MIAMI, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- John McCain's presidential campaign has quickly backed away from an adviser's statement that seemed to indicate the Republican helped "create" the BlackBerry.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, one of the Arizona lawmaker's top economic advisers, cited McCain's tenure as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee during a briefing with reporters on the GOP candidate's plans for the Wall Street crisis, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
"He didn't have jurisdiction over financial markets, first and foremost,'' Holtz-Eakin said of McCain's experience on the committee.
"But he did this,'' he said while holding up what appeared to be a BlackBerry device. "The telecommunications of the United States, the premier innovation of the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce Committee. So you're looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create. And that's what he did.''
Matt McDonald, a senior aide to McCain, said the candidate "laughed" when he heard the comment.
"He would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry,'' he said. "This was obviously a boneheaded joke by a staffer."
The BlackBerry was created by Research in Motion, a Canadian company.