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Top adviser claims John McCain invented the BlackBerry

Even though he can't send email

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Nine years after Al Gore said he invented the internet, the John McCain campaign has claimed that the email-challenged Republican presidential nominee "helped create" the BlackBerry.

This morning, when asked what McCain had done as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee that would show he has the chops to mend the nation's broken economy, the candidate's top economic adviser waved a CrackBerry at gathered reporters.

"He did this," Douglas Holtz-Eakin said. "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."

Another McCain aide soon told the world that Holtz-Eakin's claim was "a boneheaded joke by a staffer." And you can believe the boneheaded bit.

According to this aide, McCain laughed when he heard Holtz-Eakin's comments. "He would not claim to be the inventor of anything, much less the BlackBerry," the aide explained.

A spokesman for Democratic candidate Barack Obama said this was the McCain campaign's second worst move of the week: "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."

The CrackBerry is the country's most popular corporate email device, and as Obama points out in a new TV ad, John McCain doesn't even use email.

When The Reg highlighted the new ad last week, countless readers yelped that McCain's war injuries prevent him from typing on a keyboard. But one commenter soon put them in their place.

"There are indeed lots of ways for people with disabilities to use the internet," he said. "I myself am completely blind and my computer uses synthetic speech...there is voice recognition...and on screen keyboards. Also tablet PCs with hand writing recognition."

If John McCain and his wife can afford eight houses, they can afford a machine that lets him send email. ®

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