If John McCain did help invent the BlackBerry, as his economic adviser said, then it should be held against him, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said on Tuesday.
"It's another reason to be against John McCain," Brown joked to the Huffington Post. "If he invented the BlackBerry, I blame him for having to spend too much time on my BlackBerry and not talking to my wife enough."
The humorous dig, delivered at the end of an interview on the recent economic developments, comes as other Democratic politicians and observers gleefully pile on the innocent but potentially problematic campaign gaffes.
On Tuesday, McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin claimed that the Senator's work as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee had helped lead to the technological innovations of the BlackBerry.
"He did this," said Holtz-Eakin, waving around his own BlackBerry." 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."
The line spread like wildfire, eliciting comparisons to the longtime dig against Al Gore for claiming to have invented the Internet (Gore never said something so explicit), but also playing into recent charges that McCain has run a campaign based on exaggeration at best and dishonesty at worst. And indeed, hours after Holtz-Eakin made his remark, former FCC chairman Reed Hund teed off, telling Think Progress:
"John McCain is so out of touch with America his economics adviser says he deserves credit for creating the Canadian company that invented the BlackBerry. Message to Republicans: it's American entrepreneurship our President is supposed to encourage."