Affairs. That is why to McWar, all Muslims are the same, Asians are gooks,Czechoslavakia is still a country and Russia is still the Soviet Union. Mc Lame is far to lost in the 70s to be an effective leader in this fast changeing world.

    August 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. Thinkin Mencken

    Interesting that Nelson Mandela (who has been known to mention his own imprisonment ) is also a big ABBA fan. . .

    August 15, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. Steve

    I like ABBA. It's McSurge music I'm not buying.

    August 15, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Lilah

    Hey wait, I like ABBA! Love how he just had to throw in the getting shot down in Vietnan thing in there, as it was obviously totally relevant to the topic.

    August 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Lori

    Obama-bots: Taste in music has nothing to do with ability to govern.

    Your naivete and gullibility show every time you open your mouths.

    Obama as president is a joke–Bob Dylan fan or not.

    August 15, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Vince

    It would be so much fun to see who will win this election. Obama might not have all it takes but i really do not see any reason to vote for McCain. None. Ok so he was shot down..... so. That is what he was enlisted for. Many people sacrifice everyday in America...everyday. The police, the firemen, the teachers, the journalists, everybody plays a role. Enough already with the POW thing. Are the redcross volunteers less patriotic because they did not shoot people. America this is a test of where we want to be in the future. Back to the 70s or a forward looking progressive future. We are already in the 80s thanks to GW

    August 15, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. j-m

    To the airhead above who complained about Obama and his family staying in a beach mansion free (owned by a Democrat). Your mcsameasbush-cain owns seven to nine houses of which some he has not been paying property taxes on. He recently was FORCED to pay those back taxes are lose his properties. Does someone need nine houses?

    August 15, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |

    Oh John, there are many other things you lack along with bad taste. Such as, knowledge of the economy, extending the mess that got us here isn't a solution, it's the problem. Judgement about the war, and everything else for that matter. A lack of policies! How can you have any policies when all you want to do is coninue the policies of GWB? A lack of open mindedness, a lack of understanding the plight of Americans today. If your so concerned about the housing crunch, you could offer one of your nine houses to a homeless family!

    McCains message, attack Iran, attack Iraq, attack Obama, attack Russia, put a surge on the economy?? How do you surge the economy John, exactly how? Your ne nickname is Big Mac Attack!!

    August 15, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. RAY


    August 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Ron Paul Republican

    McCain is an "Inflation Queen". More wars and not paying for them is not smart leadership.

    August 15, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  24. clint

    What i do not understand is how people can elect a president (Obama) if he will not even acknowledge our flag, or place his hand over his heart while the national anthem plays. He refuses to wear anything resembling America. His wife is proud to be an American ONLY after her husband (baby daddy as she likes to call him) has been elected for the Democratic nomination.

    NAME ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT he has done in his couple of years in the Senate? That's right no one can.

    I am not saying McCain is any better, but how can a American want a president that will not even acknowlege our flag or say the National Anthem?

    August 15, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. Janey/Michigan

    I do not get why people think Obama is "good-looking" He is one of the homliest men I have seen-especially without clothes. His sarcasm and smart-aleck attitude make him even less attractive.

    August 15, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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