In a comment reminiscent of Al Gore's 1999 statement that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet" during his time in Congress, John McCain economic advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin this morning suggested that McCain deserves credit for helping create the handheld communications device known as the BlackBerry.
"He did this," Holtz-Eakin, holding up his BlackBerry, said to reporters after being asked what McCain did as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee that led him to a better understanding of financial markets, Politico reports.
Added Holtz-Eakin: "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."
McCain has admitted to limited knowledge of computers and email.
The Obama campaign has already seized on the comment. It sent the Politico report around to reporters this morning with the only this editorial comment: "um, what?"
UPDATE: Asked about the comment today, senior McCain aide Matt McDonald said the Republican nominee "laughed" when he heard what Holtz-Eakin had said.
"He would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry," said McDonald. "This was obviously a boneheaded joke by a staffer."