Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

McCain claim: he helped create the Blackberry

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McCain doesn’t even know how to use a Blackberry. (He’s admitted he doesn’t know how to use email.) Story in the Washington Independent by Ari Melber.

Sen. John McCain’s top economic adviser is busy tracking the financial crisis, but he took time on Tuesday to offer a novel argument for McCain’s grasp of the financial markets. Politico:

Holtz-Eakin: McCain helped create BlackBerry

Asked what work John McCain did as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee that helped him understand the financial markets, the candidate’s top economic adviser wielded visual evidence: his BlackBerry.

“He did this,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters this morning, holding up his BlackBerry. “Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the commerce committee so you’re looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that’s what he did.” Al Gore, call your office.

The Obama campaign sent around the article on Tuesday morning with a terse response: “um, what?”

Within the hour, chief spokesperson Bill Burton released a statement putting the falsehood in context: “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.”

Now let’s briefly correct this latest McCain campaign whopper.  McCain did not “help create” the “miracle” of the BlackBerry — he does not even know how to use email or a computer.  The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee was not even pivotal: the BlackBerry was invented by a Canadian company, Research In Motion.

So this claim is false and absurd, obviously, and it may seem like a distraction from the current debate over the candidates’ economic agendas.

Reporters have a reason to press McCain on his campaign’s latest falsehood, however, because voters have a right to know how often his campaign distorts and lies — on issues large and small — and how often McCain stands by his operatives’ lies (taxes) or abandons them under pressure (like the lipstick ploy).

It seems like the only time McCain is a “maverick” nowadays is when it comes to his relationship with the truth.

McCain has become a bad joke.

UPDATE: It’s worse than I thought. Matthew Yglesias points out:

Perhaps Holtz-Eakin isn’t aware that McCain was voted against the 1996 Telecommunication Act. I think he was the only Republican to do so. It was some kind of crazy McCain stunt where there was a giant, complicated bill with tons of provisions that was, on the whole, a substantial improvement over the status quo but where the nature of the beast was that everyone had some complaints with the text. So McCain took the opportunity to point out some perceived flaws and cast a cranky “no” vote against a critical piece of bipartisan legislation.

Written by Leisureguy

16 September 2008 at 10:13 am

Posted in Election, GOP, Technology

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