August 14th, 2008
02:20 PM ET
10 years ago

Labor organization looks to paint McCain as elitist

This mailer is expected to reach 50,000 seniors Friday.

This mailer is expected to reach 50,000 seniors Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN)—The AFL-CIO launched a new offensive on Thursday, the 73rd anniversary of Social Security, looking to paint John McCain as a wealthy elitist who is unconcerned with the needs of senior citizens.

In a mailer expected to reach 50,000 seniors Friday in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, the labor organization focuses in on McCain’s plans to privatize social security and increase the minimum age for eligibility above 65 years old.

“John McCain started receiving Social Security when he turned 65,” the mailer says. “But now he has a risky scheme to privatize Social Security—threatening our benefits.

“McCain’s worth over $100 million...,” the mailer also says. “He walks around in $520 Italian loafers. If John McCain lost his Social Security, he’d get by just fine. Would you?”

In 2006 the Arizona senator earned $3.9 million and has a net worth of $40.4 million, which Democrats have noted in an effort to paint McCain as out-of-touch with the average voter.

McCain’s net worth far succeeds Obama’s $1.3 million. In 2006, the presumptive Democratic nominee earned $991,000.

The presumptive Republican nominee has said that he supports a partial privatization of Social Security — which the AFL-CIO is using to try to tie his positions to President Bush’s unpopular 2005 attempt to overhaul the system.

According to the AFL-CIO, their efforts will be expanding over the coming weeks to reach a larger number of voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan—with the potential of extending outside those swing states.

Filed under: AFL-CIO • John McCain
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Republican for Obama

    fella from Chicago:

    Thanks for reminding me of Obama's silver spoon childhood, and don't forget to add that his food stamps were printed with real gold, just for him.

    You are an idiot.

    August 14, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Generation X

    Of course he is. How many of us can afford $520 pair of shoes? Don't let that baseball cap fool you, folks!

    August 14, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. bridgette

    Oh please my fellow citizens let's stop with the elitist crapt. The reality of it is it is not a bad thing to strive to be elite. That just means you are the best at what you are trying to accomplish. Let's stop falling for this foolishness and focus on the real issues.

    August 14, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. paulie_nj

    And all of you Obama supporters are willing to trust your country to a man that CNN contributors describe as "a little-known state lawmaker from Illinois"?

    August 14, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Barry Soetoro

    We know his wife is rich... big shocker...

    Barry made 4 million last year... and his moron wife when talking about the 600 dollar tax incentive said... "what can you buy with that... ear rings"... now that's elite!

    No Bama... No Way...

    Hillary 08

    August 14, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. BlackMan4Mac

    Whatever, how the heck can Mac be elite??? He is much more down to earth and average American than "The One"

    August 14, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Obama/Hillary 08

    God Jesus christ my Lord will come back to take us christian in heaven with him and in that day your social status will not be able to take you to heaven. You need to accept jesus Christ as your personal savior and water baptize to be eligible for heaven. George Bush, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton to name a few wil not go to heaven unless they have Jesus in their lives.

    August 14, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    You can't be serious?

    Here is Obama: the arrogant, chardonnay sipper who prefers brie cheese and calls the American workforce a bunch of gun toting miserable people who clutch their bible to feel good about themselves.

    Obama: the guy who wouldn't think of getting his hands dirty or risking his life for the rest us.

    Obama, who wouldn't take the time to visit wounded servicemen in Iraq because he couldn't bring the TV crew and use it for personal gain.

    Obama, who calls women without a great deal of power, "Sweetie."

    Obama, who lectures his own on responsibility and makes sure it's broadcast on national TV.

    WOW. Apparently you guys don't get out much.

    You've got big job to demonstrate to REAL Americans here that McCain is an elitist!

    August 14, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Roger from CA

    Excellent. But this should be core to the Obama argument, not limited to union members.

    August 14, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. DR. YES

    he is the ultimate elitist and everyone knows it!republicans just dont care cuz their elitist ,too.

    August 14, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. Truth

    To me, the funny part of all these is mrs McCain going to hospital due to a hand shake!. That's pretty remarkable. Elitism just found its place in the McCains

    August 14, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. pam Eugene OR

    I have always wondered why people like McSame and Clinton with their millions have tried to paint Obama as an elitist. How can that be? They both wear $500 shoes and have over $100 million. I bet neither of them have ever been inside a grocery store.
    Yes, Barack went to wonderful schools but on full scholarships. He wasn't born rich and he did not marry money.
    Leave my SS money alone McShame. I need it and I earned it!!!!!

    August 14, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. Reasonable Observer

    Can someone explain to me why "lobbyists" are bad, but unions doing what lobbyists do is not lobbying?

    August 14, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. dollorbil

    I wish you would do some research on labor unions. You will find that all the good things like days off, paid holidays, vacations, labor laws, and worker rights and protections were all brought to you by labor unions.

    August 14, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Mike - Texas

    That's a hoot.

    Obama is the one that talks about us clinging to our religion and our guns with antipathy to those who are not like us.

    Obama is the real elitist, just look at who he hangs around with.

    August 14, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Griff

    They keep talking about: the minorities of America! The minorities are "The None Visible"... Every Nation on the Planet, is an 'American'.
    But the Minorities want to divide that beleife... And they will always be! "The Minority's"... One America... Black, Pink, Blue, or Green...
    Democracy, or The Hypo.................

    August 14, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. Willy

    A union aganist a republican, How Shocking!!!!!

    August 14, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. vb

    Don't forget about McCain's $500 pair of shoes

    August 14, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. KenB, MI

    McCain is on the agenda...

    ...the agenda of elitist.

    August 14, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Ex-Republican for Obama

    McCain Policy Mathematics:

    Ship jobs over seas
    +Ship our young to new wars and murder them
    +I'm already rich
    = We don't need social security nor veterans benefits

    August 14, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Red blooded American

    Sorry, I can't find any thing in common with the elitist that calls himself 'The One'.

    I don't care how much either one is worth, it's their values and how they relate to main stream Americans that matter to me.

    Obama calls me bitter.
    McCain was at ease hanging with us biker guys. We are red blooded Americans who absoulty love this country and are sick at how the Democrats want to destroy it.

    McCain is one of us. Obama has no clue who we are.

    August 14, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Debby

    Isn't this considered a 527 and the big cheese at Move On is condeming these adds?????????

    August 14, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. ShirleyY - Seattle





    August 14, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Nevada dude

    theres nothing wrong with being rich. theres everything wrong with being sanctimonious. McCain wants to be the 'average guy' that feel's everyones pain. hard to do in fancy shoes and a choice of vacation homes spread out across the country. oh and by the way, this average guy helped sell out 30,000 jobs in ohio, and is short-changing Veterans healthcare.

    August 14, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. tom

    $500 for a pair of shoes is a better deal that a $400 haircut that Edwards got, also McCain is a pauper compared to John Kerry. This is America and you are hating on people for being successful? At least McCain gives money to charitable causes unlike Obama.

    AFL/CIO is what is wrong with America. Unions are why GM/Ford et al are going broke. Why not shoot for Wal-Mart next?

    August 14, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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