Washington, Jul 14: Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain has admitted that he never uses the e-mail or the Internet himself, and takes the help of his staff or family in using this tool of communication. He says that he is only just "learning to get online myself". McCain, who turns 72 this year, would be the oldest president ever to be first elected to the White House, and he 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 was quoted as saying, referring to his aides Brooke Buchanan and Mark Salter, who direct him to the Drudge Report website. "Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics, sometimes," an apparent reference to the website RealClearPolitics.com, he said, and Miss Buchanan and McCain's wife Cindy also interjected and said that he also read his daughter Meghan's 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 McCain conceded that he did not use a BlackBerry or email, Salter butted in to say: "He uses a BlackBerry, just ours."
Obama on the other hand always carries his BlackBerry with him and is often seen on his campaign plane tapping out e-mails. The Internet has been central to his candidacy, allowing him to establish a network of grassroots activists and attract small donations.
Jamal Simmons, a Democratic strategist with close ties to the Obama campaign, laughed heartily at McCain's technological travails.
"It's just amazing," he told The Daily Telegraph. "It's very hard to even think about someone who doesn't know how to use the Internet. It's like, 'Really?' My five-year-old niece can use the internet. She knows how to go to nickelodeon.com and play her games."
The interview could be politically damaging, he added.