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Paris Hilton's dad: He's on record as a John McCain contributor

July 31, 2008 | 12:24 pm

If a certain heir to a hotel-based fortune is rethinking his support of John McCain, it will be understandable.

Contributors to McCain's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination included Rick Hilton. In fact, Hilton was so enthusiastic about his candidate of choice that, The Times' Tina Daunt reports, federal records show he donated twice as much as the law allows (the campaign returned the excess).

Now, of course, daughter Paris Hilton is the costar (along with Britney Spears) in a controversial new McCain ad aimed at ridiculing Barack Obama.

No word yet on how the elder Hilton is reacting to the new ad, but Daunt will have details on how it's playing in Hollywood in a story that will post later today on The Times' website. [UPDATE: Daunt's piece has been posted].

Here's a preview: She notes that eight years ago, when he vied with George W. Bush for the GOP nomination, McCain garnered money from a fair number of entertainment industry figures, including such traditionally fervent Democratic backers as Norman Lear. The producer's reaction to the new McCain commercial: "I didn’t think McCain could look silly. But that ad diminishes him and makes him look silly.”

McCain stood foursquare behind the spot today, The Times' Nicholas Riccardi reports.

Asked at a town hall meeting (what else) in Racine, Wis., if comparing Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears was a flip-flop on his pledge to conduct a high-minded, respectful campaign, McCain replied: "There are differences and we are drawing those differences."

He continued: "I’m proud of the campaign we have run, I’m proud of the issues we are trying to address with the American people. We’re proud of that commercial."

-- Don Frederick

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