September 16th, 2008
12:19 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain adviser: BlackBerry a 'miracle' he 'helped create'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A McCain senior aide said Tuesday he “helped create” the Blackberry."](CNN) - McCain senior domestic policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said Tuesday the BlackBerry mobile e-mail device was a “miracle that John McCain helped create.”

Addressing the nation’s economic crisis, Holtz-Eakin told reporters traveling with the campaign “there’s no magic solution. And I don’t think that it’s at this moment imperative to write down exactly what the plan has to be.” He also said a president isn’t someone who needs to be heavily involved in policy specifics, which should be handled by “quality” advisers, and echoed McCain’s assessment that there might be a need for a “9/11-style commission” to determine what went wrong with the nation's economy, and to issue recommendations.

He added, though, that McCain — who has struggled to stress his economic credentials this cycle - did have experience dealing with the economy, pointing to his time on the Senate Commerce Committee. Pressed to provide an example of what McCain had accomplished on that committee, Holtz-Eakin said the senator did not have jurisdiction over financial markets - then held up his Blackberry, telling reporters: “He did this.”

“Telecommunications of the United States, the premiere innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce Committee. So you’re looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create,” said Holtz-Eakin. “And that’s what he did. He both regulated and de-regulated the industry.”

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore drew controversy when he said that during his time in Congress, he “took the initiative in creating the Internet” – based on his work promoting funding and early research in that area.

UPDATE: The Obama campaign responded to the comments minutes after they were reported. “If John McCain hadn’t said that ‘the fundamentals of our economy are strong’ on the day of one of our nation’s worst financial crises, the claim that he invented the BlackBerry would have been the most preposterous thing said all week,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Meanwhile, McCain senior aide Matt McDonald said that the senator "laughed" when he heard the comment.

"He would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry. This was obviously a boneheaded joke by a staffer," McDonald said.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (509 Responses)
  1. David

    Lmao. Wow. They're really grasping at straws here.

    September 16, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Nando, Florida

    This is SILLY SEASON !!!!

    September 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. Alastair

    Hate to break it to you McCain, but Blackberry is from Canada. Nice try though.

    September 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. Kevin

    He can't use a computer, doesn't know how to email, yet is responsible for the creation of the blackberry? I learned to run before I learned to crawl and walk , so I believe him.

    September 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Donkey Party

    Tony –

    I've got a name you're probably familiar with hearing a lot... Haywood Jablome?

    September 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Sarah.....and my last name isn't Palin!

    Say it ain't so! I'd say wake me up to vote November 4th, but there's still work to do. Go team Obama

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  7. Fighting for Obama Since he is too political correct!


    September 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Candice

    People you missed the bigger issue. McCain's advisior said he doesn't EXPECT McCain to know every detail about the economy, finance, etc. He will depend on Advisors for this! So instead of him acting like a President he will DEPEND on Advisors to make the decisions for him! WOW! Isn't Bush doing the SAME THING and that's why we're in the mess we're in now!

    September 16, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Kevin C

    Calm down you desperate Left Wing Radicals!! McCain NEVER made such a statment and even LAUGHED when he heard it. He said "it's crazy to think I invented anything, never mind the Blackberry". WOW, are the Liberals desperate..

    Just go back to Bashing Palin why don't you! GEEZZZ!

    September 16, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21