MCCAIN DID NOT CREATE THE BLACKBERRY…. And the hits just keep on coming.

Asked what work John McCain did as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee that helped him understand the financial markets, the candidate’s top economic adviser wielded visual evidence: his BlackBerry.

“He did this,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters this morning, holding up his BlackBerry. “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.”

Al Gore, call your office.

The claim does, once again, make the McCain campaign appear utterly ridiculous, but it also speaks to a larger truth.

McCain has said, on multiple occasions, that he doesn’t understand the economy. His new defense is that he must be an economic policy expert, by virtue of his tenure chairing the Senate Commerce Committee.

But if McCain was such a pioneer on economics, why didn’t he see the looming fiscal crisis coming? And if he did see it coming, why didn’t he introduce legislation to do something about it? And if his service on the Commerce Committee was so impressive, why can’t his own aides come up with something tangible from this experience, other than an absurd argument that McCain “created” the BlackBerry?

I am, however, probably making this more complex than it needs to be. Just as a growing number of observers are taking note of the McCain campaign’s lack of familiarity with the truth, McCain’s top policy guy boasts to reporters that McCain is responsible for the BlackBerry.

And that, my friends, is a very, very dumb thing to say.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.