Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, has admitted that he never uses email and that his staff has to show him websites because he is only just “learning to get online myself”.
John McCain said he didn’t feel a need to use email as he prefers to conduct his communications by phone
Mr McCain, who turns 72 this year, would be the oldest president ever to be first elected to the White House.
In facing Barack Obama, an opponent who is 25 years his junior and has made powerful use of the internet in his campaign, he is battling against claims he is stuck in the past.The former US Navy pilot, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war after his jet was shot down over Vietnam, did himself no favours when asked by “The New York Times” which websites he looks at.
“Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously, everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge,” he said, referring to his aides Brooke Buchanan and Mark Salter, who direct him to the Drudge Report website.
He added: “Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics, sometimes,” an apparent reference to the website RealClearPolitics.com.
At this point, Miss Buchanan and Mr McCain’s wife Cindy interjected that he also read his daughter Meghan’s blog.
“Excuse me, Meghan’s blog,” Mr McCain said, before remarking that he also read blogs by Adam Nagourney and Michael Cooper, the reporters interviewing him.
“And we also look at the blogs from Michael [Cooper] and from you [Mr Nagourney] that may not be in the newspaper, that are just part of your blog.”
When asked if he went online himself, the Arizona senator responded: “They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself.
“I don’t expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need – including going to my daughter’s blog first, before anything else.”
After Mr McCain conceded that he did not use a BlackBerry or email, Mr Salter butted in to say: “He uses a BlackBerry, just ours.” Mr McCain said: “I use the Blackberry, but I don’t e-mail, I’ve never felt the particular need to e-mail.
“I read e-mails all the time, but the communications that I have with my friends and staff are oral and done with my cell phone. I have the luxury of being in contact with them literally all the time. We now have a phone on the plane that is usable on the plane, so I just never really felt a need to do it.
“But I do – could I just say, really – I understand the impact of blogs on American politics today and political campaigns. I understand that.
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