09/07/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Flashback McCain '07: Paris Hilton Gets More Attention Than Deserved

There once was a time, not too long ago, when John McCain lamented the fact that Paris Hilton was getting so much attention in the news media. Nowadays, of course, his campaign is gleefully pushing the celebrity famous for doing nothing as a relevant campaign issue.

During an August 17, 2007 appearance on Hardball, the Arizona Republican, who was already running for president, was asked to weigh in on the drama surrounding O.J. Simpson's arrest in Las Vegas for armed robbery.

McCain's response doesn't exactly jive with his campaign's posture today.

"I don't know," he said, when asked if the Juice could get a fair trial. "I would not know about that. The last time a lot of people were surprised that he got at least what was in his view a fair trial. But, honestly, I have not been keeping up with it as much as I should have maybe, because it's certainly -- This and Paris Hilton are the kind of issues that seem to get a lot more attention than maybe some of us think they deserve."

Fast forward to this past week, when the Senator has actively sought to bring Paris Hilton into the political dialogue. His campaign put out a commercial comparing her and Barack Obama and defended it as a legitimate criticism of the downfalls of celebrity. Faced with some withering backlash from Republicans and Democrats alike, the McCain campaign -- including former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani this Thursday morning -- have said they were just having "a little fun" during the dog days of summer.

Paris' mom in the meantime, has called the ad "frivolous" and "a complete waste of the country's time and attention at the very moment when millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs."

Here is the complete transcript:

MATTHEWS: Yes, let me ask you about this big story that`s breaking over the weekend. I know you have written a book called "Hard Call," and it`s about guts at the top. Here`s a hard call for you. I know Matt Lauer did this to you the other day. So I`m copy-catting him. Here`s a hard call for you. Given everything that`s happening out in Vegas right now, and Clark County, and you know what`s going on in the news with O.J. -- and let me put this in the language of the streets, can the Juice get a fair trial?

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