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John McCain helped invent the BlackBerry? Who knew?

John McCain's technological acumen is back in the news -- courtesy of one of his top aides.

Barack Obama's campaign sought to spotlight the subject late last week with a controversial ad that scoffed at the Republican's computer skills.

At a gathering in Washington today, McCain domestic policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin was asked about his candidate's grasp of high-tech matters. Holtz-Eakin held up his BlackBerry and, in a nod toward McCain's onetime tenure as head of the Senate Commerce Committee, said, "He did this."

(An earlier version of this post misspelled Douglas Holtz-Eakin's last name as Holz-Eakin.)

He elaborated: "Telecommunications in 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. And that's what he did."

Throughout the world of politics, one sentence instantly leaped to mind: "Al Gore invented the Internet."

That's what occurred to our colleague Mark Silva of the Chicago Tribune, and he has more on what has become the great Blackberry debate at the Swamp blog.

[UPDATE: Note that Silva's posting includes the demurral from McCain's camp about Holtz-Eakin's comment]

-- Don Frederick

Comments () | Archives (116)

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Wow, it is a miracle that these people are not struck by lightning given the enormity of the lies they spew. What I find even more amazing is the number of people that believe this crapola.

Dear God,
Please save us from John McCain's tecnical abilities.

Are you kidding me!!!!!!! BlackBerry, McCain?

What are we all stupid?

I am convinced that the middleclass deserves every bit of misery they are experiencing right now.

You all voted for 8 years of Bush, what did it get you?
You want another 4 years of his policies of Bush with McCain at the helm, God bless you!

I am done fighting for the middlleclass. Just give me my upperclass tax cut and let me waste it on vacations or a new a BMW roadster, I have had my eye on one for quite some time.

Ben Sona
Disgusted Citizen

I knew that. He is not as dumb as he looks

Did John McCain really help invent the blackberry?

Vote today in the world largest particpant driven survey forum. visit

Lame...Man, the journalism world must be hurting for good journalists and decent news to cover. Although, it must be an easy paycheck to write about the political opponent of your golden child. I get it! You guys will make McCain look bad in order to make Obama look good! Oh wait, they're even in the polls? Ha, ha, ha. Lame journalist, lame article and lame politician.

Yea, baby...Dr Strangelove invented the Blackberry!

Bill Gate invented Microsoft and he changed the world and he s not running for President......

Desperate Republicans......

...and the point is????

Perhaps what he meant to say is that McCain helped invent the Elder-Berry

I think Gore probably had more involvement with the developement of the Internet that McCain had with the development of the Blackberry.

John McCain does not use email...oh you got him there Obama. It happens to be true, but only because of McCain's arm injuries which he received as a result of torture while a POW. He is physically unable to use a keyboard. But Obama doesn't really care about that does he...he'll use McCain's disability to paint an incorrect picture of McCain as a stone-age fogy. Real nice.

John McCain does not use email...oh you got him there Obama. It happens to be true, but only because of McCain's arm injuries which he received as a result of torture while a POW. He is physically unable to use a keyboard. But Obama doesn't really care about that does he...he'll use McCain's disability to paint an incorrect picture of McCain as a stone-age fogy. Real nice.

This is not the same as Al Gore. They are not taking credit for creating the Blackberry, they are simply stating that he was the head of a committee that helped bring the technology into being.

Top 10 US bankruptcies:

1) Lehman 2008
2) Worlcom 2002
3) Enron 2001
4) Conseco 2002
5) Texaco 1989
6) Financial Corp of America 1988
7) Refco 2005
8) Global Crossing 2002
9) Pacific Gas & Elec 2001
10) UAL 2002

What's in common?

Republican Administration.

Wake Up America!

Wow. I didn't know that McCain was that God like. I guess when he pushed a button to vote for legistation a Blackberry magically fell out of the sky. Cool stuff. Can he push another button and get us out of Iraq?

That's interesting. I didn't know that RIM (Research In Motion) was a U.S. compan, because they're not. They are Canadian! Pretty good trick for someone who can't even send an email. What a pathetic joke. Another lie.

Truth matters. Too many exagerations demean credibility and take the focus off the main point. Fame and power are not boosted by half-truths and distortions. Our candidates would do well to read What If Everyone Lived Next Door to Jesus? (hannibal books) and concentrate on being worthy of the trust of the voters. Truth is truth...nothing else comes close as a substitute.

Hey, when your fave BHO is losing, you try to turn his opponent into a previously FAILED democrat - al gore.

Entertaining, yet useless spinning MIS-information. Obama will need a TON more than this to come back now.

Just TWO Dem presidents in 40 years says it all !

McLame does not even know how to use a PC. We will really dumb down science if he becomes president with VP Sarah "five colleges to graduate" Palin. Expect your kids to learn creationism instead of physics and math and to become as charming and clueless as her children and the "first dude". I'm moving to Barcelona if these dumb ass hicks get elected.

You go Times. But also may I add can you PLEASE keep your paper HONEST with printing just the facts and not slant the news to either left or right, it would be truly a great experience for ALL.
I n the words of Rodney King"Can't we all just get along"
He has it right.Nomatter the outcome of any election we aren't Dems or Repulics but rather we are AMERICANS,FIRST,SECOND AND LASTLY.
This from a guy who happens to be a proud Independent,who always chooses the best candiate,ot either party.Thanks for your consideration.

Obama makes me sick with his mocking and scoffing.
What has he really contributed to this country. It makes no difference whether John McCain is computer literate or what his connection is to Blackberry. None of that will solve the problems this country.
I know for a fact that just about every first grader in this country is computer literate and by the time they reach Junior Highschool they already have a blackberry (usually by second grade) and are probably more computer literate than Obama himself. Does that make them ready to be our president?

I'm pro Obama, but this article should point out that McCain laughed and called his aide boneheaded when he heard about this. Let's keep things in perspective on both sides so that people can make more informed decisions.

It gets even better. RIM is a Canadian Company.
The implications are staggering....

Did you ever stop to think that it is stupid stories like this that makes people believe that the media is biased against Sen. McCain. Here is a piece of advice, get a life and get a better candidate.

He elaborated: "Telecommunications in 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. And that's what he did."

Oh, so politicians invented telecommunications? They created this technology? My flipping dog! Come on!

The free market invented telecommunications and related technologies. All government did was slow down the development of these things. We don't need their permission to invent. Sorry John McCain. What Republican Party are you from?

The bureaucrat worshiper prayer, "We thank thee oh dear Govt. for giving us food through the Dept. of Agriculture and electricity to power our homes through the Dept. of Energy. Oh and thank you for giving us our homes through HUD and for taking our money we don't know how to spend and giving us charity. And thank you for protecting us from foreign invaders by having troops in every country and spreading your good word of democracy at the barrel of a gun. Oh wise Govt.! In Al Gore's name we pray, Amen."

RIM is a Canadian company. So when John McCain says "Country First" I guess we should be asking which country.

Repbulicans really think people are stupid. Well I am not stupid enough to vote for McCain/Palin. No matter how many lies they try to shove on us daily. " i say thanks but no thanks" Too bad the guttless media doesn't do their job and put an end to all this nonsense. The United States is in economic turmoil and the repulsive republicans come up with all this crap. It has become a waste a time to listen to or read anything they have to say.

I'm pretty sure John McCain also invented the wheel, and a few years after that drafted the Magna Carta, then went on to becoming one of the original founding fathers of the United States of America.. Heck, I think he's even been president a few times already.

Ok, i'm an independent voter strongly supporting Barack Obama.

But come on! McCain didn't say this himself, and when he heard about it he scoffed at it and laughed saying he had no claims to inventing anything.

I hate McCain, I DESPISE Palin (I still can't believe this isn't a big practical joke). But come on, this is not good reporting. This is a tactic McCain would pull. I really hope Obama's people ignore this. Let's keep talking about the real issues. Like the reckless way McCain chose this nitwit.

Am I the only one that fears someday seeing President Palin... who will cure homosexuality with prayer and shoot all endagnered animals from a helicopter?

Maybe he invented it, but he can't use any feature of it other than the phone.

This is better than Al Gore discovering the Internet!!!!

If McCain invented the Blackberry, maybe he can help the Bush administration recover the thousands of illegally deleted emails at the White House.

the BlackBerry was developed by the Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM).

Well, that's not really surprising, he also invented the flintlock, the covered wagon, the pony express, railroads and, of course, the telephone (OK, he just helped Alexander Graham bell on that).
What a guy!
If during all that time, he actually kept any ethics, we would all be better off.

It's a joke, for God's sake! Perhaps the header could include that... McCain Aide JOKES about ....

If McCain is going to lie at least he should have said he invented the Iphone, McCain is so yesterday!


Can we move on to some substance?

I think he did it by accepting "donations" from the company's big wiggs!!!

John Bush and George McCain both invented the blackberry.

John McCain invented the Abacus.

See... that's why I am voting for McCain-Palin. They can invent things they neither use nor understand. They just have to think them into existence.

Now, McCain, just wish the economy back into order.

The McCain camp is getting away with so many lies they are getting giddy...and careless. No one, and I mean NO ONE is going to believe that McCain is a Maverick.

John McCain invented the Blackberry? And with tortured fingers? Why he is no ordinary man, he's POSER MAN. Flip-Flops faster than an IHOP Chef. More powerful than a Republican deception. Able to to leap over important issues. He can bend the truth with his mere claims. Yes it's POSER MAN.

He and his trusty side kick, TOKEN CHICK, are knocking on doors and texting constituents to let them know that this dreary duo can promise four more years exactly like the last eight years.

Just because he was chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee doesn't mean that he actually "worked on the actual project" that developed the Blackberry. No wonder I like a Treo better.

Yawn....Its clear Don Frederick needs some guidance on how to write about something worth writing about and not this non-sense.
Who ya voting for Donny boy?

as for the upper class jerk who does not want any tax cuts........give the money back!

When did John McCain say he invented anything?

Yeah he also invented Sara Plain, a walking, talking, attractive, pit bull with lipstick. Pretty cool invitation except a softwear glitch makes the pit bull bark the same ten phrases over and over and over and over. The McCain campaign is try to fix this glitch behind close doors especially away from the media. It has been weeks now and the situation seems critical so the campaign is taking steps at least by teaching the pit bull some new barking phrases.

I like how people make excuses for McCain not using the computer because of injuries sustained in Vietnam. It reminds me of how they'll inject his POW experience into any irrelevant subject.

Stephen Hawking, a quadriplegic, somehow manages to use a computer.

Wow. Intellectual Dishonesty at its best. Really glad to see the LA Times is doing it's part to make sure no one gets to think for themselves this election.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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