NEW YORK (Reuters) - Millionaire socialite Paris Hilton has jumped into the U.S. election campaign, calling Republican candidate John McCain a “wrinkly white-haired guy” and offering her own energy policy.
The blonde Hilton, dressed in a leopard print swim suit and gold pumps, jokingly declared her own candidacy in a video posted on the website Funny or Die, saying: “I want America to know that I’m, like, totally ready to lead.”
She was responding to a television ad by McCain, 71, that used her image to attack Democratic rival Barack Obama.
The 27-year-old socialite said McCain’s use of her in the ad, which sought to undermine Obama by likening his popularity to her celebrity, had effectively put her in the race for the top U.S. office.
Pretending to take time off from reading a travel magazine as she leaned back on a lounge chair, Hilton insinuated herself into the hot issue between Obama and McCain -- how to solve the U.S. energy crisis.
“We can do limited offshore drilling with strict environmental oversight while creating tax incentives to get Detroit making hybrid and electric cars,” Hilton simpered, drawing on suggestions from both candidates.
Hilton, a tabloid favorite who gained fame from a notorious home-made sex tape, offered to paint the White House pink and threw down the gauntlet to McCain and Obama.
“I’ll see you at the debates, bitches,” she said.
Under U.S. law, Hilton would not in fact be eligible to hold the office of the presidency for eight more years.
McCain, meanwhile, released a second television ad that mocked Obama as a celebrity, but it avoided any mention of Hilton or other Hollywood types.
His spokesman Tucker Bounds said: “Paris Hilton might not be as big a celebrity as Barack Obama, but she obviously has a better energy plan.”
Hilton’s mother, a McCain donor, had lambasted as a complete waste of money the Republican candidate’s advertisement using her daughter’s image.
“It is a complete waste of the country’s time and attention at the very moment when millions of people are losing their homes and their jobs. And it is a completely frivolous way to choose the next President of the United States,” she wrote on the political Web site Huffington Post.
(Additional reporting by Andy Sullivan in Washington)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.