A senior aide to John McCain has claimed that the Republican presidential candidate is behind the success of the BlackBerry.
Top McCain policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin held up his BlackBerry at a press conference and claimed that it would not have been created had it not been for his boss.
"He did this," he told reporters from The Boston Globe. " Telecommunications [in] the US is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, [and] comes right through the Commerce Committee. So you're looking at the miracle John McCain helped create."
McCain famously admitted that he did not know how to operate a computer or use email and relied on his wife to use the family PC.
The BlackBerry claim is similar to Al Gore's 'inventing the internet', although this later turned out to be a comment on the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991 which he sponsored.
McCain's staff have been quick to backpedal from any claim to the BlackBerry, which was designed and built by Canadian company Research in Motion.
"He would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry. This was obviously a boneheaded joke by a staffer," McCain senior aide Matt McDonald told CNN.
Nevertheless this is not the first time that McCain has laid claim to technological prowess. In a written response to Science Debate 2008 he claimed to have had a leading role in the development of Wi-Fi.
"Under my guiding hand, Congress developed a wireless spectrum policy that spurred the rapid rise of mobile phones and Wi-Fi technology that enables Americans to surf the web while sitting at a coffee shop, airport lounge or public park," he said.
Barack Obama's team was quick to capitalise on Holtz-Eakin's comments. "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.
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