I couldn’t pass this one up. I would now like to officially take credit for the Internet…wait Al Gore already did. I’m not sure what else I can take credit for….iPhone, Android?
Credit: Associated Press
Sen. John McCain’s senior domestic policy adviser said Tuesday that the BlackBerry mobile e-mail device was a “miracle that John McCain helped create.”
The adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, discussing the nation’s economic woes with reporters, said that McCain — who has struggled to stress his economic credentials — 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 he 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,” Holtz-Eakin said. “And that’s what he did. He both regulated and deregulated the industry.”
During the 2000 presidential campaign, Vice President 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.
The Obama campaign responded to the McCain adviser’s comments Tuesday shortly 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.
From the New York Times:
One of Senator John McCain’s top economic advisers seemed to credit Mr. McCain with helping “create” the BlackBerry in a briefing with reporters here Tuesday – a remark that the McCain campaign quickly stepped back from.
The adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, was briefing reporters on Mr. McCain’s prescriptions for the meltdown on Wall Street, and citing his experience as the chairman of the commerce committee, when he was asked what Mr. McCain had done on the commerce committee that would show Americans that he understands financial markets.
“He didn’t have jurisdiction over financial markets, first and foremost,’’ Mr. Holtz-Eakin said, before wandering into more politically perilous ground.
“But he did this,’’ he said, holding up what looked like a BlackBerry. “The telecommunications of the United States, the premier innovation of the past 15 years, comes right through the commerce committee. So you’re looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create. And that’s what he did.’’
A senior aide to Mr. McCain, Matt McDonald later said that Mr. McCain “laughed” when he heard the comment, according to a pool report. “He would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry,’’ he said. “This was obviously a boneheaded joke by a staffer.”